Style and art are constantly changing in this world. Tattooing is no different. What was once the height of popularity—looking at you '90s tribal—can go by the wayside in the blink of an eye. Over the years, and through all the styles, there are a few motifs who have stood the test of time. Skulls. Roses. Dragons.
Dragons are one of the motifs that bridged the gap between traditional Japanese tattooing and American Traditional. Artists like Sailor Jerry were influenced strongly by Japanese tattooing, and they incorporated these influences into the burgeoning style. Today, you see artists specializing in both of those styles creating beautiful dragon tattoos. At this point, dragons have been done in every different tattoo style, but they are incredibly common in those two.
In the West, dragons tend to have a nefarious connotation behind them. Throughout medieval literature, dragons were always the antagonist, inflicting harm upon anybody unlucky enough to cross their path.
Dragons hold a very different role in Japanese mythology. They aren't evil, on the contrary, they are seen as brave protectors of mankind. Unsurprisingly, most tattoo art associated with dragons can be seen through this light.
In the following gallery you'll find some truly amazing dragon tattoos, in a myriad of styles. Enjoy!