American Traditional tattoos

From rejection to salvation.

The American Traditional style, also known as Western or Old School, is probably the first thing you picture in your head when you hear the word “tattoo”.

This style, characterized by clean and bold black outlines with limited colors, first started gaining popularity with Western culture in the 1700s. And at that time, getting a tattoo was anything but mainstream.

What we’ve come to know today as the modern tattoo industry began with a ton of headstrong sailors and servicemen who decided to go against the grain by dedicating new ink to their past journeys or tours of duty. Consisting of things like daggers, skulls, ships, women and roses, this style of art turned into what we now call American Traditional.

These brave men didn’t even realize that they were breaking boundaries with every new piece, eventually transforming our way of life for years to come. But the journey to acceptance wasn’t a walk in the park.

When many of these men returned home, they were cast out by their community. Society deemed tattoos as unprofessional and viewed anyone who had one as low class or even dangerous. On the flip side, these newly tatted servicemen considered their new ink to be an act against the constraints of society.

For these early trendsetters, it wasn’t about style, it was about expression. It meant freedom. It meant shaking things up, doing something new, and setting the standard for future generations so that we could have the ability to express ourselves without fear of rejection or ridicule.

We’ve gotta give it to them. If not for this heroic group of men who fought for America in more ways than one, we wouldn’t be able to rock the big and bold pieces that we do on an everyday basis.

At the Hart & Huntington Las Vegas shop, you’ll find a ton of uniquely skilled artists who specialize in a variety of styles, including American Traditional. If you want to pay homage to one of the most transformative time periods in history with some custom new ink, an American Traditional tattoo is the way to go, and one of our artists can make it happen.

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Las Vegas tattoo artists specializing in American traditional tattoos
American Traditional tattoos from our Las Vegas tattoo shop