When it comes to tattoos, we now have the possibility to get almost anything we can imagine inked onto our bodies. Some people prefer a classic, simple, black outline while others are more interested in hyper-realistic images. But with the right combination of a creative client and a skilled artist, some tattoos can even come to life when their canvases move. In celebration of these pieces, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most intriguing, funny and impressive moving tattoos for you to check out below. Don’t forget to upvote your favorites, and keep note of any that might be inspiration for your next piece of inked artwork. Then after you’ve finished viewing this list, be sure to also check out out Bored Panda’s last publication on the same topic right here.

#1

Moving Dinosaur Tattoo

Moving Dinosaur Tattoo

thetackleboxtattoo Report

Louise B
Community Member
1 month ago

That is so clever! Tattoos are definitely an art form.

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While tattoos are sacred pieces of art in some cultures, they are still considered taboo in others. Particularly in Western society, attitudes towards tattoos have shifted over time. While once viewed by some as only for sailors and criminals, getting tattoos done was even outlawed in various places in the US in the 1950s. This was mostly due to fear of disease, but tattooing remained illegal until long after in some states. South Carolina finally changed their stance on body ink in 2004, and Oklahoma was the last state to allow tattooing beginning in 2006.

Dr. David Lane, an assistant professor at Illinois State University who has done extensive research on tattooing, told Byrdie that tattoos started to be viewed differently over the past 60 years as celebrities, athletes and people in the fashion industry started sporting them publicly. Tattoo artists with art degrees, including Cliff Raven and Ed Hardy, also gained popularity and “were largely responsible for revamping some of the public imagery of tattooing in the '60s and '70s”. Lane also notes that “initial tattoo conventions were actually about trying to create a kind of professional image”, and tattoo artists were at the forefront of pushing for regulations to ensure safe practices, licensing and oversight. 

#2

Elephant

Elephant

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DUN DUN
Community Member
1 month ago

That's the most gorgeous lord Ganesha tattoo I've ever seen

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After being presented with an influx of tattooed celebrities in the 1970s, including Cher, Peter Fonda and Janis Joplin, public opinion in the US really began to shift. "In a sense I think we were seeing more of it or more different kinds of bodies,” says Dr. David Lane. “NFL players started getting tattooed on their arms, basketball players, baseball players." While it’s still common for employers to have policies regarding visible tattoos, they are being viewed more and more as examples of self-expression, rather than hindrances to our appearances. Currently, 59% of women and 41% of men have at least one tattoo, and annually, the United States spends approximately $1.6 billion on tattoos. And if you're looking to get a tattoo or find a job as a tattoo artist, Miami might be the destination for you. It has the most tattoo parlors of any other city in the nation, with 24 shops for every 100,000 people.   

#3

The Oyster Is Possessive Of The Pearl. But It Is The Artisan Who Makes Her Feel Like A Jewel

The Oyster Is Possessive Of The Pearl. But It Is The Artisan Who Makes Her Feel Like A Jewel

sergioricardotattoo Report

DUN DUN
Community Member
1 month ago

You have successfully mesmerized me

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#4

See How This Baby Folds Up

See How This Baby Folds Up

skylerryantattoos Report

PandaJon
Community Member
1 month ago

This one is nice

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When getting a tattoo, it can be hard to decide exactly what style you like, and articulating your vision to an artist can be even trickier. To help understand the 12 styles of tattoos, Byrdie breaks them down in their “Comprehensive Guide to Every Type of Tattoo”. The first style mentioned is minimalist tattoos. It’s noted that these don’t actually have to be small, but they follow the “less is more” idea, typically using delicate, clean lines and one or very few colors. These are best for designs that can be visualized and portrayed with little complexity.

Next up is negative space tattoos. These are designs that “rather than using an outline to create the tattoo’s image… use the skin as the outline and the pigment as the normally ‘blank’ parts of a design”. The third type of tattoo is hand-poked or stick-and-poke designs. While these don’t require an electric machine, they can still be beautifully detailed and complex pieces. The next popular tattoo style features words and phrases, also known as “script” tattoos. There are no real rules when it comes to these designs, just be sure you spell check them before the needle touches your skin.     

#5

Trapeze Artists

Trapeze Artists

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Rachel Peterson
Community Member
1 month ago

I love this!

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#6

Almost Fully Healed

Almost Fully Healed

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DUN DUN
Community Member
1 month ago

So eerily beautiful

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Another common tattoo style is floral art. These can have a variety of meanings, with each being symbolic of a different trait, birth month, etc. Of course, they can always just be purely aesthetic as well. The next type of tattoos are line art pieces. These are essentially any picture portrayed through one continuous line, and they’ve become increasingly popular in recent years. Then we have watercolor tattoos. These are done with color in a way that “mimics the look and fluidity of a watercolor painting. They require more colors of ink than the average tattoo, to create that trademark gradient effect, but they can be done with almost any color or image. Abstract tattoos are another popular style that “don’t necessarily represent the reality around us but instead focus on the shapes, colors, and textures that make up that reality”. Since these tend to be more about the aesthetic than the meaning of the tattoo, it’s crucial to find an artist who really understands your vision before getting one done.   

#7

Had Such A Blast Making This

Had Such A Blast Making This

ashtattoos3 Report

Yolanda Steger
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow!

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#8

Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko

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Zoe's Mom
Community Member
1 month ago

This one is really, really well done.

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#9

Freehand Done At Home

Freehand Done At Home

veksvanhilliktattoo Report

Łukasz Markuszewski
Community Member
1 month ago

this is genius

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The next style of tattoo is a very interesting one: UV or glow-in-the-dark tattoos. These use “vivid, fluorescent pigments that are difficult to view in daylight” but come to life when under ultraviolet lights. These were a popular trend in the 90s while neon was all the rage, but you can still get them done today if you find an artist who specializes in them. Geometric tattoos are another common style, which are often inspired by traditional tribal tattoos of various cultures including Maori, Polynesian and Thai.

Next up we have blackwork tattoos, which feature heavy amounts of black ink. These can include heavy gray shading or only crisp, black lines, but they certainly require precision to achieve the desired effect. Lastly, American traditional tattoos, also known as Americana or Western style, are another popular type of art. These first appeared on sailors in the 1700s, but they’ve made a comeback often featuring roses, pin-ups, hearts and animal heads. With their bold black outlines and heavy but minimal black shading, these are classic tattoos that stand the test of time.    

#10

Animated Giraffe, Eating Some Flowers. This Was A Fun One

Animated Giraffe, Eating Some Flowers. This Was A Fun One

rino.tattooing Report

UncleRussian
Community Member
1 month ago

I bet giraffes would love to be able to eat like this, unfortunately irl giraffes have to basically spread their front legs apart to eat/drink because of their height. It kinda sucks for them because of the fact that if a predator comes and they don't un-retract in time then well... It may lead to problems

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#11

Sad Elbow Wrinkle

Sad Elbow Wrinkle

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Stardust
Community Member
1 month ago

Sad elbow wrinkle

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#12

Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis

rooshi.berlin Report

crazy_cat_notAlady
Community Member
1 month ago

very Kafka-ish?!

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While many of us know what it’s like to get a tattoo, very few of us know what it’s like to be a tattoo artist. While the job clearly requires a high level of skill, there are many perks for artists looking for a profession where they can be creative and socialize with clients every day. The average tattoo artist in the United States makes a decent salary, earning an average of $85,000 per year. There’s also plenty of job security as tattoos are always in demand, and artists can work anywhere in the country (sometimes even anywhere in the world) they like. They often get to set their own hours, booking appointments around their own schedules, meaning they can also have weekends off. The environment of working in a tattoo shop is much more enjoyable for many artists than, say, working in a traditional office. There is no formal education required to become a tattoo artist either. As long as an artist has skills and lands an apprenticeship at a shop, their career can begin whenever they’re ready. 

#13

Humpback Whale Diving With The Arm

Humpback Whale Diving With The Arm

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🦋vall🦋シ︎
Community Member
1 month ago

I love this

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#14

Butterfly Eyes

Butterfly Eyes

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BAWK BAWK BAKAW
Community Member
1 month ago

butterfleyes

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#15

Take Your Time To Enjoy This

Take Your Time To Enjoy This

paradots_tattoo Report

Tracy Campbell
Community Member
1 month ago

I love this one! So creative!

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Probably the top reason many tattoo artists cite for loving their jobs is the opportunity to be creative in their careers. While many professions allow for very little variety throughout the workday, tattooers get to see different clients and create new pieces of art every single day. Most artists also find their jobs very rewarding, as they get to see customers’ excitement after receiving a new piece and sometimes form long relationships with clients who return again and again for more artwork. Artists can also use their online presences to advance their careers. Social media is a great way for tattoo artists to share their work, expand their audiences and gain new clients.       

#16

Freehand Today

Freehand Today

veksvanhilliktattoo Report

memeju1ce
Community Member
1 month ago

me waking up in the morning

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#17

Beautiful Moving Tattoo

Beautiful Moving Tattoo

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MacKenzie Moore
Community Member
1 month ago

I love this one!🤩

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#18

Siamese Fish

Siamese Fish

veksvanhilliktattoo , veksvanhilliktattoo Report

MacKenzie Moore
Community Member
1 month ago

so pretty!

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Last year, Insider published a piece featuring tattoo artist and TikToker Alissa Jung, where she told the story of how she quit her corporate job at age 29 to pursue a full-time career in tattooing. Alissa notes that, although she considers herself an introvert, she is thriving in her new profession. “Now, I mostly work with other introverts who feel the same way. As a tattoo artist, I work one-on-one with my clients and do all of the listening. I never thought I'd enjoy meeting new people, but every experience is so unique and rewarding.”

While she loves her new career, Alissa wants people to know that it didn’t happen overnight. After she accepted an apprenticeship, she didn’t actually pick up a tattoo machine for months. She explained that first her responsibilities were focused on “learning how the shop runs, cleaning, and setting up or breaking down stations”. “You also work on daily assignments from your mentor,” Alissa notes. “Which mostly consist of tracing shapes and drawing. I lucked out at my apprenticeship and started learning to ink on practice skin after about four to five months.”

#19

It Took 399 Years

It Took 399 Years

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Lillian Swaim
Community Member
1 month ago

I think it's funny

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#20

This Is Amazing

This Is Amazing

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Man in the ceiling
Community Member
1 month ago

This one’s cool!

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#21

Super Fun Scarab That Opens Up With The Arm. Some Mushies On The Shell

Super Fun Scarab That Opens Up With The Arm. Some Mushies On The Shell

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Nikki Sevven
Community Member
1 month ago

I wish this one was done in multiple colors.

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Then came the most difficult part: finding her tattoo niche. Alissa said her favorite pieces at the moment are micro-realism tattoos, but she expects her style to change over time. She also emphasized how much work there is outside of the actual tattooing. “I'm constantly drawing for my upcoming clients, doing consultations, replying to emails, and going through my request sheet. Plus I have to keep up with social media and constantly create new content to market myself.”

#22

This Cute Bat

This Cute Bat

yas_bat_art Report

Teampandas GF
Community Member
1 month ago

That's a nice change from all these insects & fish

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#23

Thanks Guy, Cool Session

Thanks Guy, Cool Session

veksvanhilliktattoo Report

Inigo Montoya
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

I like this one, looks like the house is singing a show tune.

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#24

Peter Rabbit Running Home

Peter Rabbit Running Home

_tooth.and.claw.art_ Report

Keisha
Community Member
1 month ago

Look at the adorable bunny running.

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Before heading to get your next tattoo, it’s important to be a well informed client. Thankfully, Insider has a list of “things tattoo artists want people to know” to prevent any future faux pas. One important thing to note is that tipping your artist is standard and polite, unless you are really dissatisfied with the results. Another thing to be aware of is that requesting an “exact copy of a tattoo you found online can be considered offensive, unethical and legally questionable”. While it’s natural to find inspiration online, it’s best to work with your artist to create something unique and original. Plus, your piece will be even more special that way. Lastly, tattoos can be expensive, but trust your artist when they tell you the price. They’re the expert, and prices can greatly vary based on the level of skill and the amount of time and ink the tattoo requires. If your budget is really tight, you might want to hold off on getting inked until you can splurge a little more.

#25

Another Cool Knee Tattoo. Ribbit Ribbit When It Moves

Another Cool Knee Tattoo. Ribbit Ribbit When It Moves

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Silvia John
Community Member
1 month ago

Sorry, I don´t see a difference...

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#26

Spider

Spider

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MacKenzie Moore
Community Member
1 month ago

imagine typing on a keyboard..

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#27

Freehand Done At Home

Freehand Done At Home

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PandaJon
Community Member
1 month ago

That would terrify a child

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Tattoos can be an amazing way of expressing ourselves and acquiring pieces of art that will last a lifetime. We hope you’ll enjoy the rest of this list of tattoos with lives of their own, and don’t forget to upvote all of your favorites. Then we’d love to hear in the comments below if you have any interesting tattoos or plans to get some done any time soon!

#28

Heart

Heart

veksvanhilliktattoo Report

🦩Laneypooh🦩
Community Member
1 month ago

Why does this remind me of the cat from Alice and wonderland

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#29

Butterfish

Butterfish

veksvanhilliktattoo Report

Keisha
Community Member
1 month ago

Now that creative as Hell.

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#30

Very Cute Beetle

Very Cute Beetle

jblat.tattoos Report

PandaJon
Community Member
1 month ago

Silence of the arm

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#31

Freehand. Done At Les Petites Mains

Freehand. Done At Les Petites Mains

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Just me
Community Member
1 month ago

Really well done, good details

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#32

Funny Tattoo

Funny Tattoo

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Blurryface
Community Member
1 month ago

(They can bend their pinky to make him jump. In case you didn’t get it, and had to stare at it, like me.)

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#33

Got To Finish This Super Fun Beetle Today

Got To Finish This Super Fun Beetle Today

somoslobos Report

Rob DeVries
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow

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#34

Beauty Creatures, Lines And Textures

Beauty Creatures, Lines And Textures

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Country
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

That's really cool and the texture is amazing, looks realistic

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#35

Lapin

Lapin

veksvanhilliktattoo Report

LinaLovesBooks
Community Member
1 month ago

Cute! In case anyone is wondering, lapin is rabbit in french

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#36

We're Twerkin' Our Way Into 2022

We're Twerkin' Our Way Into 2022

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Inigo Montoya
Community Member
1 month ago

Bob's burgers, baby.

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#37

Bendy Ladder

Bendy Ladder

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PandaJon
Community Member
1 month ago

Why?

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#38

Freehand. One Session, One Shot

Freehand. One Session, One Shot

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Keisha
Community Member
1 month ago

I really like this one.

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#39

Melted Brain

Melted Brain

hbartattoo Report

Country
Community Member
1 month ago

Does this mean your brain and heart are connected?

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#40

Two Girls On A Ladder. They Look At Each Other When I Bend My Knee

Two Girls On A Ladder. They Look At Each Other When I Bend My Knee

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Olivia Gean
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow, line work is awful.

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Note: this post originally had 108 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.