Tattoos can be simply gorgeous… or utterly awful. For every stunning wrap-around image expertly tattooed onto someone's arm, lower back, or neck, there is a bizarre image, such as a wicker chair, tattooed someplace random. (Usually while the tattoo-ee was completely inebriated.) True tattoo artists are just that – artists. Their canvas is the human body, and the work they create is often gallery worthy. The best tattoo artists travel a great deal, going from country to country, city to city, in order to ink their designs onto clients across the globe. A few have major tattoo parlors of their own, and lately, with the reality show craze, some have launched successful television careers, as well. Recent innovations in tools and inks have made it possible for tattoo artists to create designs that may not have been possible even 10 years ago. The end result, is that tattoo design is really only limited by the imagination. Designs are becoming more and more elaborate, intricate, and colorful, as artists experiment with how far they can push the boundaries of the art form.
All of these advancements can come with a hefty price tag, however. Inking your dreams onto your skin can cost as much as a car. Mind you, the fact that the designs will be with your forever makes the price worth it. One company decided to take tattoo art a step further, by using tattoo art to advertise their brand. The Shimansky company, a retail chain based in South Africa, decided to advertise their diamond cutting and polishing services by tattooing 612 Shimansky Ideal Cut diamonds, at a 1/2 carat each, onto the back and shoulders of South African model, Minki van der Westhuizen. Voted South Africa's Sexiest Woman by readers of FHM, Westhuizen sat for eight hours while the diamonds were applied to her skin. The eye popping diamond tattoo was not permanent, fortunately, as it made movement, including sitting and lying down, difficult. The entire design cost $924,000. The marketing stunt was so successful, that Shimansky now has plans to provide high-profile clients with similar temporary diamond tattoos in the future. Who knows how far some wealthy client will end up taking their diamond tattoo plans.