Same story, different artist. Thanks again to a social network I got to discover this outstanding tattoo artist, quite unknown in our country, but quite established and worldwide respected.

First piece by Chad Koeplinger I saw via Tumblr was this one, done in Sydney last year.

This piece just left me speechless. The wolves are very aggressive and powerful, with those insane eyes. The Russian palace or church, the frightening skull and bone hand showing out of the cloud. It is a very threatening image, enhanced by the use of red color in certain details. The way I see it, it’s a tribute to the Russian criminal traditional tattoo art. I felt in love with it right away.

I started looking for some information and updates. He posts a lot via IG, I’ve just discovered he also tweets,and he’s got a blog, Chad Koeplinger, In Full Effect,  which is rarely updated unfortunately.

Koeplinger is settled in Washington DC, and works mostly at Tattoo Paradise. His passion for traveling has turned him in a nonstop wandering artist, constantly moving and tattooing worldwide. He’s been working at Frith Street Tattoo, Valerie Vargas’ workplace, in London these days, and some hours ago was catching a flight to Copenhagen for participating at the upcoming tattoo convention. Few weeks ago he spent some time visiting Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.  Not bad, huh?

The splendor of Koeplinger’s work is best admired in big pieces, chests and backs mainly, providing a great canvas to develop the complexity of some of his designs.

No doubt Koeplinger is super versatile and his extended experience stands for him in any kind of project he decides to carry out, still, I really think his specialty has to do with the wild animal imagery.

Sharks, black sheep, tigers, deer, eagles and especially wolves, are seen in his posts very often.

There’s a great deal of fierceness and aggressiveness in his creatures, they are mean, with a touch of evil. Don’t think I exaggerate when saying they are menacing and defiant. One of the key elements is the intense glance, enhanced by the pupils and the rough frown, and sometimes highlighted by red tones filling iris.

Seems that much work in progress is pending around the world, bearing in mind the big pieces requiring more than one session, so pictures of unfinished tattoos are available on the net. This is not discouraging by all means, as this artist never stops, just the opposite, it’s a motivation to follow his work and achievements closer.

I found this 45 minute interview done to the artist in San Francisco some months ago. If you are in the mood and have some time, I recommend to check it out, it’s always interesting to listen to the experiences, achievements, motivations and inspirations of the artists. All this aspects we are not acquainted with, which help them to shape their unique style and art concept.

This concept of traveling tattoo artist really fascinates me, and also makes me think of some chances for real, to eventually get to meet him. Today is Copenhagen, and tomorrow might be Madrid, or Tokyo…never the world seemed so small and affordable as with Chad Koeplinger.



  1. I don’t want a second tattoo. No, really, I don’t. I do not.

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