Golden Age of Disney Tattoos

In this blog post, the Golden Age of Disney refers specifically to Disney’s animated films and does not include live action.

Snow White by Jordan Baker.
Thumper by Camille Gualtieri.

The Golden Age of Disney spans from 1937-1942 and includes Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi.

Jiminy Cricket by Nicole Zulianello.
Black and grey Snow White by Piotrek Taton on Grace Neutral.

Despite the name “Golden Age” this was actually a quite unsuccessful chapter in terms of financial gain, other than Snow White and Dumbo. In fact, Dumbo was originally supposed to be a short film but was made longer to make up for the financial losses suffered by Fantasia.

Dumbo by Silvia Damiano.
Figaro the cat done by Emilia Rose.

The films created in this time were all overseen by Walt himself, and helped cement Disney as a leader in animation.

Bambi and Thumper by Jordan Baker.
Dumb and his mother by Mason Stoner.

While Disney films are generally regarded as mainly happy and upbeat, these films all tell quite dark stories and actually contain some quite frightening scenes, especially for the young audiences they were aimed at. I know scenes in Snow White and Pinocchio certainly scared me as a child.

Poison apple from Snow White done by Eugenios Simopoulos.
A creative Thumper portrait by Nicole Robinson.

As tattoos, Disney animation are almost entirely done in new school style, with some realism and more experimental styles also making the cut.

Pinocchio transforming into a donkey done by Gold Marie.

I found no shortage of tattoos from this era of Disney, other than Fantasia, of which I only found tattoos from the newer 2000’s version which will be seen in a later post.

Dumbo and his mother by Mae La Roux.

Which Golden Age film is your favourite?

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Peaky Blinders Tattoos:

Peaky Blinders is the incredibly popular British tv show following a gang called “The Peaky Blinders” in mainly Birmingham, immediately following the First World War.

Neo traditional Tommy portrait by Paula Canelejo
Tiny realistic portrait of Tommy by Dani Ginzburg

Every episode is written by Steven Knight, and is loosely based on both historical gangs in England, and a story the writers father used to tell him about his grandfather having him deliver notes to his uncles, the Sheldons, who became the shows “Shelbys.”

American traditional Tommy portrait and rose by Matthew Limbers
Shelby skull by Marcello Barros

The history of the “real” peaky blinders differs from place to place, with some sources saying they died out by the 1890s. While they weren’t the ruling gang in Birmingham by the end of World War I, it looks like they probably still existed, even though the bigger “Birmingham Boys” became the top dogs by 1910. Peaky Blinders also eventually became a term to describe all gangs coming out of the Birmingham area. In both the show and real life, the gang is made up of mainly young unemployed men, looking to gain power and money through robbery, violence, and controlling both legal and illegal gambling. In the show many of the men also fought in World War I.

Blackwork Tommy by Valentina
American traditional Arthur done by Edo Sent

The name Peaky Blinders comes from the clothes worn by both the real and fictional gangsters. Their signature style includes tailored jackets, overcoats, waistcoats, silk scarves, bell-bottom trousers, and “peaked” caps. In the show, the gang is famous for sewing razorblades into their caps as their signature weapon, but realistically these blades wouldn’t have been affordable at the time and weren’t used until around 1890, when the Peaky Blinders started to lose power.

American traditional Tommy and flower by Ju Lindien
Large realistic portrait of Tommy by Alexandr Ramm

Many people are drawn to the show for its style, and that translates into the tattoos we see being made. Most Peaky Blinders tattoos are done in a classic traditional style, keeping it bold and classy, just like the show. Other styles include neo traditional, black work, and realism. Most of the tattoos I found are of Tommy, but the other Shelby brothers also make fine pieces.

Neo traditional black and red Tommy and flowers done by Szofi
Black and grey John portrait done by Choc Inked

Who is your favourite character?

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Tattoo Bodysuits:

A bodysuit is the ultimate way for a tattoo collector to show their dedication to the craft. A bodysuit is most often done as one cohesive piece, usually in one style. But some people do start getting tattooed without the intention of having a bodysuit, then end up growing into it.

Adam Craft at The Tattooed Heart
Japanese bodysuit done by Adam Craft at The Tattooed Heart.
Frank Lewis Montreal
The late Rick Genest’s bodysuit done by Frank Lewis in Montreal Canada.
MATT JORDAN SHIP SHAPE TATTOO
Hyper realistic suit completed by Matt Jordan at Ship Shape Tattoo.
Samuel Christensen
Brilliant black work/tribal bodysuit done by Samuel Christensen.

Japanese is the most well known style for creating bodysuits. Done by one artist, tied together with background work such waves, clouds, and other nature themes.

back by Shige at Yellow Blaze in yokohama. Sleeves unknown
Back and legs done by Shige at Yellow Blaze in Yokohama.
Guy Le Tattooer
The recognizable line work of Guy Le Tattooer.
Nissaco
Black work and geometric bodysuit done by Nissaco in Osaka.
Tomas Tomas Seven Doors London
Black work/tribal bodysuit done by Tomas Tomas at Seven Doors Tattoo in London.

More recently black work is becoming more popular for full bodysuits. Either heavy black work or smaller pieces.

Collaboration piece between Gerhard Wiesbeck and Little Swastika
Heavy black work torso and arm piece. A collaboration between Gerhard Wiesbeck and Little Swastika.
Jason Butcher immortal ink tattoo studio
Beautiful black and grey bodysuit done by Jason Butcher at immortal ink tattoo studio.
Paco Dietz Tattoo Artist, Oil Painter, Sculptor. Santa Clara, Ca
Colourful bio mechanical bodysuit done by Paco Dietz in Santa Clara, Ca.
Valerio Cancellier
Heavy black work done by Valerio Cancellier.

Similarly people get bodysuits of American traditional pieces. Hundreds of small pieces filling up a body to make it look more or less like one huge suit.

Cory Ferguson Good Point Tattoo Ontatio Canada
Geometric and dotwork done by Cory Ferguson at Good Point Tattoo in Ontario Canada.
Julian Siebert Corpsepainter Tattoo Munich:Germany
Arm, Back, and leg done by Julian Siebert at Corpsepainter Tattoo Munich, Germany.
PIERLUIGI DELIPERI
Black/geometric bodysuit done by Pierluigi Deliperi.

Black and grey, neo traditional, and realism styles are also being used for bodysuits now, making for eye popping artwork.

Duncan X
Black work torso and shoulders done by Duncan X in the UK.
Koji Ichimaru
Full body Japanese suit with lots of black done by Koji Ichimaru.
Rich Hadley UK
American traditional bodysuit done by Rich Hadley in the UK.

The word bodysuit may make you think of really a full body covered in tattoos, but it also refers to torso pieces that lead onto the arms, and/or legs.

Gakkin
Beautiful and heavy black work nature themed bodysuit done by Gakkin.
Lupo Horiokami Italy at mushin studio
Heavy black Japanese done by Lupo Horiokami Italy at mushin studio.
Rich Hardy UK
American traditional mostly black work torso and arms done by Rich Hardy in the UK.

Which bodysuit is your favourite?

Frankenstein Tattoos:

Frankenstein is a story that has delighted and frightened readers since 1818, now two hundred years!

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An electrifying monster done by Nikko Hurtado.
️Kyle ‘EGG_ Williams, Uk ,Grindhouse tattoo productions
A gorgeous realistic black and grey piece of the monster and a man with a torch. Done by Kyle Williams at Grindhouse Tattoo in the UK.
Jordan Croke Second Skin Tattoo, Derby UK
A very blue Bride of Frankenstein done by Jordan Croke at Second Skin Tattoo in Derby UK.
Jordan Croke
Another one done by Jordan Croke.

Frankenstein is the story of a mad doctor that brings the dead back to life. Only to find that he has made a monster.

Alejandro Mazakre
Neo traditional green monster done by Alejandro Mazakre.
Keely Rutherford London
Cute blackwork love tattoo by Keely Rutherford in London.
Tom Chippendale
An adorable monster out for some Halloween fun done by Tom Chippendale.

Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was 18, and had it published when she was 20. She wrote it for a writing contest for ghost stories, and she shocked the world!

Audie Fulfer jr. tattoo artist in Fresno CA
Terrifying realistic and colourful monster done by Audie Fulfer jr. Tattoo artist in Fresno CA.
Kyle Cotterman
A realistic and bruised looking monster done by Kyle Cotterman at Distinction Tattoo in Kettering Ohio.

When the book initially came out, readers were disgusted and horrified, but by 1823 it became widely popular, as gothic literature was becoming all the rage.

Bob Tyrrell
Black and grey portrait by Bob Tyrrell.
Mike DeVries (@mikedevries_art) @MDTattooStudio
The monster under candlelight done by Mike DeVries at MDTattooStudio.

In 1910 the first Frankenstein film was made by Thomas Edison, a one-reel 15 minute short film, thought by some to be the first horror movie.

Debora Cherrys
Neo traditional portrait of the monster and his bride done by Debora Cherrys in Madrid.
Nicholas Keiser •Materia Tattoo @materiatattoo -Downingtown ,PA
A very colourful neo traditional monster and rose done by Nicholas Keiser at Materia Tattoo in Downingtown ,PA.

Many others have been made including Frankenstein in 1931, Bride of Frankenstein in 1935, Son of frankenstein in 1939, The Ghost of Frankenstein in 1942, and many more!

Fredao Oliveira
Brutal blackwork 3/4 sleeve of the monster and flowers done by Fredao Oliveira in Brasil.
Nick Sarich
Another green monster, this time done by Nick Sarich at Timeless Tattoos in Chicago.

Fans of gothic literature and horror movies often get Frankenstein tattoos, mainly of the monster, whose name is not actually Frankenstein. Many relate to the monster because he is a misunderstood creature. He may have some violent tendencies, but what he really wants is to be understood and feel love.

Gary Parisi
An electrifying portrait of the Bride of Frankenstein done by Gary Parisi at MAYDAY! Tattoo Co. Chicago.
paul acker
A beautiful Bride of Frankenstein done by Paul Acker at The Séance Tattoo Parlor in Bensalem PA.
franky
The monster also done by Paul Acker.

Frankenstein tattoos are often done in realism, black and grey, neo traditional, and American traditional, as well as black work.

John Claude
A little green monster done in American traditional style by John Claude in Cheltenham, England.
Steve Wimmer
The monster and the castle and storm that created him done by Steve Wimmer at The Grand Reaper in San Diego, CA.

“Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft ShelleyFrankenstein

Artist of the Month: Susanne König

Susanne is a tattooer at Redwood Tattoo Studio in Manchester. She does fine linework, dotwork, and blackwork. All of her tattoos use only black ink, but her intricate dotwork make a great contrast to the heavy black.

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A girl and her cat, the start and the moon.
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Victorian octopus lady looking very serious.
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Fantastic night time land and city scape.
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Gorgeous Venus piece!
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Lovely jellyfish in a jar.
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Three adorable foxes cuddling.
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A girl and her big dog!

Much of her work features popular characters or places from books, film, and tv.

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Eleven from Stranger Things!
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Severus Snape wearing Neville’s Grandmother’s clothing.
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The first years heading to Hogwarts!

She draws much inspiration from histories famous painters, and even does their portraits.

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Brilliant portrait of Van Gogh with his own sky design as the background.
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Frida Kahlo as one of her own portraits.
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Dot and blackwork Picasso vase!
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Katsushika Hokusai’s wave, one of the most iconic Japanese motifs.

Her whimsical animal portraits are fantastical and heartwarming, such as space narwhales, dogs in space, dinosaurs in clothing, etc.

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Sloth bathing in some tasty ramen!
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Super cool badger rocking out.
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Pirate kitty!!
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Narwhale with a cool space theme.
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Brachiosaurus in some fancy clothes.
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Very pretty mermaid.
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A heavily tattooed and bearded merman.

Susanne is a must see artist if you’re in Manchester!

Hogwarts Tattoos:

Hogwarts is the fictional (maybe) school from J.K Rowling’s series “Harry Potter”. To many fans of both the books and the movies, Hogwarts is a second home. As J.K has said before, “Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

Andrea Morales
Hyper realistic miniature Hogwarts done by Andrea Morales.
Savaş Doğan Tattoo Artist ~ Istanbul Kadıköy Moda
Hyper realistic mini Hogwarts during a beautiful sunset. Done by Savaş Doğan in Istanbul Kadıköy Moda

Many people feel so strongly towards the school that they choose to have it tattooed on them permanently.

Carly Baggins, Perth, Australia
Bright neo traditional Hogwarts done by Carly Baggins, Perth, Australia.
Jessica Svartvit
Heavy blackwork Hogwarts done by Jessica Svartvit.

Here are some facts you may not know about the school. According to the first book, there are over 142 staircases in Hogwarts; many of which tend to move, even while someone walks on them, making it difficult to get to classes on time.

Carly Montgomery
Matching Hedwig and Hogwarts done by Carly Montgomery at First String Tattoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Keely Rutherford
Cute Always and Hogwarts done by Keely Rutherford at Jolie Rouge Tattoo in London.

The school motto “Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus” sounds pretty impressive in latin right? When translated into English it means “Never tickle a sleeping dragon.” Not the most inspiring motto to live by maybe, but definitely a practical one!

Daria Stahp
Bright night time miniature piece done by Daria Stahp.
mali 🍕 Owner of @coolkidztattoo
All was well. Mini dotwork Hogwarts done by Mali at Cool Kidz Tattoo.

The castle can keep its own secrets and choose to reveal them to those it deems worthy. Such as the room of requirement, which is eventually used as a safe haven for the students to hide from the Death Eaters running the school in the seventh book.

David Irizarry Ink & Dagger Tattoo : Foundation Tattoo
Realistic black and grey piece with Hedwig, the deathly hallows symbol and candles. Done by David Irizarry Ink & Dagger Tattoo : Foundation Tattoo.
Nicole at Voodoo Tattoo Club
Hogwarts snow globe done by Nicole at Voodoo Tattoo Club.

Hogwarts was founded in 990 AD, meaning it was founded before Oxford University which was founded in 1209, making it one of the oldest English institutions .

Demon Dance at easy tiger tattoo
Black work Hogwarts done by Demon Dance at Easy Tiger Tattoo.
peta.heffernan
Tiny black and grey piece done by Peta Heffernan.

The ceiling in the Great Hall is enchanted to reflect the sky outside. Meaning the Great Hall could be bright and sunny, or pouring rain while lighting crackles across the sky.

Dino Nemec
Dotwork Hogwarts done by Dino Nemec.
Sanae Garcia Tattoos
Another Always piece. Done by Sanae Garcia Tattoos.

The first Triwizard Tournament was held 300 years after the school was founded.

Drew Shallis
Neo traditional Hogwarts with frame and roses done by Drew Shallis.
Sierra Granger Tattoo artist at FREAKS AND GEEKS TATTOO SIDESHOW *Asheville NC!*
Great use of negative space done in this one by Sierra Granger at Freaks and Geeks Tattoo Sideshow in Asheville NC.

Muggles cannot see Hogwarts. Electronics also do not work on the school grounds, so no WIFI!

Giuseppe Cozzolino Born in 1993 Tattooist @ Ozon Tattoo Studio, Via Manzoni n.216 San Giorgio a Cremano, Napoli Italy
Triangular realistic nighttime view of Hogwarts done by Giuseppe Cozzolino at Ozon Tattoo Studio, Napoli Italy.
Susanne Konig
First years on their way to Hogwarts done by Susanne Konig at Redwood Tattoo Studio in Manchester.

Peeves who is unfortunately not featured in the films, first came to Hogwarts in 993 AD and is an indestructible spirit of chaos!

Jamie Schene
Realistic half sleeve done by Jamie Schene.

As a tattoo Hogwarts is often done in a realistic style, often as black work or neo traditional.

Jessica Channer 🍰 Tattoo artist in Toronto
Purple neo traditional Hogwarts done by Jessica Channer in Toronto.

What’s your favourite Hogwarts moment?

Disney Tattoos:

Disney tattoos for the kid in all of us. Disney has been around since 1923 when Walt Disney started it in a small office in Los Angeles.

Mimi Madriz in Madrid
To infinity and beyond with Buzz Lightyear! Done by Mimi Madriz in Madrid.
Kenny Kurtis in Marina, CA
Never grow up, Peter Pan piece done by Kenny Kurtis in Marina, CA.
Alex Rowntree Northern Glory Tattoo Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
The Beast with his rose done by Alex Rowntree at Northern Glory Tattoo Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Chris Block, Fallout Tattoo Studio
Black and grey hyper realistic cheshire done by Chris Block, Fallout Tattoo Studio.
melvin arizmendi, San Diego
Puppy Lady done by Melvin Arizmendi, San Diego.

The big kahuna, “Mickey Mouse” was born in 1928, followed quickly by Pluto, Goofy, Donald, and the rest of the original gang.

Vince Rebel Waltz
Cute little Chip and Tinkerbell done by Vince at Rebel Waltz in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Abbie Williams
The pumpkin king himself done by Abbie Williams.
Chris Speer in Groton CT
Genie as Patch Adams done by Chris Speer in Groton CT.
Jackie Huertas
A spooky Mickey and Minnie done by Jackie Huertas.
Michela Bottin
A cool looking Hades done by Michela Bottin.

In 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was finished, as the first feature length Disney animation. From there Walt continued right on with Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Dumbo.

Andy Walker
Baloo and Mowgli done by Andy Walker.
Craig Secrist at Heart of Gold Tattoo
A more realistic Anna and Elsa done by Craig Secrist at Heart of Gold Tattoo.
Jerred Kincaid
New school Disney animal sleeve done by Jerred Kincaid.
Miss Mae La Roux
Ariel done by Miss Mae La Roux.

By the late 80’s and early 90’s Disney reached new heights, making hundreds of millions off its films. In 1994 The Lion King became one of the highest grossing films of all time.

Carly Baggins at Wright Street Collective, Perth
You’ve got a friend in me. Done by Carly Baggins at Wright Street Collective, Perth.
Isnard Barbosa
Lion king sleeve with the bad guys! Done by Isnard Barbosa.
Kadee Spangler, Michigan
Stitch enjoying the ugly duckling done by Kadee Spangler, Michigan.
Nikki Jo at Guilty Cat Tattoo
Matching Aristocat tattoos done by Nikki Jo at Guilty Cat Tattoo.

Now in 2018 Disney continues to be extremely popular with both children and adults.

Carly Baggins, Perth, Australia
Snow White’s poison apple done by Carly Baggins, Perth, Australia.
Lindsay Baker
Badass Malificent head piece done by Lindsay Baker.
Linzi Compher at Family Tradition Tattoo in Mooresville NC
Atlantis, a much underrated Disney film. Done by Linzi Compher at Family Tradition Tattoo in Mooresville NC.
Rich Bayley at Queen Square Tattoo Club in Wolverhampton
Moana piece done by Rich Bayley at Queen Square Tattoo Club in Wolverhampton.

Disney tattoos are done mainly in new school style, as the majority are cartoons.

Carly Montgomery
Carl ready for adventure by Carly Montgomery at First String Tattoo in Winnipeg Manitoba.
Jackie Huertas at Davinci Tattoo in Wantagh, NY
Cutest lil Bambi done by Jackie Huertas at Davinci Tattoo in Wantagh, NY.
Liv Frost
Inspirational Baymax by Liv Frost.
Steve Compton
Brilliant Great Mouse Detective piece done by Steve Compton.

What is your favourite Disney movie?