Anime/Manga inspired dot work tattoos by Sara Anastasia


Hi! My name is Sara Anastasia; I am a tattoo artist working in London. I specialise in dotwork, and my work is very much inspired by anime/manga. 


I enjoy watching all genres of anime; my favourite genres are dark/suspenseful anime and Shonen. Some of my favourite animes are Attack on Titan, Hunter x Hunter, Skip Beat! and the Studio Ghibli movies.


I first became interested in tattooing when I was in high school. I was inspired by the work of Grace Neutral and Hannah Snowdon in particular and love how they use dots to create body and depth. I used to spend hours in class and in between lessons drawing up tattoo flash - my work was inspired by anime back then as well as classic horror films like Child’s Play. I don’t really get to tattoo anything other than anime, which isn’t a problem of course, but it would be nice to do some Chucky tattoos too! 


I admire the history of tattooing, and I find how attitudes towards the practice are forever changing very interesting and also personal. My family are from Morocco and The Philippines, so they are places where tattoos are very looked down upon. I grew up in a household where tattoos weren’t accepted at all due to their association with gang culture, particularly in Asia.


It took a while for my family to perceive tattooing as an art form rather than something of a negative connotation, but eventually, they saw the beauty in it. I found the negative attitude a bit strange as tattooing has been a part of Filipino culture for many years, especially with Whang Od who is renowned being the last Kalinga mambabatok (tattooing with thorns, bamboo sticks and soot). It’s a shame that the art hasn’t been so celebrated.


It’s refreshing to see that attitudes towards tattooing are constantly changing, and it’s interesting to see how tattooing is evolving as well. A lot of the tattoos I see nowadays, including anime/pop culture designs would have been looked down upon by tattooists a decade ago; they still sort of are today, unfortunately. Despite this, it’s great to see that people are getting the tattoos they want and expressing themselves in new ways. I hope to see more of it!


Author: Sara Anastasia