IT Tattoos:

“‘IT” is the 1986 novel by horror genius, Stephen King. The book takes place between two time periods, and follows the experiences of seven children, as well as later when they are adults. Pennywise is actually a demon shapeshifter, who usually takes the form of a clown in order to lure children.

IT Aimée Lou at Bespoke Tattoo Co in Guilford, UK
We All Float Down Here, with boat and balloon by Aimée Lou at Bespoke Tattoo Co. in Guilford, UK.
IT Carlos Rojas at Black Anchor Collective, Hesparia, CA
Realistic and terrifying portrait of the new Pennywise by Carlos Rojas at Black Anchor Collective, Hesparia, CA.

The story was made into a popular mini series in 1990, starring Tim Curry as the terrifying Pennywise the clown. The mini series also follows these seven children, with a large focus on their lives 30 years later as they try to protect their town. Many people who are coulrophobic (afraid of clowns) attribute this fear to Tim Curry’s brilliant portrayal of the murderous demon clown.

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Another portrait of the new Pennywise, by Cruz Valdez at Evil Emporium of Tattoos in Santa Fe New Mexico.
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Tim Curry’s Pennywise in a neo traditional portrait with “we all float down here”, by Ick Abrams.

Now (2017), IT has been re made into a feature length film, this time starring Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise. The new version of Pennywise is much more overtly frightening, which some people like, and some people don’t. This re make is slotted to have the best opening day ever for an R rated horror movie, and has made the most money on an opening weekend of any other horror movie. This film has had great advertising in the months leading up to its release, and also stars Finn Wolfhard, one of the very popular actors from Netflix’s “Stranger Things”.

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Minimalistic balloon and hand by Ivih Maia in Brazil.
IT Jay Blackburn at Powerline Tattoo in Cranston RI
Minimalistic paper boat with blood splatter by Jay Blackburn at Powerline Tattoo in Cranston RI.

As a tattoo, Pennywise is by far the most popular character to be tattooed. Tim Curry has been tattooed on people for a long time, as the mini series is a such a popular cult classic. Even though the new movie has only been out a short time currently, Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise is quickly being tattooed for fans all around the world. Along with Pennywise, fans also get his red balloon, a toy paper boat, and the phrase “we all float down here”.

IT Jessica Downer at Inland Empire, CA
Terrifying Tim Curry portrait with balloons by Jessica Downer at Inland Empire, CA.
IT Marek Maras Rydzewski at Reinkarnacja Tattoo Studio in Warsaw
Horrifying hyper realistic portrait of Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise by Marek Maras Rydzewski at Reinkarnacja Tattoo Studio in Warsaw.

These tattoos are mostly done in portrait/realism styles, along with black and grey, and neo traditional.

IT Medz at The Kingdom Tattoo Gallery in Miami
Great mix of black, grey, and white, with vibrant red for a fantastic portrait of Bill Skarsgård by Medz at The Kingdom Tattoo Gallery in Miami.
IT Mike Biggs at Bigs studio
Bright Tim Curry Pennywise in a more traditional style by Mike Biggs at Biggs Studio.
IT Nick Sarich at Timeless Tattoos Chicago
Fantastic Tim Curry by Nick Sarich at Timeless Tattoos in Chicago.
IT Paul Acker at the Séance Tattoo Parlour in Bensalem PA
Absolutely stunning IT half sleeve by the talented Paul Acker at the Séance Tattoo Parlour in Bensalem PA.
IT Sabri Art at Black Heart Tattoo in Argentina
Blackwork/dotwork Pennywise in a knife by Sabri Art at Black Heart Tattoo in Argentina.
IT Shane Murphy at Crown of Thorns Tattoo in Worcester, MA LC
Geometric we all float down here and Pennywise by Shane Murphy at Crown of Thorns Tattoo in Worcester, MA LC.
IT Simon Drolet at Art Therapy Corp in Osyoyoos BC
Black and grey portrait of a crying Tim Curry Pennywise by Simon Drolet at Art Therapy Corp in Osoyoos BC.

Which story of IT, is your favorite?

 

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Tattoo History 3: Native American Tattoo Traditions

Based on archaeological evidence found in plains all over North America, tattoos can be traced as far back as 1000-200 BCE.  Native American peoples were using tattoos for strength, religious and spiritual reasons, as well as combat and as a rite of passage.

As with many ancient cultures, supernatural being such as gods and deities in Native American mythology are adorned with body markings such as tattoos. The forms and styles of the tattoos done on people then function as a template that identifies the realm that these beings reside in.

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Tattooed chest.

Body modifications for ancient and modern Native American peoples can be put into three categories. The first is body decoration which is colorful paints used for rituals and war. The second, tattooing is permanent, which therefore marks that individual, linking them to a specific group, lineage, or kinship. Tattoos can also indicate honors and achievements in war or battle, as well as rituals and politics within the tribe. The third category is body piercing, which is used for hanging ornaments which is lineage or ritual specific. These piercings can also lead to scarification (also seen in many other cultures, particularly prominent in African culture), which can help identify which rituals occurred during the piercings.

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Earliest accounts of what these tattoos may have looked like come from drawings of Native American peoples done by European explorers from france and England. These artists were employed to draw the nature of the land, as well as the people, so we can assume that their depictions were fairly accurate.  Early settlers mainly noted the chiefs and their beautiful indigo, blueish ink, with their rich patterns of hieroglyphs representing animals, the sun, moon, and battle.

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To read more, read the book “Drawing with Great Needles: Ancient Tattoo Traditions of North America”.

Minimalistic Rose Tattoo

Minimalistic tattoos have been a growing trend over the last few years. Roses are an especially popular mini design, and look great on anyone. They can be done in blackwork, black and grey, and colour. In order for such a small design to look great, it has to be well done, so be sure to see someone with impeccable attention to detail if you plan on getting a miniature tattoo.

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Black and grey rose done by Evan Kim at West 4 Tattoo in New York City.
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All black tattoo by Johnny Gloom in Paris.
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Black and grey bicep rose by Jonathan Valena at West 4 Tattoo NYC.
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All black hand blaster by Kane Trubenbacher at Exhibition Street, Melbourne.
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Blue ankle rose by Nando in Seoul, South Korea.
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Framed black rose by René in Melbourne.
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Side of the hand rose by Spider Sinclaire at Two Hands Tattoo in AKL NZ.
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Collar bone grey rose by Sven Rayen at Studio Palermo in Belgium.
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Delicate pink wrist rose by Zihwa at Reindeer Tattoo Studio in Seoul, South Korea.
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Upside-down black and grey face rose by Emily Horstman at Avenue Tattoo in Santa Rosa CA.

Which one is your favorite?

Moth Tattoos

Moth tattoos are the darker version of a butterfly tattoo. They often stand for searching for a light in the dark. They are also often associated with moonlight, searching for this light with little to no regard for their own safety. This makes it a vulnerable, spontaneous, but determined creature.

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Creepy, super realistic moth done by Duncan Whitfield, in Southampton, UK.

Moth tattoos can be done in most styles, but are most popular in black and grey, dotwork, realism, and old school. They are also often done in neo traditional.

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Traditional death moth and moon pairing done by Cory Craft in Lakeland FL, Black Swan Tattoo.

Death moth tattoos are also an extremely popular design. Deaths-Head Hawkmoth get their name from a species of moth that gets it’s name from the skull-like mark on its thorax. It has often been seen as a bad omen in history.In 1840, entomologist Moses Harris wrote that “It is regarded not as the creation of a benevolent being, but the device of evil spirits—spirits enemies to man—conceived and fabricated in the dark, and the very shining of its eyes is thought to represent the fiery element whence it is supposed to have proceeded. Flying into their apartments in the evening at times it extinguishes the light; foretelling war, pestilence, hunger, death to man and beast.” It is no wonder then that it is a popular tattoo design for lovers of the darker side of life.

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Death moth done on the back of the head by Alex Bage, done at Fat Panda tattoo in the UK.
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Neo traditional hand moth done by Ela Berger, a neo trad artist from Germany.
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Black and grey sternum piece by James Armstrong done at Holy Mountain tattoo in Scunthorpe UK.
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A rare watercolor moth and coverup tattoo done by Jay Van Gerven working out of Titan Tattoos in Hobart Tasmania.
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Small colorful elbow piece by Justin Dion at Sovereign Tattoo in Portland Oregon.
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An amazing black and dotwork back tattoo done by Kamil Mokot at AKA Berlin tattoo in Germany.
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Beautiful blackwork moth once again paired with a moon, done by Levi Hatch.
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An amazing macabre neo traditional moth and moon pairing done by Lipa Andrzej. See her work and where she will be tattooing at https://www.instagram.com/_lipa_/
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Amazingly detailed Dotwork tattoo done by Uls Metzger tattooing out of the Black Lodge, in Poland.
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Old school death moth tattoo by Virginia Elwood working out of Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn, New York.
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One last traditional death moth tattoo done by Zach Bowden working out of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Do you have your own moth tattoo? Let’s see it in the comments!

Artist of the Month: Grace Neutral

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Grace Neutral is a handpoke, dotwork, blackwork artist, tattooing out of London England. She has been a tattoo artist since 2012 after being a piercer prior. She is most known for her unique look; pointed ears, split tongue, many piercings and tattoos, no belly button, and most notably, her purple tattooed eyes. She is a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s work, particularly My Neighbor Totoro, and often tattoos characters from the film, and other Miyazaki films. She does many mandala tattoos, and incorporates her own style into her work. She guest spots at many different shops in London, but also around the world. If you would like to get ahold of her for a tattoo, email her here at graceneutraltattoo@gmail.com.

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A large Kukri Knife. That solid blackwork isn’t going anywhere.
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The more and more popular unalome design.
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Simple moon and spots.
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full geometric sleeve, ending with a lotus on the palm. This would have taken hours and hours to complete.
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Grace’s own style shines through brightly in this quirky piece. Clean lettering adds to the detailed knives.
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A larger sternum piece. This must have hurt!

Detailed mandalas always look great, and between the shoulder blades is a solid placement for these designs.

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An ax from Grace’s flash set.

Which one is your favorite?

Lighthouse Tattoos

Lighthouses are buildings or towers that provide a guiding light for ships at sea. The first lighthouse, or  first tower to be fully exposed to the sea, was built by Henry Winstanely at the Eddystone Rocks from 1696 to 1698.

Lighthouse tattoos can have a practical sort of meaning  for sailors , fishermen, or people in the navy. They can also have different meanings, such as a guiding light home, or a reminder to follow the light (metaphorical light, spiritual light, or real light). Lighthouse tattoos can also be for protection, hope, inspiration, warning, and safety. Lighthouses can be done in many different styles including black and grey, new school, traditional, trash polka, realistic, neo traditional, and minimalistic.

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Black and Grey, bold line work piece Done by Phil TwoRavens.
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New School piece by Pat Whiting
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Super realistic Trash Polka style partial sleeve done at Buena-Vista tattoo. Mix of black and grey and bright bold blue contrasts well.
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Stormy Black and Grey killer rib piece done by Stefano Alcantara.
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Stunning Realistic Black and Grey Sailor featuring a storm and lighthouse done by Mumia in Portugal. Look at those old eyes and the detail in the beard and lighthouse.
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Realistic stormy half sleeve by Bolo Art.
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Extremely detailed, tiny lighthouse and seascape done by Lesha Lauz.
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Traditional Lighthouse in a bottle done by Matthew Houston.

What kind of lighthouse tattoo is your favorite?

 

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