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Flash Tattoos

The Flash Tattoos challenge winner is here!

1,458 designs /
printed design / 19,397 votes placed

All Cats Are Bastard

Design by
kooky love

Buy it Now

The challenge was

Keep it simple yet evocative.

The History
While tattooing is said to have started some 5,000 years ago and has since spanned many cultures for many different purposes, more modern “flash” tattooing in the United States became more popularized in the early 1900s, when sailors wanted to replicate what they saw overseas during wartime.

Originally frowned upon and negatively associated with carnival attractions and criminals, tattoos quickly became fashionable for men and women alike. While the popularity ebbed and flowed since those early days, now tattoo parlors are everywhere. People choose body art to showcase both deep, symbolic meaning and incredible art by their favorite artists, and some celebrity tattooers even have their own TV shows!

This Challenge
For this challenge, we want you to delve into the world of flash art, developing iconic imagery that could be considered for a tattoo. Typically flash art can be tattooed in about 30 minutes, so please do keep this in mind when you’re creating your submission! Choose a known flash art style, or stay with your own but with tattoo-like leanings. You could create your very own flash sheet populated with a menagerie of characters, words, patterns, or all of the above. Or simply make a commentary on the culture and lifestyle of flash and tattooing in your own special way.

Actual Tattoos onto the Staff of Threadless
In partnership with our friends at Code of Conduct Tattoo, any design in this challenge is eligible to be selected by various Threadless staff members to be turned into an actual tattoo. If your design is chosen, you will receive an extra $100 cash prize and your design will be promoted on social.

Sure, it’s a little more pressure since your design could actually be permanently inked onto someone’s skin, but isn’t that part of the fun?


Featured designs:

Crazy Tiger by jackqtattoo

Mourn for the Dead by Abprallen

Sure Why Not by twocabezas

Bestiario by loll3

Challenge Details

  • First Place (1): $1,250 Cash & $250 gift code

  • Second Place (1): $500 Cash & $250 gift code

  • Third Place (1): $250 Cash & $250 gift code

  • If your design is chosen to be tattooed onto a member of the Threadless staff, you will receive an extra $100 cash prize and your design will be promoted on social.

  • Plus, all designs (including the first place winner) can earn up to $20 per unit on products of your design sold on, your Artist Shop, and other retail opportunities! Read more...

Designs From This Challenge