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As more of the population gets pierced and tattooed, the desire to set ourselves apart is growing exponentially.  So how do you make sure your tattoo doesn’t look like everyone else’s? Well some of us are doing it with illusion tattooing. 

Illusion tattooing is generally performed by artisan tattooists, but it isn’t really a special type of tattoo, and all of the inks and equipment are the same. The difference is that most of the tattoos done in this particular style require a great amount skill at realism.  An illusion tattoo is any tat that creates the illusion of something being there that isn’t.  This can be a hyper-realistic tattoo of a piece of jewelry (or a garter, or gun holster), a tattoo that appears to show an injury or rip in the skin surface and what’s contained beneath it, or one that involves an actual visual illusion a la M.C. Escher. 

Sometimes an illusion tattoo will be comical or satirical. Popular examples of this include finger tattoos that contain a mustache, a pistol, or something else that interacts with other parts of the body.

Occasionally you’ll see tattoos that make a play on mortality, like those that create the illusion of exposed innards or zombification. And some include bits of machinery designed to create the illusion that someone is a cyborg. 

Whatever the illusion, there’s no arguing that this style of tattooing is hot right now, and with an immense collection of constantly renewing pop culture idioms to reference, chances are it won’t be disappearing any time soon.

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