Having always experimented with artistic materials since he was a child, Istanbul-based artist Ayhan Karadağ has finally found his calling—tattooing. He inks colorful, cute tattoos that look like fantastical storybook illustrations. Each permanent ink drawing allows wearers to celebrate the magic of childlike imagination.
“While making art, I realized that a person’s body is the most valuable material and that I want to make people happy when they look at my work on their bodies,” says Karadağ. “I don’t think there’s anything more gratifying than carrying the fairytale design that one imagines on his body all his life.” From cute characters to motifs from nature, each custom-designed, minimalist tattoo is inked on the skin using delicate lines and vibrant colors.
Karadağ is particularly fond of rendering nature-inspired designs, such as animals, trees, and botanicals—but almost always with a surreal twist. “In my work, I love to tell the fairytale stories which happen in our dreams, intertwined with nature and animals,” reveals the talented tattoo artist. “I’m passionate about nature and animals because I believe that the more dependent we are on nature, the more free we are as individuals.”
Check out some of Karadağ’s fairytale tattoos below and find more from his portfolio on Instagram.