10 Best Tattoo Books for Inspiration Reviews 2022: How to Get Best Tattoo Ideas

10 Best Tattoo Books for Inspiration Reviews 2022: How to Get Best Tattoo Ideas

Tattooing is among the oldest art known. It is estimated that the practice started around 5,300+ years ago. Today, tattoo art has advanced in design and tools.

For many people, adding tattoos is one way to express feelings, desires, and inspiration. It is estimated that about 35% of people in the US have tattoos.

The ever-changing world means new ideas keep on popping up. Therefore, having the best tattoo books is one of the ways to get new ideas.

Whether you are a tattoo artist or an enthusiast, reading about this art from different parts of the world creates a new approach.

With more people willing to have tattoos, it’s time to equip yourself with a tattoo book that offers the best ideas.

Also Read: cordless tattoo machines

Our Picks for the 10 Best Tattoo Books

Book Name Features Image
Basic Fundamentals of
Modern Tattoo
Pages: 240
Language: English
Published: 2009
Weight: 8.8 ounces
Author: C.R. Jordan
Publisher: TBO Publishing
The Tattoo Textbook:
Escape the Grind, Do What You Love,
and Launch Your Kick-Ass
Tattoo Career
Pages: 237
Language: English
Published: 2019
Weight: 1.65 pounds
Publisher: Garden of Ink
Japanese Tattoos:
Meanings, Shapes, and Motifs
Pages: 240
Language: English
Published: 2018
Weight: 1.61 pounds
Author: Yori Moriarty
Publisher: Promopress
The Big Book of Small TattoosPages: 122
Language: English
Published: 2019
Weight: 7.4 ounces
Author: Roberto Gemori
Publisher: TattooTribes
The World Atlas of TattooPages: 400
Language: English
Published: 2015
Weight: 3.9 pounds
Anna Felicity Friedman, Lars F. Krutak
Publisher: Yale University Press
Tiny Tattoos: 1,000 Small
Inspirational Artworks
Pages: 192
Language: English
Published: 2020
Weight: 15.2 ounces
Rebecca Vincent
Publisher: Harper Design
Vintage Tattoos:
The Book of Old-School Skin Art
Pages: 256
Language: English
Published: 2009
Weight: 1.5 pounds
Author: Carol Clerk
Publisher: Universe
Graphic Art of Tattoo Lettering:
A Visual Guide to Contemporary
Styles & Designs
Pages: 272
Language: English
Published: 2019
Weight: 1.76 pounds
Author: BJ Betts, Nicholas Schonberger
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Bodies of Subversion:
A Secret History of Women
and Tattoo
Pages: 160
Language: English
Published: 2013
Weight: 1.52 pounds
Author: Margot Mifflin
Publisher: powerHouse Books
Superior Tattoo Bible:
Book One (Tattoo U,)
Pages: 144
Language: English
Published: 2009
Weight: 1.1 pounds
Compiler: Superior Tattoo
Publisher: ‎ Wolfgang Publications

1. Basic Fundamentals of Modern Tattoo

Having a good book for the tattooing profession keeps you ahead of the game. Not every book will provide great information, but it‘s one of the best tattoo books of all time.

This book is highly valuable and takes you toward achieving tattooing prowess step by step. With simple starting skills, the book doesn’t teach you to become a tattooing professor overnight.

The author, C.R. Jordan, is a member of the National tattoo association and other organizations. With knowledge about the art, everyone using this book learns smoothly.

Unlike the books filled with jargon, this one is simple and uses easy-to-understand language. Therefore, it’s one of the best options for any aspiring tattoo artist to grab.

Looking at the year of publication, this tattoo book isn’t old and has some modern techniques. The book is perfect for use with the latest tattoo kits and supplies.

Amazingly, once a reader has this book, they can access TeachMeToTattoo.com. Therefore, no reason to get stuck in your journey to becoming a tattoo artist.

2. The Tattoo Textbook: Escape the Grind, Do What You Love, and Launch Your Kick-Ass Tattoo Career

Every professional tattoo artist starts from somewhere. It takes time and commitment to become such. But, when you have a guide, it will take less time to gain the necessary basics.

The Tattoo Textbook is one of the best books on tattoos by a reputable professional. According to the author, Shelly Dax, the purpose is to help emerging tattoo artist achieve their desires.

Importantly, the author is knowledgeable about tattoos and other fundamentals in this art. It doesn’t matter your level; it’s considered a bible for tattoo beginners.

Unlike other books, this has superb illustrations. Combined with easy to understand language, every reader can understand straightway.

The author has covered different topics relevant to tattooing. Therefore, the book walks you hand in hand with any aspiring tattooer.

Available in hard copies and kindle, there is an option for the preferred format. With 237 pages, the tattoo book always ensures the perfect way to become an established tattooer.

3. Japanese Tattoos: Meanings, Shapes, and Motifs

Japanese tattoos are among the most famous in the world. Apart from presenting great art, it’s also possible to become one of the leading Japanese tattooers.

The first step to achieving Japanese tattoo artistry, this book is a powerful tool. Unlike other books, this has tons of tattoos from Japanese culture and their meanings.

Suppose you love and cherish the tattoo from the land of the rising sun; it offers perfect understanding. The reader will have no stress understating the origin and meaning of these tattoos.

The culture of irezumi, which has deep meaning and motifs, is well explained in this book. Whether it’s animals, flowers, and other designs, the reader gets a deeper meaning hassle-free.

With original descriptions by the author, every image comes with a simple illustration. It’s an excellent tattoo book for everyone with interest in Japanese tattoos.

4. The Big Book of Small Tattoos

It is everyone’s dream to become one of the greatest tattooers. But, it all starts with passion and dedication.

The Big Book of Small Tattoo is one of the tattoo books for beginners. It doesn’t matter the level since it perfectly suits beginners.

With a philosophy of small and meaningful, everyone wishing to learn basics finds it handy. The inspirations readers get from it are super amazing.

Once you opt to have this tattoo book, it brings a variety of options. With over 400 design collections, readers get diversity and a sense of creativity.

Not only do you enjoy the multiple designs, but each tattoo also comes with a description. Therefore, it’s easy to understand the image easily.

Some of the tattoos featured in this book include flowers, birds, seashells, knives, etc.

The design of the book makes the content even more entertaining. Design and colouring bring real inspirations and motivation to learn.

5. The World Atlas of Tattoo

Becoming a tattooer in the 21st century requires one to be creative and active enough. You can have great artistry, but complementing your career is recommended to add more ideas.

The World Atlas of Tattoos is a book that provides essential tips and starting points. It’s a goldmine for aspiring tattooers since the richness of information is on another level.

Covering various aspects, readers can learn about new genres and techniques in tattooing. Amazingly, not only do you get a new sense, but it helps to explore tattoo traditions from different parts of the world.

Like other atlases, this book has different tattoos from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and other places. The world of the tattoo just got better.

If you aim to get inspiration from classic and well-crafted tattoos, the book has it all. With over 700 high-quality images, they are coloured, offering a perfect presentation.

Besides, the book provides different presentations from over 100 artists from around the globe.

6.  Tiny Tattoos: 1,000 Small Inspirational Artworks

Tiny Tattoos is an inspirational book that enables beginners to have confidence in their work. However, everyone can benefit from this book, starting from beginners to an enthusiast.

With the author concentrating on instilling experience and inspiration, it’s easy to master your design. It’s among the best books about tattooing around.

Fabulous, the author uses 1000 simple illustrations to ensure every reader gets variety. The collection of over 1000 images, of which 50 are colourful, helps to offer great inspiration.

Unlike other books that only offer author experience, this has different sources. It incorporates author experience as well as interviews with other artists.

The vast collection of designs allows the artists to enjoy a new way of tattooing inspiration. Ranging from images, symbols, quotes, and others, readers get a new way to express their artistry.

With the book having 192 pages and simple English, everyone finds it superb to read and understand.

7. Vintage Tattoos: The Book of Old-School Skin Art

This book is written by Carol Clerk, an experienced and veteran music writer. Looking at the book title, the book is excellent for vintage tattoo lovers.

The author targets people looking to rediscover the art of vintage tattooing. Besides using graphic designers and leading artists’ designs, the readers taste vintage tattoos.

Suppose you want inspiration from old-school tattoos; the book gives you a chance to enjoy great content. Some of the images are as old as the Viking time.

When readers opt to get the information from this book, it offers a lot of history in tattooing. The combination of graphics from different traditions evokes the vintage essence.

With super amazing reviews from leading book reviewers, every reader will testify about the book.

8. Graphic Art of Tattoo Lettering: A Visual Guide to Contemporary Styles & Designs

The Graphic Art of Tattoo Lettering is a book by BJ Betts and Nicholas Schonberger. The two are among the leading tattoo artist and fashion enthusiasts.

Published in 2019, it has some of the latest tattoo designs and options. Also, referencing tattoos is now easy with this book since it allows readers to learn tattooing stepwise.

The book is a perfect guide whether you are a beginner or looking to learn about tattoo lettering. Besides, readers can learn about using some of the most widely used West coast lettering and calligraphic styles.

The inclusion of the latest styles and influential artists’ work helps to inspire upcoming tattooers.

Unlike some books focusing on beginners only, the Graphic art of tattoo lettering is incredible. It is a technical handbook for professional tattooers as well as beginners.

Suppose you want to master calligraphy, topography, and other modern styles; the book is your perfect choice.

9. Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo

This book was originally published in 1997. The author delivered great content for women’s tattoos. The revised edition in 2013 added a lot of the latest information.

The book focuses on bringing unseen images of women’s tattoos from the last centuries. With more women opting to have tattoos, it serves as an inspiration. Therefore, a reader can always enjoy learning about old days tattoos.

A lot of information is available in this book regarding various tattoos from the last century. You can enjoy documentation of nineteenth-century forced tattoos.

The book also has Victorian women’s tattoo culture and cosmetic tattoo surgery’s rise in the 80s. Amazingly, readers also get a rare chance to see breast cancer survivors’ tattoos as a reconstructive option in their mastectomy.

 The addition of 50 new colour images, including newly discovered work by famous British women, offer more learning. In general, the book tries to showcase tattoos in women’s culture.

10. Superior Tattoo Bible: Book One (Tattoo U,)

Getting a tattoo is one achievement that many people consider nowadays. But, it can be a stressful step in the design and choice of images.

Superior Tattoo Bible is the book that gives everyone a variety of tattoos to choose from. With 500 high-quality images, ranging from hearts, dragons, flowers, and other arts, you have a variety to select from.

One of the fantastic things about the tattoo book is it comes with a collection of art from big names. Some artists’ work includes Kevin LeBlanc, Nate Power, Bob Sims, and others.

While most books have one tattoo genre, this has multiple styles. Also, the images feature four per page. The complex ones are single per page to ensure perfect understanding.


Having the best tattoo books is one of the ways to bet on getting a perfect piece of art. Many books are available where readers can get more information.

With this list offering some of the best books for tattoos, everyone can now become a perfect artist. Besides, enthusiasts can learn a variety of tattoos and techniques.

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