Whether they're a master of realism or traditional, every tattoo superstar started off as a beginner. Regardless of how talented they were on paper, tattooing is a brand new beast and it takes years to perfect the craft. If you're new to tattooing, you might look at the amazing artists on Instagram and think, "Well, I'll never be that good." However, no one in the history of tattooing picked up a machine for the first time and banged out a flawless portrait or a technically exact Japanese dragon. They worked for years to hone their skills, both artistically and technically, to reach where they are today.

It might surprise you that the best artists in the world are still working day in and day out to improve. That's right, even the guy with over a million followers on Instagram notices where he can get better and will do everything he can to make the next tattoo better than the last. Take a look at a few examples off talented tattoo artists showing how far they've come in the gallery below, then let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section.

If you're looking for more content like this, take a look at a video we did with NYC artist Bobby Cupparro. In the video, we showed Cupparro some of his oldest tattoos and you won't believe how far he's come!