Body art professionals, like Anna Sica, are turning to animal-free inks to create beautiful vegan tattoos. If you’re vegan, you know that when it comes to animal-friendliness, not all commodities are created equally. While assuring the absence of animal products in things like food, cosmetics, and clothing is standard practice for seasoned vegans, many are unaware that body art requires research, too. To make pigments pop, many tattoo inks include bone char, gelatin, and shellac, each of which is derived from various animals. Fortunately, there are alternatives for critter-loving tattoo enthusiasts, and the finished products are just as impressive.
Sica’s portfolio boasts a variety of delicate, nature-inspired vegan tattoos. Featuring flora and fauna, Sica’s creature-friendly creations are as of beautiful as they are eclectic. Working primarily in black ink, the designs offer unique body illustrations, ranging from meticulously detailed works of art to simple line drawings. Some are large-scale, like Sica’s frequently-requested floral sleeves, while others are a bit smaller. Most pieces are realistic in nature, but some are stylized or even fanciful, like the fit-for-a-fairytale portrait of a rabbit donning a dress.
With a traditional background in fine arts, Sica’s preference for these “black, dictionary style illustrations of plants and animals or objects” is not surprising. In fact, this aesthetic even defines her shop, Arrowhead Tattoos, in Fairfield, Iowa, where vegan and non-vegan clients commission her gorgeous, environmentally-themed (and friendly) tattoos.