Tim Shumate isn’t a tattoo artist. You won’t find him using someone’s arm as the canvas for his next masterpiece or traveling between tattoo conventions, yet his unique art style clearly has some tattoo roots behind it. Where do these roots come from? Why does his work resonate with the tattoo community as a whole?
It all became clear in an interview with teevillain.com. When asked about the origins of the vintage tattoo nature of his work, Time replied, “Well, Sailor Jerry (The Godfather of Traditional Tattoos) has always been in my top 5 favorite artists. He keeps things really simple and bold, which is something I can’t do no matter how hard I try. He is definitely what started my obsession with tattoos. I am also really into restructuring pop art and icons. Covering your favorite childhood Heroes in ‘hard life’ tattoos is a great way to make them grow along with you. They can stay relatable.”
As Tim puts it, the goal of each portrait shown below is to “capture [the] essence” of the character. “Eyes are the first thing I start when I draw,” he explains. “If I didn’t capture the eyes, I would scrap the entire thing and start over. It’s important. The eyes are the window to the soul…”
Tim Shumate’s soulful art style has no doubt inspired numerous tattoos, whether those tattoos are replicas of his work as seen in the gallery before or renditions of his unique pin-up girl style. Fans of his artwork can follow Tim on Facebook and Instagram, where he regularly updates followers with new pieces of art as he completes them. Anyone looking to purchase a print or original piece from Tim can do so on his Etsy store page.