Jee Sayalero was born in Venezuela in 1975. He began focusing on tattoo design as a profession in 2002, drawing inspiration from modern art forms such as comic books, cartoons and animated films. Because of these influences on his tattoo design style, Sayalero’s tattoos have large areas of color, eye-catching movement and a sense of humor.
New School Cartoon Tattoos
“New school” is term given to many styles of modern tattoo art. Many new school tattoo artists are heavily influenced by the emerging art form of pop surrealism, a style that combines the realistic rendering of surrealism with cartoonish characters. The style of Sayalero’s tattoo designs swing in the opposite direction to pop surrealism with their 2-dimemsional, cartoonish and graffiti-like effect.
Many of Jee Sayalero’s tattoo designs have a vibrant sense of movement. His use of perspective creates depth within his scenes that allows each character room to stretch their personalities within the limited space of a tattoo design. Instead of relying on two dimensional space, Sayalero creates space in his tattoos by using the third dimension of depth. This allows for a scene filled with multiple characters and objects that flesh out the symbolism of each tattoo.
Asian subject matter finds its way into many of Jee Sayalero’s tattoo designs. Sometimes an entire scene has an Asian influence, while other tattoos show Western and Eastern elements flirting and cavorting in an interesting mix of subjects and symbols. Designs of koi fish, lotus flowers and Asian deities are often tattooed in traditional Asian styles but with Jee Sayalero’s stylized take on these subjects, Asian symbolism emerges from traditional styles into a purely modern, new school art form.
Jee Sayalero’s Tattoo Design Style
Jee Sayalero has a playful use of color in his tattoo designs, adding to the new school effect of his tattoos. The majority of Sayalero’s tattoos burst with color and contrast, adding to the sense of depth and space in the design. Important objects in the scene, often displayed in the foreground, are highlighted with rich palettes, while objects that are less symbolic, less important or are simply in the distance are tatooed with paler, less assuming palettes. This use of color defines which areas of the tattoo are important, drawing the viewer’s eye to these areas of the design.
Contrast is often used in tattoos to accentuate areas of the design. Sometimes lighter inks are offset by darker inks to create an eye-catching contrast, but the same effect can be achieved by using contrasting colors. Warm colors stand out against cooler colors, as seen in the tattoo design below. Using color contrast with a strong silhouette allows the tattoo to be readable from a distance instead of appearing as a mash of confusing color and shapes.
New school tattoo designs often incorporate a sense of humor, inspired by the humorous elements found in modern media. Serious subjects such as death are sometimes displayed in a funny way, as seen in the tattoo below. Traditional tattoos often took on a fairly serious, rigid form, expressing serious and rigid ideas about the world. Many new school tattoo artists pride themselves on approaching tattoo subjects in a different way; making serious subjects humorous or funny subjects seem difficult or angry. New School tattoos often challenge our beliefs about a certain subject, transforming not only how that idea is displayed in tattoo designs, but how we think about those subjects.
Visit Jee Sayalero’s website or facebook page to find out more about this artist. To see some of this artist’s tattoo sketches, take a look at New School Tattoo Sketches by Jee Sayalero on Mayhem and Muse.