First off, I couldn't pick my favorite designs, so here are some links to her pages: Instagram Twitter Website
This year I have become increasingly interested in tattoo design, because a friend of mine asked me to design a tattoo for him. I ended up sort of abandoning that idea, but in the process I followed many tattoo artists online and discovered what type of design I really like. One such artist is Mio Im, also known as cochlea1313 on Twitter and Instagram. Her tattoo designs are done in a fairly realistic style, and frequently contain snakes, feminine figures, flowers, and skeletons. She only uses black and red ink, with occasional white ink. On her “About” page, she says that she “has explored the border between real and surreal world” and that her artistic goal is “showing a horror scene without horror, sharing weirdness in ordinary way.” I feel that she accomplishes these goals. Many of her snake designs wrap around wrists or ankles, or show the snakes in eerie patterns. The people she illustrates usually have some monstrous feature, like wings, a tail, animal skulls, multiple limbs, etc., or are portrayed in unsettling situations (next to a giant beetle, surrounded by witches, pierced by arrows, etc.) Almost all the figures are facing away from the viewer, which contributes to the subtle creepiness. The feeling of the work really appeals to me, as does the style.
The almost lanky way she draws figures is something I really like, and strive to emulate in some of my doodles. Her tattoos manage to maintain an illustrative appearance even on the skin, like a print from a book rather than a design traced onto a person. I think the horror of her work can help inspire me to come up with more “weird” or unique ideas for my art, and interesting ways to portray certain feelings. I would say she is objectively my favorite tattoo artist.
Kristin Hines - Student artist at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School