Virgin Mary Tattoos:

In the Christian faith Mary is the mother of Jesus, also called mother of God.

In the story of Christmas Mary is visited by an angel and told she will give birth to the son of God.  Jesus is then born in a barn, amongst animals and wisemen. Throughout the bible Mary is constantly seen at her son’s side during his soteriological journey.

Images of Mary often show her praying, or mourning the death of Jesus, sometimes crying tears of blood. She is also often seen wearing blue, crown of 12 stars, pregnant, or surrounded by roses.

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Crying black and grey Mary and angel by david Drohan at Kingdom of Ink in the UK.

Artists such as Michelangelo and Botticelli, and now, tattoo artists all around the world.

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Neo traditional Mary in mourning by Jacob Gardner from Australia.

In tattoo form Mary is often done in black and grey realism, photo realism, American traditional, or neo traditional.

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Black traditional Mary on the back of a head, done by Chris Stuart at Ace Custom Tattoo.
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Full body black and grey Mary with roses and stars by James Armstrong at Holy Mountain Tattoo in the UK.
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Realistic black and grey praying Mary and Rosary by Seyer at Living Dreams Tattoo.
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Realistic black and grey Mary and dove by Tomas Sanchez Pineiro.
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Black and grey Mary with script on the scalp by Nene.
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American traditional Mary with rose by Kanye Sherwood at Flamin’ Eight in London.
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Dark traditional Mary with Sacred Heart by Philip Yarnell at Skynyard Tattoos, UK.
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Full American traditional back piece of Mary with Christ by Zach Nelligan in Austin, Texas.

Which is your favorite?

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Dr. Who Tattoos:

Dr. Who is a science fiction show that has been produced by the BBC since 1963. It is a cult favorite show around the world that features, aliens, robots, time travel, and space exploits.

The Doctor (various versions), the Tardis, space whales, Rose, and various villains are popular designs for Dr. Who tattoos. Dr. Who tattoos are often done in American traditional style, neo traditional, realism, black and grey, and watercolor.

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Watercolor space whale by Carl Caracia at Orange Tattoo Co.
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Neo traditional Rose and wolf done by Pete Larkin at Kyklops Tattoo in Pittsburgh.
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Watercolor and script with Tardis and star dust by Tom Cutsinger at Eternal Tattoo in Columbus NE.
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The 10th Doctor and Tardis by Jay Joree in Dallas Tx.
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Traditional Tardis by Ernesto Visser.
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Brilliant realistic half sleeve of space and the Tardis by Neil England at Empire Tattoo in Boston.
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Tardis and angels by Nicole Auletto at Dollhouse Tattoo Parlour in Glendora NJ.
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Watercolor and blackwork piece by Peta Jamieson.
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Realistic half sleeve of Tardis with space background by Teresa Sharp in Richmond VA.
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Tardis in vincent Van Gogh style by Victoria Rose Lundberg at Wild Heart Tattoo in Brisbane.

Fans are extremely dedicated to the show, which is evident from their brilliant tattoos, conventions, pop up shops, cinema screenings, and even symphonic tours around the world.

Clown Tattoos

Love them or hate them, clowns have been around a long time. As court jesters in medieval times, to circus performers, theatre actors, street performers, to movie stars, great Cirque Du Soleil acrobats, and children entertainers. Clowns are meant to be a happy, exuberant, silly performer, but lately have been much more active in the horror department. From books and movies like Batman’s “Joker” character, Stephen King’s “It”, Rob Zombie’s “Captain Spaulding” and “31”,and  American Horror Story’s “Twisty, clowns are now pretty terrifying. Some pop culture horror clowns are unfortunately based on real people who were killer clowns, such as John Wayne Gacy. Now, in 2016, North America and parts of Europe are experiencing what the media is calling “killer clown attacks”, where people are dressing up as creepy clowns and chasing, staring at, and harassing people all in the hopes of scaring them, or in some more serious situations, worse.

 

Whether you think clowns are funny or scary, they make some great tattoos.

 

Clown tattoos are usually done in American traditional, realism, and black and grey styles. They are either happy, fun clowns, sad, crying clowns (often done as “tramp” clowns), or horror clowns.

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Matching American traditional clowns by Dan Santoro.
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Crying traditional clown by Jonathan Reina in Gran Canaria, Spain.
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Creepy American traditional clown by Kujo at Clipper Ship Tattoo in Atlanta, GA.
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Sad traditional clown by Josh Adams in Canonsburg, PA.
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Outline of a happy looking clown by A. Perry at Gentlemen Tattoos in Youngstown, Ohio.
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All black crying clown by Jason Donahue at Liberty tattoo in Seattle.
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Creepy black and grey realistic horror clown by Ukix Asmirantika at Luxury Ink, Bali.
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Menacing Joker tattoo by Andrey Stepanov in Russia,
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The Killing Joke, Joker by Sophie Adamson at The Projects Tattoo in Plymouth, UK.
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Realistic black and grey Joker by Tom Caine at Holy Mountain Tattoo in the UK.
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Realistic Rob Zombie’s Captain Spaulding by Alex Wright at Grindhouse Tattoo Productions in the UK.
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Realistic Stephen king’s “It” tattoo by Sam Barry in Belfast.
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Realistic American Horror Story’s “Twisty” the clown by Evan Olin at Powerline Tattoo in Cranston, RI.

Do you love them or fear them…?

Gorilla Tattoos

Gorillas in nature are associated with brute strength and bravery, but also for their compassion, honour, and intelligence. It is no surprise then that gorillas have been a popular choice in the tattoo world.

Gorillas are usually done in American traditional, neo traditional, photo realism, or black and grey. Gorillas done in traditional style are now usually based off of Ed Hardy’s traditional gorilla piece.

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Huge gorilla head with swords by Josh Mason at Old Soul Tattoo in Canonsburg, PA.

Gorilla tattoos are also almost always just the head. Though sometimes there are full bodied depictions.

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Neo Traditional Gorilla head with leaves by kirsten Holliday at Wonderland Tattoo in Portland Oregon.
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Realistic gorilla portrait by Mike DeVries at MD Tattoo Studio in Northridge Ca.
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All black roaring gorilla head by Oliver White at Crooked Claw Tattoo in Sheffield.
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Surrealist peaceful gorilla and squirrel done by Peter Aurisch in Berlin.
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Another angry bold black gorilla by Philp Yarnell at Skynyard tattoo in the UK.
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An Ed Hardy inspired gorilla head by Reuben Todd at Kapala Tattoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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Surrealist gorilla head with city architecture by Tobias Burchert at Saints and Sinners Tattoo Lounge in Germany.
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Neo traditional bloodied gorilla head by W.T Norbert in Sydney, Australia.

And of course you can’t have gorilla tattoos without seeing King Kong, the king of gorillas.

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Fantastic black and grey king kong leg sleeve by Drew Apicture at “The Tattoo Shop”.
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Black and grey serene king kong with Ann Darrow, done by Rob Richardson at Black Friars Tattoo House in the UK.

Which one is your favourite?

Spider web Tattoos:

Spider web tattoos are most commonly associated with criminals. Usually showing that the wearer has done time behind bars, the number of lines leading out of the web signifying the years of time spent. Now though it is less associated with crime, and more commonly used as a great filler tattoo for American traditional sleeves. Not all spider web tattoos are done in American traditional though. They can be black and grey or even realistic. They are often now paired with something Halloween related, and can also have spiders in them or hanging off of them.

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Classic elbow spider web by Josh Stephens at Hold It Down Tattoo in Richmond Virginia.
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Spider, web, and skull by Matty Darienzo at Into You Tattoo, London England.
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Crazy head tattoo by Philip Yarnell at Skynyard Tattoos, UK.
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Another web, done by Justin Dion at Sovereign Tattoo, Portland Oregon.
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Web, skull, and snake also by Philip Yarnell.
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Two shoulder webs by Nick Oaks at Bait and Schlang tattoo in Montreal.
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Creepy realistic spider and web by Tyler Allen Kolvenbach at Hudson Valley Tattoo.

Artist of the Month: Ichi Hatano

Ichi Hatano is an artist working out of Tokyo, Japan. He has been tattooing since 1998 and has tattooed around the world in the United States, England, and Germany.

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Backpiece featuring a samurai.
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Japanese woman backpiece.
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3/4 sleeve with a fantastic dragon.

 

His specialty is the traditional Japanese style of irezumi. His work is bold and precise. Ichi has brilliant attention to detail, and his work is full of the Japanese culture and tradition that people go to him for, from around the world.

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Brilliant koi backpiece.
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3/4 sleeve with beautiful clouds as the background.
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Half sleeve of cherry blossoms, clouds, and wind.
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Colourful Oni looking ready for a fight.
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Samurai and a dragon in a delicate embrace.
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Gruesome Namakubi.
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Beautiful, tiny peony flower.
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Great contrast in this sleeve between the bright and dark.

Ichi Hatano is a must see artist if you’re in Tokyo.

Game of Thrones Tattoos

A Game of Thrones is the first novel in “A Song of Ice and Fire”, a series by George R. R. Martin. It was published in 1996 and won multiple awards. The following books were equally as popular.

The HBO TV show came out in 2011 and it was an immediate hit with fans around the world; also winning multiple awards over the years. The books and shows diverse characters and fantastical world make for great tattoos, as well as hundreds of memorable quotes. Here are some of my favorite Game of Thrones tattoos!

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Quote and dire wolf/Stark House by Fran at Inky G’s in Wolverhampton, UK.
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Badass realistic White Walker by Georgi Kodzhabashev at Iron & Ink in Southern Denmark.
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Classic “Winter is coming” a with traditional wolf done by Heather Bailey at Black Heart Tattoo in San Francisco.
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Realistic and bloody mother of dragons done by Jose Rosado at Black Tie Parlour in Miami.
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King slayer! Done by Kate S. Art Gallery Tattoo in New Jersey.
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“Not Today” quote and tombstone done by Landon at Gristle Tattoo in Brooklyn.

Swallow Tattoos

Swallows are a staple of American traditional tattooing, and were first tattooed on sailors. They are as popular as ever to those who love travel and the sea, and are now done in other styles such as black and grey, realism, linework, dotwork, surrealism, and watercolor.

The meaning of a swallow tattoo was firstly to indicate that a sailor had sailed 5000 miles. They also mean a return home, as swallows would migrate, returning to their homes. A metaphorical return also meant that if a sailor died at sea, the swallow would carry their souls to heaven.

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Traditional swallow and rose by Josh Stutterby in Melbourne, Australia.
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Black and grey matching hand swallows by Ryan Jessiman at Old Habits tattoo in London.
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Surrealist starry sky swallow by Adrian Bascur in Viña del Mar.
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Linework swallow by Diana Katsko in Russia.
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Watercolor matching foot swallows by Simona Blanar at Black Bull tattoo in Prague.
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Simple traditional swallow by Harry Harvey at Vagabond tattoo in London, England.
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Traditional swallow by Hugh Sheldon at Cloak and Dagger in London, England.
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Dotwork and linework hand Swallow by Dr. Woo at shamrock Social Club in Los Angeles.

Which one is your favourite?

Hot Air Balloon Tattoos

Hot air balloon tattoos usually symbolize a need for adventure and or travel. They are often done in traditional style, new school, neo traditional, black and grey, or water colour.

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Brilliant hot air balloon carrying a castle in the sky, done by Uncle Allan in Berlin, Germany.
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Colourful little balloon done by Sasha Unisex.
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American traditional hot air balloon done by Mikael Harrstedt done in Skövde, Sweden.
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Creative American traditional take on a hot air balloon by Ivan Antonyshev done at Mainstay Tattoo in Austin, Texas.
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Water colour hot air balloon done by Iiona Kochetkova, a travelling tattooist based at Good Sign Tattoo.
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Traditional double exposure hot air balloon by Dima Naumov at WitchWood tattoo in Kyiv, Ukraine.
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Black and grey Tim Burton inspired hot air balloon done by David Boggins at American Crow tattoo in Columbus Ohio.
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Water colour, experimental hot air balloon done by Cüneyt Kolata done at Golden Arrow tattoo.
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Black and grey hot air balloon done by Clay McCay at Anonymous tattoo in Savannah, Georgia.

Which one is your favourite?

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