Tattoo artist Sasha Unisex produces beautiful paintings that happen to be on human skin. The St. Petersburg-based artist uses vibrant inks to etch portraits of animals, bouquets of flowers, and nautical scenes onto her clients’ bodies. The eye-catching images use shades of purples, blues, and greens to fantastically recreate the mane of a lion or a bird sitting in a tree. Unlike many tattoo artists, Unisex doesn’t outline her designs, and instead places an emphasis on shapes and shading, using contrasting colors to make her forms feel three-dimensional.
Unisex’s tattooing portfolio is available to view on her Instagram, and it’s also where she shares some of her process. Before applying ink to skin, she first paints a watercolor painting of the image she’ll tattoo. Once complete, the painting acts as a guide for the tattoo and ensures she won’t make a permanent mistake later on her client.
Her style marks a contemporary approach to the art of tattooing. Traditionally, tattoos mimic the “Sailor Jerry” style, made famous by Norman Keith Collins in the 1930’s and later carried on by famous names like Ed Hardy. These tattoos are characterized by bold, unwavering lines with limited colors like reds, blues, and sepia tones. Unisex’s work is refreshingly free from these conventions as she craft images that are truly one of a kind.