Tattoo artist Tedd Hucks looked to his environment as inspiration for his new series of botanical shadow tattoos. The Canadian artist sets out around dusk to photograph wild flowers and grass, yet it’s not the plants themselves he’s looking to. Rather, Hucks cleverly looks past the plant, setting his gaze on the shadows they cast. These shadows result in tattoo stencils for his clients.
“I love giving praise to the overlooked life forms that ask for nothing,” he explains. “The plants are never picked or cut; they are left to grow, one of my personal rules.” By using the shadow rather than the plant itself, the resulting tattoos have soft, hazy edges that resemble blurred botanical reflections.
It’s an experiment that rewards creative thinking. By forcing the artist to use just the shadow, Hucks hones in on the shape of each plant. His work is also a meditative reflection on the fleeting nature of life. Just as the shadow moves and fades with time, life also ebbs and flows. “As a tattoo may fade or blur over time, so do the shadows with the setting of the sun,” Hucks muses. “It’s especially important in this complicated day to listen and notice these things…to slow down and be mindful, to embrace life, the aging process, and the shadows we leave behind.”