Tattooed on someone's leg, a ballerina stands tall and poised, holding her head high while balancing on her toes. She looks to the sky with the same grace and determination that real life ballerinas have. On the inside of another person's arm, a small cartoon astronaut floats in space, sending a tiny paper airplane into the ether. Tattooed illustrations of a vespa, panda, and even Snoopy are scattered on various limbs, and inked upon a person's chest is a surrealist image of a beautiful woman wearing bright red lipstick being circled by a bicycle. These tattoos have a childlike quality. Each transforms a bare patch of skin into a delicate design with its own story. These simple yet charming tattoos are the work of Istanbul-based artist Ahmet Cambaz, whose artwork belongs within the pages of a children's book.
Straight from university, Cambaz became a cartoonist, and he transferred that technique to his tattooing career. The artist tells Creators that he has only been tattooing since 2013, when at 29, his wife bought him tattoo equipment as an anniversary gift. Since then, he has developed his style and emphasizes the importance of staying true to your craft and vision in tattooing.
"In college, I began to work for a caricature magazine as a cartoonist, and I worked there for seven years. It was here that my cartoons developed into the style that I have today," Cambaz says. "When I started to design tattoos, I tried to work in different styles using various methods, but I didn't feel comfortable because I was not that person. It wasn't me. So I decided to go on and develop my work and create the kind of tattoos that I like."
Cambaz's choice of predominantly using black ink, with sometimes a splash of color, gives his tattoos a simplicity which directs the eye towards the extraordinary detail in his work. Within his bulldog tattoo, the use of shading gives the little dog a character and a story that is not overridden by adding color and a distracting background. Additionally, the choice of a simple black line that the dog sits upon gives perspective to the piece and brings attention straight to the main illustration. "My tattoos are micro style, geometric, and direct," Cambaz says. "I don't like to use a background on tattoos. I think thinner black lines are much more modern."
Cambaz likens his tattooing method and style to his perspective on life: that the simplest things matter the most. "We are living in a complicated age. That's why I prefer to create minimalist lines in my pieces. I don't see the point in creating more drama; everything is now needing to become simpler."
In doing so, Cambaz's art reminds us of the beauty of minimalist tattoos. The simplicity of his work and his signature black lines allow Cambaz to play with perspectives and gives a sophisticated and modern twist to his cartoon-like illustrations.
To view his Instagram, click here.