10 mind-bending optical illusion tattoos inspired by nature and fantasy
It was so fun watching each one transform, what talent.
Irene Markianou

Back in the day, tattoos were for sailors. Or at least that’s what your mom might tell you.

However, tattoos have a long history, dating back thousands of years. And, while there are still people who are against tattoos today, many see it as a form of art – that’s why those who work in this field are called tattoo artists.

One example of a true tattoo artist is Veks Van Hillik, a French tattooist who creates optical illusion tattoos. And they blow the minds of anyone who sees them.

From hybrid fish/butterflies to scary monsters, beetles, and dystopic monkeys, Van Hillik’s tattoos are certain to draw your attention – they can hardly go unnoticed.

Below, we have compiled the 10 more iconic tattoos that this artist features in his Instagram account, for your eyes only.

Take a look and, who knows, maybe you will soon be purchasing a ticket to Toulouse, where his studio is located.

1. ButterFish

This tattoo changes form depending on whether the wearer’s legs are stretched or bent. What at the beginning looks like a (sad) fish, as the person stretches the leg, starts opening its wings and turning into a butterfly.

2. BeetleFly

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This one looks like a normal beetle when the wearer’s leg is bent. As the person stretches their leg, a butterfly is unfolded with its wings opening, and three creepy eyes appearing underneath them.

3. Stairway

This at first looks like a plain old fly, but- once again- one soon realizes that it is much more than that. The stretched leg reveals a butterfly under whose wings there is a stairway. Where it leads is unknown.

4. More than just a frog

This tattoo doesn’t involve stretching and bending, but it still is an optical illusion. It might seem like a face blowing air, but a closer look will also reveal a frog looking upwards.

5. Skull

What initially looks like a skull, when the legs are stretched becomes a rabbit. Disturbing? Maybe so, but still amazing.

6. Fish

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This one is “just” a fish, but what makes it special is that it becomes smaller or larger, depending on whether the arm is folded or stretched.

7. Creepy Butterfly

A beetle? A butterfly? A monster? Whatever this is, the way it unfolds is mesmerizing.

8. Dystopic monkey

This scary creature seems like it has a life of its own. The way it bends and stretches makes it look as rel as it gets.

9. Hammerhead

Not a normal hammerhead shark, of course. Rather, a hammer-headed creature that reveals a creepy eye when the arm is stretched.

10. Call me Batman

In this case, the arm features a sleeping bat when it’s folded, while a huge bat with open wings is revealed when the arm is stretched.


We think these are so cool – and we could look at them all day.

There are some even more impressive piece of body art by Van Hillik in the video down below – so make sure you check it out!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Irene Markianou
Irene Markianou is a contributor at SBLY Media.