When you're putting something on your body forever, you might want to be deliberate. On the other hand, sometimes the best artistic creations come about when you're willing to experiment and consider happy accidents.
It took at least two fluke occurrences for tattoo artist Dave, who goes by Winston the Whale, to take up 3D tattooing. About a year and a half ago, Dave, who has been an artist and illustrator for several years, says he "was focusing on pursuing murals and other forms of art" when a friend asked Dave to give him a stick 'n' poke tattoo. "I ended up doing this little planet and some stars and the tattoo actually looked pretty decent!" he told The Huffington Post in an email.
He began tattooing more friends and posting the photos to Instagram. "A month later I was booked out of my apartment doing stick 'n' poke tattoos!" he said. "It was really crazy how fast it happened."
Then, last September, Dave was discussing a possible tattoo with a last-minute client. "I suggested a simple skull. He asked me if it was possible to do it in red and blue like a 3D image and I figured it was worth a shot to at least try it," he said. The photo blew up on Dave's Instagram, and suddenly he was flooded with requests for red-and-blue 3D tattoos. "I kinda just went with it," he said.
Dave's designs feature clean, playful lines and simple elements that are easy to grasp even with the potentially eye-crossing effect of the red and blue version offset over each other. "It's really about delivering something that is stripped down to the basics for maximum impact upon immediate viewing," he explained. "People only really look at an image for a second or two and these little 3D designs capture their attention for just the right amount of time."
Before you rush out and buy a pair of 3D glasses, however, be warned: "They don't actually work on skin," Dave told HuffPost. "Unfortunately there are several factors to making an anaglyph image effective and the contour of the body, skin tone, color overlap, etc. that negate the actual anaglyph 3D effect."
Still, chances are the tattoo recipients and those they meet will not be equipped with 3D glasses very often, so the most important fact remains: These little red-and-blue line drawings look super-cool.
Check out some more of his work below, and at Winston the Whale's Instagram.