nigel palmer
nigel palmer - disrupting the surface


Random thoughts, musings, and reminders to self.

Posts tagged about
about my tattoo works

I plan to put my tattooing on hiatus in 2019 and focus on my other projects. 



I have been tattooing professionally since 1998 although I had been dabbling with it since 1992, utilising tattoo techniques in my artwork and on myself.

Over the years my work developed into a graphic abstract style incorporating dotwork and greyshade techniques, and cycling through various graphic elements. Most of the work has been designed freehand, as the tattoo progressed, in an improvised and organic way. Rarely was any idea mapped out on paper first.

The main thread that runs through my tattoo work is not so much the finished designs, but the process of achieving those designs. I have a long term process of incorporating certain motifs or elements, then over time, adapting and transforming them into newly added elements.

As each element and mark made informs the next one, so each tattoo informs the next. It is a process of adding something new, and removing an old element from the repertoire once it has served its purpose, then cycling back to revisit old ideas with new eyes and experience.

This is not a linear process, and multiple streams of ideas can run simultaneously over many years. As time passes, various elements are combined and transformed, then recombined. For example, squares become cubes become irregular blocks, triangles become prisms become crystals.

The basic stylistic themes of my work have gone through many phases and developments, including in no particular order:

  • hexagons

  • circles

  • maps

  • grids

  • squares

  • triangles

  • typography

  • layers

  • negative space

  • regular structures and patterns

  • irregular structures and patterns

  • minimalism

  • maximalism

I am aesthetically drawn to minimalism but for some reason maximalism seems to creep into my tattoo designs.