When it comes to getting tattooed, not all locations on the body are created equal. Some spots, such as the bicep or forearm, are pretty manageable for both the artist and the client to endure. While others, like the ribs, can be seriously unbearable for both parties. However, we still see epic rib pieces produced every single day.
Many clients, especially first time clients, don't realize the blood, sweat and tears put into rib tattoos. Let's break is down for you. For the artist, this location is very tricky for several reasons. One, you're having to pull straight lines while your client is breathing. Two, you're having to maneuver between flab/muscle/skin and bones, which are vastly different surfaces. Three, in order to execute these tattoos, you'll need the clients to stretch— therefore making the stencil two to three times larger than it will be when they stand straight. Four, unless you're getting a small piece done, a full rib piece will likely take many hours, often spread out over multiple sessions. And five, tattooers are almost always standing to do rib tattoos and this is a huge back backer.
For the clients, it's often no easier a feat. If you've ever been kicked in the ribs or have broken a rib, you'll know they're extremely sensitive. Now imagine getting a tattoo there, but also having to remain perfectly still and breathe in a controlled way for hours on end.
But, despite these challenges, rib tattoos are still absolutely stunning. They're a huge canvas for breathtaking pieces and if done right, they'll hold up well over time. Take a peek at 50 rib tattoos that blew our freaking minds in the gallery below, then let us know if you have a rib tattoo of your own in the comments section on social media.