Frog and Toad Tattoos:

Frog and Toad are two characters of a series of illustrated short stories written by author Arnold Lobel in the 1970’s, that were also made into short claymation animation pieces in the 80’s.

By Sidney Thoreson
By Amber Howe

The stories are meant to teach children to be kind, and were also the beginnings of Arnold coming out as gay. He described frog and toad as two aspects of himself, and his daughter described the pair as of the same sex that love each other.

By Sara Taylor at Arsenal Ink
By Kiki Kono at Great Whale Tattoo

There are four books, each containing five wholesome short stories that are simple, humorous, and full of teachable moments.

By Ryan Bray
By Knotted Sword Tattoo

Frog is tall, green, cheery, and relaxed; while toad is short, squat, light brown, and while still friendly, is the more serious and pragmatic of the two.

By Julia Seizure at Divine Ink Devon
By Mark Bennett at Tough Luck Delaware

For many these two were a favourite couple growing up, and getting them as tattoos can be a callback to childhood and simpler times. As a tattoo, they are largely drawn quite similarly to their illustrated selves, meaning simple designs, colours, and textures.

By Ian Powers at Powers Tattoo Company
By Julia Hayes at Moonrise Tattoo

what is your favourite Frog and Toad story?

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Artist of the Month: Alex Dahood

Alex is an artist working out of Santa la Muerte Tattoo in Madrid.

Realistic tiger eyes on the forearm.
Ariel from the Little Mermaid.

He has three styles that he works in, and he does them well. Realism, micro realism, and cartoon.

Micro realistic pooch head with a dash of colour.
The Mad Hatter and Alice, a Disney classic.

His realistic works are heavy on the black and grey, but he does use colour sparingly in these to make certain aspects pop, such as eyes and mouths in portraits of both people and animals.

Full realistic back piece of a snarling tiger. Black and grey with green eyes.

His cartoon pieces are like plucking a screenshot straight out of a movie or show, with great detail and colour throughout.

A classic Homer Simpson piece from Treehouse of Horror.

His micro realism pieces are great for those who want a small tattoo, and the amount of detail he’s able to pack into such a small space is unbelievable.

A portrait of Tupac done in black and grey.

If you’re passing through Madrid don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with Alex via his Instagram linked above.

Joaquin Phoenix’ portrayal of The Joker.

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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?

Coffee Tattoos:

Everyone loves their morning coffee. Some so much that they choose to immortalize it on their skin forever!

Alan Macintosh
Realistic black and grey cup of coffee being poured by Alan Macintosh.
Luke Worley Tattooer:Co-Owner of Good Graces Tattoo & Design
Espresso maker done by Luke Worley at Good Graces Tattoo.
Susanne Konig
Neat coffee chest piece done by Susanne Konig.

There’s a legend that says Ethiopian shepherds first discovered coffee in 800 A.D when they noticed their goats apparently dancing after eating coffee beans. A local monk then made a drink with the bean, which kept him awake all night. Thus, coffee was born!

chelsea jane Tattooer at Old Towne Tattoo Parlor in Orange, Ca.
Bright neo traditional coffee cups and flowers done by Chelsea Jane at Old Towne Tattoo Parlour in California.
Mark Pinter
Black and grey skull cup of coffee done by Mark Pinter.

Here are some coffee facts for you addicts out there. The top three countries that produce coffee are Brazil, Colombia, and Vietnam, with Brazil producing 40% of the worlds coffee.

Clark Seiger
Coffee pot and skull done by Clark Seiger.
mich.tattoons 💮Seattle Tattooer💮@jacksonstreettattoocompany
Coffee maker done by Mich at Jackson Street Tattoo Company in Seattle.

It is possible to overdose on coffee, but don’t worry, it would take the average person about 100 cups to do so.

DANIELLE ROSE ✶ @sanctuarytattoodundee ✶ Scotland
Traditional woman drinking coffee done by Danielle Rose at Sanctuary Tattoo Dundee in Scotland.
Michael Hendra Tattooing since 2006. Owner of Hendra Tattoo, a private studio in the Poconos
Coffee and books done by Michael Hendra at Hendra Tattoo in the Poconos.

Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of Alzheimers disease! Caffeine also has a positive effect on type two diabetes and Parkinson’s. As well as protecting women against skin cancer.

Jake Fraser Grey Street Tattoo 123 Grey Street St.Kilda Melbourne Australia
Slave to coffee reaper and coffee done by Jake Fraser at Grey Street Tattoo in Melbourne Australia.
Mico Lighthouse tattoo Seoul South Korea
Girl in a coffee cup done by Mico at Lighthouse Tattoo in Seoul South Korea.

The largest cup of coffee ever was brewed in South Korea in 2014 and was over 3,700 gallons.

james armstrong
Dotwork reaper and a cup of coffee done by James Armstrong at Bishop Tattoo Company in the UK.
Mike Harper ▪️ Tattoo artist ▪️@blackgalleon Kings Lynn, UK
Simple coffee maker done by Mike Harper at Black Galleon in the UK.

Even though the flavour is stronger in a dark roast, they actually have less caffeine than a light roast.

Jan L at Beetle Ink Tattoo, Leipzig
Creepy skeleton in a cup of coffee done by Jan L at Beetle Ink Tattoo in Leipzig.
Nathan Woelke
Death before decaf reaper done by Nathan Woelke.

Decaf coffee is not 100% caffeine free.

jessyalbertjr 👑 Strathcona's PALACE TATTOO 👑 684 east Hastings Vancouver
Vampires cup of bloody coffee done by Jessy Albert Jr at Palace Tattoo in Vancouver.
Phil Hatchet Yau
Johnny Cash inspired piece by Phil Hatchet Yau.

Coffee is the second post popular beverage in the world, second only to water.

Julien Detillieux Tattoo artist @rbenderstudio
Coffee and cigarettes done by Julien Detillieux at R Bender Studio.
Sean Rhodes
Death before decaf in a coffee pot done by Sean Rhodes.

As a tattoo, a grim reaper with a cup of coffee is popular in an American traditional style. Cups of coffee and coffee makers are also popular.

Kane Berry Tattoo Vic Market Tattoo 🔸324 Victoria St, North Melbourne
Stormy cup of coffee done by Kane Berry at Vic Market Tattoo in Melbourne, Australia.
Sicky Nicks Toronto
Cute broken heart late done by Sicky Nicks in Toronto.

Which is your favourite?

Alice in Wonderland Tattoos:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (better known as Alice in Wonderland) was written in 1865 by Charles Dodgson (under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll).

Omar Orozco
Black and grey Caterpillar (Alan Rickman) done by Omar Orozco.
Ace Of Spades Tattoo Established tattoo shop located in Asheville NC. Owner operated Brian Reaid
Bright back piece done by Brian Reaid at Ace of Spades Tattoo in Asheville NC.
Julia Dumps
Bright pastel coloured Tim Burton sleeve done by Jules Boho, an Austrian based traveling artist.
a̶̶b̶̶b̶̶o̶ ̶F̶̶l̶̶o̶̶r̶̶e̶̶z̶
Matching Alice and the White Rabbit in a delicate black and grey design. Done by Abbo Florez.

The story follows a young girl, Alice, who falls down a hole into a fantastical land full of bizarre characters and situations.

Aleksandra Katsan
Watercolor Cheshire done by Aleksandra Katsan in Kiev, Ukraine.
Bryan at Nirvana Tattoo Studio in Glasgow, Scotland
Linework version of Disney’s Alice done by Bryan at Nirvana Tattoo Studio in Glasgow, Scotland.
Kristen Goetz
Dark and sinister looking Mad Hatter done by Kristen Goetz.
Ricardo Gomez TATTOO ARTIST @ Soledad Tattoo & Art Studio 505 front st. Soledad ca
Cheshire in Mad Hatters Hat done by Ricardo Gomez at Soledad Tattoo.

There are also films based on the book, with the most popular being Disney’s animated version from 1951.

Alex Moro
Realistic and stylized version of the Red Queen. Done by Alex Moro done in London, UK.
Efthimis Vrettos
“Drink me” done by Efthimis Vrettos in Athens, Greece.
Lucatesdiferro
Stylized White Rabbit in a teacup done by Luca Testadiferro in Jesi Italy.
Sanninolello
Sleeping Alice done by Lello Sannino in Italy.

More recent films Alice in wonderland (directed by Tim Burton) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (directed by James Bobin) are also produced by Disney, but take on a much darker theme.

Ben Kaye Tattooer & part owner of Ship Shape tattoo, New Zealand
Hyper realistic White Rabbit and his pocket watch done by Ben Kaye at Ship Shape Tattoo, New Zealand.
Fabio Onorini
Black and grey Disney’s Mad Hatter done by Fabio Onorini Fronte Del Porto tattoo , in Rome.
Mugs Costa
Neo traditional portrait of Alice done by Mugs Costa in Australia.
Sigbjørn in Copenhagen
Blackwork Mad hatter and teacup done by Sigbjørn in Copenhagen.
Tania Catclaw
Sketchwork/watercolour Cheshire done by Tania Catclaw.

People in the 1960’s-80’s speculated about what the story was “really” about. Many people thought that it was really a psychedelic trip. Due in large part to the frequent usage of drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms at this time. Experts usually disagree with this theory though, as Charles isn’t thought to have been a user of recreational drugs.

Brent O'Leary I am an artist, custom guitar maker, and musician. I'm currently working at Blue Collar Tattoo in Plainfield IL
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland sleeve done by Brent O’Leary at Blue Collar Tattoo in Plainfield IL.
Gina Gila 💔 Tattoo Artist at Riverwest Tattoo Company Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Linework version of the Walrus and the carpenter with their tasty clams. Done by Gina Gila at Riverwest Tattoo Company Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Nick imms Fumbling through life. Owner of @thechurchtattoo ☦️ 1
Brilliant black and grey version of the Mad Hatter done by Nick Imms at The Church Tattoo.
Nick imms Fumbling through life. Owner of @thechurchtattoo ☦️
Queen of Hearts and White Rabbit, also done by Nick Imms.
Nick Imms
And a third done by Nick Imms.

Popular characters include the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, Red Queen (Queen of Hearts), the March Hare, White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, and many more.

Bruno Corvalan Tattoo artist Currently working at MISSION INK in San Francisco
A partial watercolor style March Hare and a lovely cup of tea done by Bruno Corvalan Mission Ink in San Francisco.
Jack Goks Pearce
Neo traditional Red Queen done by Jack Goks at Cloak and Dagger Tattoo in London, UK.
Oash Rodriguez
Brilliant neo traditional White Rabbit hand piece done by Oash Rodriguez.
Steve LaMantia
Hatter’s hat, pocket watch, and painted rose done by Steve LaMantia at Ever After Gallery, Spring Hill, FL.

Who is your favourite character?

Snowflake Tattoos:

It’s the most, wonderful time…. Of the year!! Some people hate winter, some people love it. What we can all agree on though, is snow can be beautiful!

Niki Norberg Gothenburg, Sweden
Gorgeous hyper realistic black and grey/white hand snowflake and moose done by Niki Norberg in Gothenburg, Sweden.
B I C E M • S I N I K •• Tattoo Artist •• Istanbul.Turkey
Dotwork/geometric snowflake done by Bicem Sinik in Istanbul, Turkey.
Emil Supertramp
Dotwork head mandala/snowflake done by Emil Supertramp.
Karl Marks
Lots of pink in this one. Snowflake landing on a flower done by Karl Marks.
Maksims Zotovs
Realistic Jack Frost portrait tattoo and snowflake done by Maksims Zotovs.
Mattia Mambo
Newschool snowflake design by Mattia Mambo.
Sasha Unisex
Watercolour snowflake with mountains done by Sasha Unisex.

Snowflake tattoos are often done in a realistic, dotwork, black and grey, or bright/new school style.

Alexandra Baksza
A painful palm snowflake in dotwork style by Alexandra Baksza.
Banul seoul south korea
Elegant micro tattoos done by Banul in Seoul, South Korea.
Georgina Ostheimer Munich, Germany
Tiny finger snowflake done by Georgina Ostheimer in Munich, Germany.
Lucky Bella
Blue foot done at Lucky Bella tattoo shop.
Marilyn Studio Curitiba
Hand mandala and snowflake done by Marilyn at Studio Curitiba.
Olaf Botel
Dark blackwork snowflake done by Olaf Botel.
Shanna Keyes
Dotwork/linework wrist snowflake done by Shanna Keyes.

Each snowflake tattoo here is unique, just like the real deal!

August Thompson
Bright blue and white snowflake leg piece done by August Thompson.
Caro Walch
Dotwork penguin and snowflake background done by Caro Walch.
Kevin Koskela
Dotwork negative space snowflake done by Kevin Koskela.
Madrid Pablo Torre
Micro tattoo snowflake done by Pablo Torre in Madrid.
Martin Wilkström
Fantastic hyper realistic locket and snowflakes done by Martin Wilkström.
Sára Reichardt, Wonderland Tattoo, Budapest, Hungary
Snowflake and leaves on the sternum done by Sára Reichardt, at Wonderland Tattoo, in Budapest, Hungary.
Simona Blanar
Bright and colourful snowflakes done by Simona Blanar.

Which is your favourite?

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?

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.

american-5
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”.