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Ingeniously Articulated Tattoos Require Bending to See the Full Image

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Artist Vek Van Hillik has created an ingenious way to integrate two stunning designs into one awe-inspiring tattoo. Using strategic placement and a masterful understanding of optical illusions, he inks shape-shifting creatures that change form as the body moves. The most defining parts of his designs are hidden in the folds of legs and arms. You only get the full effect of Van Hillik’s body art once you see it in action.

Working in a freehand manner, the French tattooist draws his designs directly on the skin; this allows him to change things on the fly—crucial for creating a believable illusion. More importantly, however, Van Hillik picks symmetrical subject matter or mirrors the image of one creature. When the client’s leg or arm is folded, their ink appears as a single subject. But once the body is outstretched, it suddenly transforms into siamese fish, “The Thing,” and more. And in the case of his insect tattoos, the creatures can literally spread their wings!

Van Hillik is quickly gaining acclaim for this type of tattoo. But, it’s not all that he does. Check out his Instagram to see his conventional blackwork that has a surrealist twist.

Artist Vek Van Hillik creates optical illusion tattoos that you have to see to believe.

Vek Van Hillik: Instagram
h/t: [Laughing Squid]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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