Artist of the Month: Jinpil Yuu

Jinpil Yuu is tattooer and owner of the tattoo studio The Ravens Ink in Seoul, South Korea. Jinpil is famous for his flower tattoos, particularly his peony’s. Jinpil uses brilliantly deep and vibrant colours for his colour pieces.

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Bright peony flowers on the sternum coupled with a black snake.
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Fantastic life sized jellyfish on the ribs.
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Traditional Korean styled tiger, bird, and tree.
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More of a neo traditional style fox on the thighs, with bright jewels and flowers for ornamentation.
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A Korean/Japanese styled kitsune, or fox spirit that can have multiple tails and great wisdom.

For his flower tattoos, Jinpil uses heavy contrast between red/orange, and black/dark greens.

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Beautiful flowers alongside a very dark whale.
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Brilliant dark red and pink peony flowers that wrap around the arm.
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Beautiful, matching fish and flowers.
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Vibrant dark red peony as an arm filler in the elbow ditch.
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Bijinga (beautiful woman) with multiple flowers, from the arm to the chest.
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Stunning pink peony flowers with dark green leaves with a large dark snake wrapping around them.

He is also known for his blackwork, and Korean style pieces. Particularly gakubori, such as clouds and water, as well as snakes.

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Bijinga, flowers, and traditional Korean background.
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Blackwork goldfish.
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Terrifying blackwork hornet.
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Blackwork hannya mask.
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Brilliant blackwork peony flower on the neck.
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More American traditional blackwork horned wolf head with dagger.
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Gakubori traditional Korean cloud back piece that extends onto the shoulders.
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Absolutely stunning full head piece featuring flowers, a snake, and traditional Korean background.
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Traditional Korean gakubori cloud wrist cuff piece.

 

Jinpil Yuu is an artist you must visit in Seoul!

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Werewolf Tattoos:

The werewolf myth dates back thousands of years, in numerous cultures; but it became most popular between the 16th and 19th centuries. These stories grew so popular that it seemed almost every town in Europe had its own werewolf tale. Books such as Discours de la Lycanthropie published in 1599, described werewolves as “men so denatured, that they have made bastards of their first origin, leaving this divine form, and transforming themselves into such an impure, cruel and savage beast.”

Matt Curzon Tattoo EMPIRE :: Melbourne, Australia
Brilliant neo traditional sleeve by Matt Curzon at Tattoo EMPIRE in Melbourne, Australia.
Dan Gagné LOVELESS 4169 St-Denis Montreal
Classic American traditional werewolf and moon by Dan Gagné at Loveless tattoo in Montreal.

Another term for werewolf is lycan. Lycanthropy, then, is the change of man or woman into the form of a wolf, either through magical means, so as to enable him or her to gratify the taste for human flesh, or through judgment of the gods in punishment for some great offence, as put by Sabine Baring-Gould in his 1865 book The Book of Werewolves.

darnellwaine los angeles
Fantastic forearm piece by Darnell Waine in Los Angeles.
Chris Ramirez
Crisp half sleeve by Chris Ramirez.

When sideshows were a popular part of circus life, people with hypertrichosis were often branded as werewolves.

paul acker
Absolutely terrifyingly realistic werewolf by Paul Acker at The Séance Tattoo Parlor in Bensalem.

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Popular werewolf movies include An American Werewolf in London 1981, The Wolf Man 1941, The Curse of the Werewolf 1961, and The Wolfman 2010.

Lea Vendetta
Black and Grey Wolf Man portrait by Lea Vendetta.
Javier Rodriguez Tattooist Resident Artist at🔹IMMORTAL ART STUDIO american werewolf
Fantastic realistic and dark werewolf from An American Werewolf in London by Javier Rodriguez Immortal Art Studio.
Joe K Worrall-HORROR ARTIST HORROR and portrait ARTIST🕳Horror nerd 🎃Horror collector🕳My family 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦Heart & arrow tattoo studio, U.K. american werewolf
Haunting werewolf from An American Werewolf in London by Joe K Worrall in the U.K.
Russell Van Schaick Orlando, FL World Famous Tattoo remus lupin
Professor Remus Lupin from Harry Potter in the form of his werewolf, done in watercolor and sketch style by Russell Van Schaick Orlando, FL World Famous Tattoo.
Matt Perlman Aces High Tattoos West Palm Beach Fl american werewolf in london
Terrifying realistic black and grey piece also from An American Werewolf in London by Matt Perlman Aces High Tattoos West Palm Beach Fl.
Elen Soul
A big and bloody wolf man by Elen Soul.

As a tattoo, werewolves are often done in black and grey style, realism, neo traditional, and American traditional.

Chris Thompson Painter, Tattooer at 522 Tattoo
Skeleton and werewolf by Chris Thompson at 522 Tattoo.
Good Fortune Abq NM by Alex Werder
Dark werewolf head with red moon by Alex Werder at Good Fortune Tattoo.
Hilary Fisher White in Brooklyn
Angry looking werewolf stealing a woman away, by Hilary Fisher White in Brooklyn.
James Armstrong Holy Mountain Tattoo
Blackwork werewolf with crescent moon and bones done by James Armstrong at Holy Mountain Tattoo.
Jan Veldman I work at Gypsy Cat Tattoos 1-353 Provencher, Winnipeg
Big and bold neo traditional werewolf head done by Jan Veldman at Gypsy Cat Tattoos in Winnipeg.
Jonathan Penchoff
Midway transformation piece by Jonathan Penchoff.
Jordan Baker at penny black tattoo
Fierce and realistic looking werewolf head by Jordan Baker at Penny Black Tattoo.
noelle_lamonica black cobra tattoo club
Werewolf looking to party done by Noelle Lamonica at Black Cobra Tattoo Club.

 

What’s your favorite werewolf movie?

 

Baphomet Tattoos:

Baphomet today is regarded as a Satanic figure, but for a long time Baphomet was actually a word for the prophet Mohammed in Islam, and worshipping a Muslim god or prophet was seen as idolatry. The Knights of Templar were accused of worshipping Baphomet the false idol in Medieval France, and were tortured under King Philip.

baphomet Daniel Baczewski
Baphomet head by Daniel Baczewski.
baphomet Róbert A Borbás
Brilliant back of the head and neck piece by Róbert A Borbás.
JASON OZ in Denver Colorado
Majestic Baphomet head done on the skull by Jason Oz in Denver Colorado.
Matthew Murray, Black Veil Tattoo, Salem Massechusetts
Amazing long bearded Baphomet head by Matthew Murray, Black Veil Tattoo, Salem Massachusetts.

Over the next 500 years, Baphomet changed from Mohammed the prophet, to a hermaphroditic stone figure borrowed from Egypt or the Gnostic Christian Ophites. This was after both scholars and mystics studied the Knights of Templar, writing that the Knights brought back ancient magical knowledge from the middle East and North Africa. The idol in question was called Baphomet in 1818, and were most likely just misidentified artifacts from other cultures and religions.

Patrick Toussaint Melbourne
Fantastic blackwork/linework full bodied Baphomet by Patrick Toussaint in Melbourne.
Anka Lavriv at Black Iris Tattoo in New York
Blackwork goat head by Anka Lavriv at Black Iris Tattoo in New York.
baphomet Brooke Ashliegh at Binx Tattoo
Pentagram, goat skull, and flowers by Brooke Ashliegh at Binx Tattoo.
Frederico Rabelo in Portugal
Large Black Philip torso piece by Frederico Rabelo in Portugal.

But the final Baphomet that we picture today was created in 1854 by occultist Eliphas Levi for his book “Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie” (“Dogmas and Rituals of High Magic“).  Levi describes Baphomet in detail in his book.”The goat on the frontispiece carries the sign of the pentagram on the forehead, with one point at the top, a symbol of light, his two hands forming the sign of hermetism, the one pointing up to the white moon of Chesed, the other pointing down to the black one of Geburah. This sign expresses the perfect harmony of mercy with justice. His one arm is female, the other male like the ones of the androgyn of Khunrath, the attributes of which we had to unite with those of our goat because he is one and the same symbol. The flame of intelligence shining between his horns is the magic light of the universal balance, the image of the soul elevated above matter, as the flame, whilst being tied to matter, shines above it. The beast’s head expresses the horror of the sinner, whose materially acting, solely responsible part has to bear the punishment exclusively; because the soul is insensitive according to its nature and can only suffer when it materializes. The rod standing instead of genitals symbolizes eternal life, the body covered with scales the water, the semi-circle above it the atmosphere, the feathers following above the volatile. Humanity is represented by the two breasts and the androgyn arms of this sphinx of the occult sciences.”

baphomet alex tabuns
Large goat head on the torso by Alex Tabuns.
baphomet sakari
Full bodied Baphomet in a fantastic blackwork backpiece by Sakari.
Matthew Kaufmann Drunken Monkey Tattoo, Mixhigan
Bright neo traditional Baphomet head and skulls by Matthew Kaufmann at Drunken Monkey Tattoo in Michigan.
Rodrigo Lopez
Three eyed Baphomet by Rodrigo Lopez.

As a tattoo, people often get the full bodied Baphomet, or a goats head, as goats are often also related to Satanism as well as witchcraft and paganism. Full bodied goats and goat heads are also popular in part thanks to the film The Witch, and the Satanic goat named Black philip. Generally these tattoos are done in blackwork or black and grey but also realism, neo traditional, and American traditional.

baphomet ant walsh
Three eyed goat head and quote by Ant Walsh in a neo traditional style.
forest ink tattoo, South Korea
Baphomet head and snake done at forest ink tattoo, South Korea.
Vince Genois Panthere Noire Limoilou:Quebec
American traditional take on Baphomet by Vince Genois Panthère at Noire Limoilou, Québec.
Nestor Gonzalez at Sailor's grave in Costa Rica
Huge American traditional stomach Baphomet and dagger by Nestor Gonzalez at Sailor’s grave in Costa Rica.
Tatiana Esmeralda Marcum Tattooer at Iron Rite
Full bodied Baphomet with a little bit of colour done by Tatiana Esmeralda Marcum Tattooer at Iron Rite.

Which style is your favorite?

 

Marilyn Manson Tattoos:

Marilyn Manson is a musician, painter, and actor. Known for his controversial music, and dark style. His stage name, “Marilyn Manson” comes from mixing what he believes to be the two most influential people in recent American history; actress and model Marilyn Monroe, and serial killer Charles Manson.

manson Andrea Morales
Mini Manson portrait done by Andrea Morales in Spain.
Manson Angel Lopez Sousa at The Shining Tattoo in Spain
Brilliant black and grey Manson by Angel Lopez Sousa at The Shining Tattoo in Spain.
Manson by Draven Heart in Adelaide
Black, grey, and red portrait with pentagram by Draven Heart in Adelaide.

He has sold millions of copies of his albums, and his influence reaches far and wide. He has a cult following, and those who love his music, really love it. He sells out stadiums around the world, and never fails to awe the crowd.

Manson Christian Grimma at Sigil Ink
Disney meets Manson in this more traditional style portrait by Christian Grimma at Sigil Ink.
Manson Matthew Murray at Black Veil Tattoo in Salem Massachusetts
Satanic pope Manson by Matthew Murray at Black Veil Tattoo in Salem Massachusetts.
Manson Paul Acker Seance Tattoo Parlour, Bensalem PA
Realistic creepy Manson by Paul Acker at Seance Tattoo Parlour in Bensalem PA.

His music is described as shock rock, and goth, and his style follows in this same manner. Manson has had numerous run ins with the law, and public, including being blamed in part for the infamous Columbine school shooting. He has also had his shows protested by religious groups for being Satanic. Manson has been given the honorary title of “reverend” in the Satanic Church, but has said many times before in interviews that he does not actually believe in the devil, or any religion. All of his art is satirical and made to shock those who listen, and view it.

Manson Dan Molloy in Perth, Australia
Terrifying portrait from The Beautiful People music video, by Dan Molloy in Perth, Australia.
Manson Johnny Scillieri at Ace Tattoo in Glendale AZ
Heavy black portrait by Johnny Scillieri at Ace Tattoo in Glendale AZ.
Manson Paul Acker
Hyper realistic Manson, also by Paul Acker.

As a tattoo, Manson is often done as a portrait, showing off his own various tattoos, makeup, and various costumes from music videos, photo shoots, and live shows.

Manson Laura Gomez at The ink Captains Tattorium
Black and grey portrait showing off his own tattoos by Laura Gomez at The Ink Captains Tattorium.
Manson Mike Guinn
Green Manson from his Smells Like Children days, by Mike Guinn.

What is your favorite Marilyn Manson song?

Tattoo History 7: China’s Hainan Province’s Tattooed Li Women

The Li people live in Hainan Province, China’s most southern point. Tattoos in Hainan can be traced as far back as 3000 years ago. Hainan is often referred to as “The Tail of the Dragon”, as it is the most southern point of China, though also used to be called one of the eyeballs of China (along with Taiwan when it was a part of China) as it is an island province.

Li face tattoo 1980
Li woman’s face tattoo, taken in the 1980’s.

According to one German ethnologist (branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the characteristics of different peoples and the relationship between them), Hans Stübel, the origin of their tattooing came from a story about a descendant of the original Li. This descendant of Li had a daughter whose mother died early in the child’s life. When this happened, a colourful native bird called the hoopoe fed the child with grains to keep her alive. In remembrance of this, the Li women tattoo themselves to look more like the birds, both in their colour and the patterns of their wings.

Li geometric tattoos of a Basaadung Li woman from 1930
More geometric face tattoos, specifically of a Basaadung Li woman from the 1930’s.

Others still believe that the women tattooed themselves in order to be recognized in the afterlife.

A more practical reason that these women tattooed themselves, particularly on their faces, is the fact that their villages would be attacked often by many of their neighbors. In order to appear unattractive to the invading men, the Li women tattooed quite intricate designs on their faces and down their necks. Making themselves appear less attractive protected them from violence and rape.

Li married and un married women with leg and hand tattoos from 1930
Married and unmarried women, all with leg tattoos, and some with hand tattoos. Taken in the 1930’s.

Later on in history though, these women saw the tattoos as an enhancement to their beauty. When a girl turned 13 or 14, an older woman would tattoo her, first on the nape of her neck, then her face and throat over the course of 5-7 days. Then, over the next 3 years, she would continue to be tattooed along her arms and legs. The only thing that interrupted this would be the death of a family member. Once a woman married, her hand would also be tattooed, marking her as a married woman.

Li old woman
More beautiful geometric face tattoos, taken in the 1980’s.

Like many ancient cultures, the Li used a bamboo rod, with rattan needles to hand tap the designs into the skin. The patterns used did vary from tribe to tribe, but all used motifs taken from nature, such as plants, animals, and totemic symbols passed down through generations.

Li progress tattoo
Geometric face tattoo in progress. The old tattooing the young.

Information taken from:

-Carrie E. Reed. “Tattoo in Early China.” Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 120, no. 3, 2000, pp. 360–376.Liu, H. (1939).

-“Hainan: The Island and the People.” The China Journal 29(5-6): 236-246; 302-314.

-McCabe, M. [and Q.Y. Wang] (2008). “Tattooed Women of Yunnan, China.” Skin and Ink Magazine (11): 64-74.

-Stϋbel, H. (1937). Die Li Stämme der Insel Hainan: Ein Betrag zur Volkskunde Sϋdchinas. Berlin: Klinkhardt & Bierman.
 

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.

IT Cruz Valdez at Evil Emporium of Tattoos in Santa Fe New Mexico
Another portrait of the new Pennywise, by Cruz Valdez at Evil Emporium of Tattoos in Santa Fe New Mexico.
IT Ick Abrams
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”.

IT Ivih Maia in Brazil
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?

 

Artist of the Month: Zhuo Dan Ting

Zhuo Dan Ting is the owner of Shanghai Tattoo as of January 2007 (located in Shanghai, China) where she tattoos people from all around the world. People seek out her art from far and wide, and are not disappointed with the results.

1
Black and grey baby portrait.
2
Realistic elephant half sleeve.
3
Black and grey bio mechanical sleeve.

Zhuo Dan Ting has been an artist since an early age, where her father (an art teacher himself) and his friends would teach her new techniques. She went on to art school in Harbin after high school, but quickly moved onto something entirely different.

4
Black and grey Asian leg sleeve featuring Fu Dog, peony, and great wall of China.
5
Bio mechanical/ripped skin/ realism back piece!
6
Bright dragon and flower half sleeve.
16
Amazing realistic Greek Poseidon sleeve.

Ting found the subcultures of death metal and punk music, which is where she fell in love with tattoos. Ting started off tattooing her friends in Harbin’s underground music scene, where she quickly started making a name for herself in the tattoo world.

7
Full black and grey realistic sleeve with monster, lightning, waves, etc.
17
Ting doing her thing, tattooing a painful chest piece!
8
Surrealist color sleeve with angel, skull, and watercolor.
9
Color realism owl, skull, and eyeball half sleeve.

 

Ting does brilliant black and grey, photo realism, portrait art, and Asian styled pieces inspired by both Chinese and Japanese art. Along with making beautiful art, Ting was also the first woman in China to open her own tattoo shop, a big step for the Chinese tattoo community!

10
Black and grey Monkey King half sleeve.
11
Realistic color eye.
12
Brilliant Japanese style peony flower.
13
Realistic Japanese/Chinese style dragon sleeve.
14
Realistic portrait.
15
Terrifying zombie clown portrait.

If you’re in Shanghai, Shanghai Tattoo is the place to go!

Anubis Tattoos:

Anubis is the ancient Egyptian god/guardian of the dead. The name Anubis actually comes from the Greek, but the earliest Egyptian names for him include Anpu, or Inpu. Both have the same root word which means “royal child”, and “inp” which means “to decay”.

Anubis Agny Fran at Black Velvet Studio Salon in De Santiago, Chile
Watercolor Anubis done by Agny Fran at Black Velvet Studio in De Santiago, Chile.

He is generally depicted as a black, jackal-dog-man hybrid, with the body of a man and head of a jackal/dog. The colour black was chosen for its symbolism of both decaying bodies, and the soil along the Nile river.

Anubis Andrew Conner
More American traditional version of Anubis by Andrew Conner.

Anubis is first seen as the son of Ra and Hesat, before he is brought into the story of Osiris, and said to be his son.

Anubis Bryan Hidalgo Reyes
Black and grey full bodied Anubis by Bryan Hidalgo Reyes.

Anubis is the earliest god depicted on tomb walls, usually presiding over the mummification process, or weighing of the soul. This is the process in which a persons soul is weighed against the feather of truth.

Anubis Codrea Bogdan
Brilliant black and grey Anubis and Ra by Codrea Bogdan.

Anubis is both judge and guide of the dead. Making him an authoritative figure, as well as a protector. This makes him one of the most important gods in Egyptian history.

Anubis Dany Linhares in Brazil
Neo traditional Anubis by Dany Linhares in Brazil.

Later in history he was partially adopted into Greek mythology, associating him with Hermes.

Anubis Dono B in Seoul, South Korea
Blackwork skeletal Anubis by Dono B in Seoul, South Korea.

As a tattoo, Anubis is often done in blackwork, black and grey, neo traditional, water colour, and realism styles.

Anubis Fatima Oliveira
Neo traditional Anubis by Fatima Oliveira.
Anubis Heather Bailey at Black Heart in San Francisco, CA
Heavy matching black/dark colour Anubis and Bastet by Heather Bailey at Black Heart in San Francisco, CA.
Anubis Mario Farfán Calderón ar
Black/dotwork Anubis head by Mario Farfán Calderón at Blackmoon Custom Tattoo in Mexico.
Anubis Melissa Flattinger Corpsepainter Tattoo and Piercing in Munich, Germany
Realistic black and grey Anubis by Melissa Flattinger at Corpsepainter Tattoo and Piercing in Munich, Germany.
Anubis Meza Cruz in Mexico
Realistic black and grey Anubis head by Meza Cruz in Mexico.
Anubis Miss Poppy in the Netherlands
Neo traditional Anubis head and scarab beetle by Miss Poppy in the Netherlands.
Anubis Ráa Fernandes in Tokyo Japan
Black and grey sketchwork Anubis head by Ráa Fernandes in Tokyo, Japan.
Anubis Shawn Qin Cat Town Tattoo South Korea
American traditional Anubis by Shawn Qin at Cat Town Tattoo in South Korea.
Anubis Yeray Perez in Sitges, Barcelona
Brilliant neo traditional Anubis by Yeray Perez in Sitges, Barcelona.

Which is your favorite?

Yōkai Spider Tattoos:

Yōkai are supernatural monsters/ghosts/demons from Japanese folklore. The word itself is made up from the kanji for “bewitching, attractive, and calamity” and “spectre, apparition, mystery, and suspicious.” There are hundreds and hundreds of yōkai, from fairly harmless tricksters, to monsters that prey on human flesh. Being an animal that many are already afraid of, of course there are also spider yōkai.

As a tattoo these creatures are usually done in Japanese style, but can also be neo traditional, American traditional, black and grey, or blackwork.

There are three main types of spider yōkai:

-Ushi Oni: Which is actually classified as an ox demon. This demon is often depicted with the head of an ox and the body of a spider, and is usually near bodies of water. These creatures are always carnivorous and dangerous to humans. They are not always spiders, but this is one of the more popular depictions. The Ushi Oni is described as cruel and vicious, breathing toxic poison, and sometimes inflicting curses or spreading disease.

S Ben Wight at Pyramid Arts Tattoo
Blackwork Japanese piece by Ben Wight at Pyramid Arts Tattoo.
S Brian Faulk Hand of Glory Tattoo
Black and grey Japanese piece by Brian Faulk at Hand of Glory Tattoo.

-Tsuchigumo: A giant spider who can live a very long time, and grow to monstrous sizes. When they get old enough they can transform themselves into other yōkai, even taking the form of humans in order to lure and kill people. These creatures live in forests and mountains, mainly preying on travelers. One famous tale tells of this creature transforming into a beautiful woman who leads an army of yōkai against Japan. A man named Yorimitsu is the first to meet the beast on the battlefield and strikes her, making the army disappear. The Japanese army then follows her back to her cave where she morphs back into a giant spider. Yorimitsu slices her open, unleashing thousands of human sized baby spiders. The Japanese army kills every last one and returns victorious.

S Adrian Evans at Saints and Sinners Tattoo in Dallas
Huge spider with skulls and web by Adrian Evans at Saints and Sinners Tattoo in Dallas.
S Alexander Rusty Cairns at Lighthouse Tattoo in Sydney, Australia
Cover up piece by Alexander Rusty Cairns at Lighthouse Tattoo in Sydney, Australia.
S Gab Lavoie at Tattoo Mania in Montreal
Spider with hannya mask by Gab Lavoie at Tattoo Mania in Montreal, Canada.
S Ganji Tokyo Three Tides Tattoo
Black and grey beast done by Ganji at Tokyo Three Tides Tattoo in Tokyo, Japan.
S Horihiro Mitomo Three Tides Tattoo Tokyo:Osaka
Very traditional Japanese piece done by Horihiro Mitomo at Three Tides Tattoo Tokyo/Osaka, Japan.
S Vond Barta Sacred Monkey Tattoo Melbourne
Brilliant Japanese scalp banger done by Vond Barta at Sacred Monkey Tattoo in Melbourne.

Jorōgumo: This creature was known as the “whore spider” but is now better known as “entangling bride”. She lives both as a beautiful yōkai in human form and as a giant spider. This spider gains the ability to transform after it has lived for 400 years. She uses her human form to lure unsuspecting men to her lair before eating them. They live in caves, forests, or abandoned houses. This creature is often seen as part spider, part woman, generally the body of a spider and head of a woman.

S Eric Alcantara at Ridgewood Tattoo Studio
More American traditional piece with Japanese influence by Eric Alcantara at Ridgewood Tattoo Studio.
S Francesco Giamblanco at Black Horse Tattoo
Colorful piece by Francesco Giamblanco at Black Horse Tattoo.
S George Galloway at Windhorse Tattoo
Half spider half woman by George Galloway at Windhorse Tattoo.
S Hozho at Tattoo Station in Romarin
Colorful neo traditional piece by Hozho at Tattoo Station.
S Nhia Yang at Gook Kind Tattoo in Chicago
Terrifying neo traditional piece with noh mask as the head. Done by Nhia Yang at Goodkind Tattoo in Chicago.
S Nick Crampton at Chapel Tattoo
Spider with skulls by Nick Crampton at Chapel Tattoo.
S Vova Bydin at Citizen Ink Brooklyn NYC
More American traditional piece by Vova Bydin at Citizen Ink in Brooklyn NYC.

All versions of this beast are terrifying, and all make a bold tattoo. Which is your favorite?

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