So realistic, you'll forget it's a tattoo.
New York City-based tattoo artist Mr. K (also known as Sanghyuk Ko) is known for his signature single-needle micro portraits. His work is hyperrealistic and does not miss a single detail despite the tiny size — some no larger than a dime. Mr. K is a resident artist at New York’s Bang Bang Tattoo in the Lower East Side, a popular tattoo shop for celebrities like Justin Bieber to Rihanna to Kylie Jenner to Miley Cyrus.
Mr. K’s first pet portrait happened about two years ago. The tattoo of a dog was for a client who was actually Ozzy Osbourne’s personal assistant. Since then he’s inked well over 200 tiny pet portraits.
After being a cat mom for 19 years to two precious felines, I decided to get their portraits on the inside of my arm — for a forever cuddle and long-lasting memory of our lives together. But tattoos are tricky, and a visual investment that I'd never want anyone to get wrong, so I sought out expert advice on pet portrait tattoos to help guide our readers.
The process of getting a Mr. K original of your pet starts with booking an appointment five to six months in advance through Bang Bang. They do their best to accommodate urgent requests and traveling clients, however very few amazing tattoos have ever happened on the whim.
On the day of the appointment, clients bring in two or three of the best photos of their pet to use as reference. Mr. K will help select the best option to base the tattoo on, and he recommends high-resolution photos that are clear and naturally lit. The tattoo process itself can last two to three hours depending on size and amount of detail.
“As a dog owner, I definitely understand the connection my clients have with their pets,” he told Travel + Leisure. This connection totally shows — just look how cute the tiny pet portraits are.