Be A Tattoo Chameleon with Bobby Douglas | Painful Pleasures Community

Be A Tattoo Chameleon with Bobby Douglas

Tackle any tattoo style and grow your client list + social media following with artist Bobby Douglas. Check out his best career-growing tips.
by Danny Tress Last Updated: November 2, 2023

Let’s clear the air: You don’t have to specialize in one tattoo style to be a big, sought-after artist. Being proficient in multiple tattoo styles—a renaissance or chameleon tattooer, one might say—is a fantastic way to build a huge client list and be a social media sensation. But there’s an art to it. An art that Bobby Douglas from Long Island, New York has mastered. You’ll want to take a few leaves out of his book if you want to see social and creative success as a chameleon tattoo artist. 

(…Assuming you haven’t already). 

Eye in hand tattoo by Bobby Douglas 

With 104 thousand Instagram followers and 650 thousand followers on TikTok to boot, Bobby Douglas is hard to miss. He’s an accomplished and sought-after chameleon artist, largely tackling traditional and neotraditional tattoos. But don’t be fooled into thinking he’s a niche kinda guy—Bobby can also take on a wide variety of tattoo styles, including landscapes, script, watercolor, tribals, and anime to name a few (both in color and black and gray). He’s especially into Pokemon, and you’ll spot more than a few Squirtles and pokeballs in his colorful portfolio. This is a particular strength of his, and with anime and Pokemon tattoos surging in popularity these past couple years, it only serves his business and social presence. So, how can you enjoy the same advantages? 


Pokemon tattoo of Arcanine with a Pokeball

As a chameleon tattooer, you’ve got so much more freedom than a niche artist. Like Bobby, you can tattoo a wide array of clients and taste the whole damn rainbow. But being so versatile isn’t the same thing as “toe dipping” or “dabbling” in different styles. You can still become an expert. 

Find which styles you particularly love to tattoo. Then dive deeper. Take a look at what subjects and tattoo styles are trending. If, like Bobby, you’re a big Pokemon fan, you can follow his lead and share your flash, finished results, or unique twists on Pokemon tattoos via your Instagram and TikTok.  

While putting a spotlight on your most popular work and best tattoos, you can also leverage your feed and story posts to share your other work. That way, clients will come to your account when they see the glitzy showcase-pieces you’ve shared… and then they’ll see you can also tackle any other tattoo style they might be interested in. Bobby does a bangin’ job of this by utilizing story highlights. If you go to his Instagram, you’ll see saved stories for all his work, including upcoming available flash and other pieces. He even has a whole highlight reel for his Pokemon work, showcasing his Pokemon masterdom. 


Traditional owl tattoo by Bobby Douglas 

Bobby’s tattooing talent alone isn’t what makes him so successful. Scroll through his TikTok and you’ll find comedic sketches about his life in the shop and at home. This is a good example for any tattooer, not just a chameleon. The more personal you get with your potential clients, the more likely they are to connect with you… and trust you to tattoo them, too. 

Bobby doesn’t just create content that makes potential clients feel like they’re already friends with him. He also makes posts educating clients. For instance, you’ll find a reel on his Instagram sharing with clients the “three Qs of tattooing:” 

  1. Quality – always check your desired artist’s portfolio 
  2. Question – don’t be afraid to speak up if you have any questions or concerns about your tattoo 
  3. Quail – because they’re adorable. 

What this tells clients in a short digestible video is A. they can trust that Bobby wants them to feel comfortable and safe getting tattooed… and B. he’s hilarious and approachable as an adorable quail. If humor isn’t your strong suit, no sweat at all. You can still educate clients, build trust, and post engaging content no matter your personality… so long as you’re personable. 


Let’s dig into Bobby’s preferred setup for taking on a wide array of styles. 


The Peak Solice Pro is Bobby’s much-loved daily driver. It’s a universal machine that lets him pull his best linework and pack in bold colors super tightly. Bobby also loves that this machine works perfectly with all Peak cartridge configurations—find his favorite Triton configurations for bright, bold work below. Along with using his fave needle configurations, the Solice Pro lets him adjust his needle depth and stroke on the fly with a simple click system. Talk about changing up styles in a cinch. 

Bobby also professes the Solice Pro is an excellent choice if you’re a traveling tattooer who hits up a lot of conventions. It’s portable, lightweight, and easy to pack with you.  


Bobby Douglas exclusively fills his ink caps with World Famous Tattoo Ink. His favorite thing about this top-selling brand? Consistency. Bobby never runs into inconsistencies in quality, flow, or healed results. He especially favors World Famous Triple Blackout for tribals and packing in black. It gives him the perfect consistency for solid, dark healed results. 


Bobby’s go-to needles are Peak Triton for a few key reasons. For one thing, they give him an overabundant number of configurations. Some of his favorites include curved bugpins, tight round liners, and large mags for packing in vibrant colors (especially necessary for Pokemon tattoos!) But Bobby also counts on Triton needle cartridges for their consistent quality and performance.  


For Bobby, his preference for Recovery CBD Glide is simple. It smells good, feels good, and he doesn’t have to use a lot of it. He compares it to other competitor products that often feel too, in Bobby’s words “ointment-y.” Even if they’re petroleum-free, some other tattoo lubricants nonetheless feel like they contain petroleum. With Recovery Glide, Bobby gets to do just that… glide. 


Bobby’s a big fan of keeping his clients comfy… and part of that requires an alternative to paper towels, which can chafe and irritate the skin. With MD Wipeoutz, Bobby gets a smooth, clean wipe that doesn’t make his clients want to run from the room. Plus, MD Wipeoutz don’t leave any residue behind, so his canvas remains clean and workable… and his tubes don’t get clogged. 


Get a closer look at Bobby’s setup, watch him work, and get his best advice for brighter, bolder work in any style.



The world is your canvas. Make any tattoo styles and subjects brighter and bolder with Bobby’s best tips for a reliable setup that yields the best results. And don’t forget to connect with your followers. As a versatile tattooer, your client list can be just as versatile!  

Follow Bobby on Instagram at @bobbydouglastattoos. 

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