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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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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Zombie Tattoos:

The “original” zombie has come a long way. From White Zombie in 1932 (often considered the first zombie movie) to shows like The Walking Dead and movies like Shaun of the Dead and World War Z, zombies have been around in popular culture for almost 100 years.

Zombieland’s Bill Murray done by Craig Mackay in the UK in a black and grey realistic style.
Realistic black and grey zombie head done by Pavel Polovnikov at Red Berry Tattoo Studio in Poland.

Some popular zombie movies to get your tattoo ideas started include Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, 28 Days Later, Zombieland, Zombieland Double-Tap, Planet Terror, Dead Snow, Shaun of the Dead, I am Legend, and The Return of the Living Dead, to name a few.

American traditional frosty zombie done by Dan Gagné at Mortem Tattoo in Montreal.
Realistic colour Dawn of the Dead zombie done by Kristian Kimonides, in Melbourne Australia.

In tattoo form many people choose to get their zombies in a realistic style, with both black and grey or colour being popular.

Cute cartoon zombie done by Joshua Hoiberg.
Huge realistic colour Walking Dead sleeve done by Taryn Lee in Nottingham, UK.

American traditional or neo traditional is also a popular choice when getting the undead inked.

Classic Shaun of the Dead themed piece done by Matthew Limbers at Dearly Departed Tattoo in Milford, Michigan.
Hyper realistic tarman zombie from The Return of the Living Dead, done by Paul Acker at Séance Tattoo Parlour.

As with most spooky tattoos, some people go for “cute”, usually meaning a more new school or cartoon style, or neo traditional.

Fun cartoon zombified Bart Simpson done by Shawn Havron at Artisan Body Piercing and Tattoos in Norfolk VA.
A neo traditional zombie ready to party, done by Moira Ramone in Rotterdam, NL.

What’s your zombie apocalypse plan? Let us know down in the comments!

Super Mario Tattoos:

Mario first appeared in the classic Nintendo game, Donkey Kong, in 1981. Though in this game he was still named Jumpman. It wasn’t until 1982 when he reappeared in Donkey Kong Jr. that he finally became the classic character, “Mario”.

Ben Kaye Tattooer & part owner of Ship Shape tattoo, New Zealand
A very realistic Mario done by Ben Kaye at Ship Shape Tattoo in New Zealand.
Javier Antunez Artist:Owner of @TattooedTheory
Terrifyingly realistic version of Bowser done by Javier Antunez at Tattooed Theory.
Missi Robbe @evolutiontattooreno
Zombie Yoshi and King Boo done by Missi Robbe at Evolution Tattoo Reno.

Super Mario was indirectly influenced by Jackie Chan! The creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, has stated that Super Mario was largely inspired by a video game called “kung-fu”. The Japanese version of this game was based on a Jackie Chan movie called “Spartan X”.

Dave 'Junior' Nicholls
Bowser done by Dave ‘Junior’ Nicholls.
Jeanzito Hernandez
Bright and colourful sleeve done by Jeanzito Hernandez.
Robert Pup Byington
Nintendo themed sleeve done by Robert Pup in Byington.

Super Mario characters include the brothers Mario and Luigi, the iconic villain, Bowser, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Boo, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Bowser Jr, Wario, Waluigi, the Koopas, Goombas, and more.

Day May Salt Lake City, Utah
a brilliant 8-bit sleeve done by Day May in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Kyle Williams UK Grindhouse Tattoo Productions
Luigi! Done by Kyle Williams at Grindhouse Tattoo Productions in the UK.
Rodney Eckenberger I Tattoo at Stillhouse tattoo in South Bend and Ink Couture in N.Y.
Wario! Done by Rodney Eckenberger at Stillhouse tattoo in South Bend and Ink Couture in N.Y.

The backstory for Super Mario is actually much darker than you might think! For those of you who haven’t read the instruction manual, here’s the gist of it. Bowser and his Koopa minions are actually black magic wielding wizards who turned the people of Mushroom Kingdom into bushes, blocks, and mushrooms. Yes, that means every time you use a mushroom or punch a block, you’re actually killing a citizen of Mushroom Kingdom.

Felipe Rodrigues Brasil
A Neo traditional Mario done by Felipe Rodrigues in Brazil.
Michela Bottin
Adorable Mario and Peach done in a new school design. Done by Michela Bottin.
Z.D (Zedtattoo) In China
New school Mario and piranha plant done by Zedtattoo in China.

As a tattoo, all Super Mario characters are popular designs. Usually done in either neo traditional style, new school, blackwork, or 8-bit.

Hongdae tattooist Kakao
Blackwork version of Boo done by Kakao in Hongdae.
mikeguinn
Classic mushroom done bu Mike Guinn.

Which Super Mario game is your favourite?

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?

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?

Panther Tattoos:

Panthers have been a staple in American traditional tattoos for a long time, but they can also be done in many other styles such as neo traditional, realism, black and grey, and new school.

Aaron Breeze
Panther and rose by Aaron Breeze.
Didac Gonzalez
Neo trad panther head on a hand done by Didac Gonzalez.
Drew Shallis
Neo trad panther head and skulls done by Drew Shallis.
Isnard Barbosa
Neo trad lady and panther done by Isnard Barbosa.
James Armstrong
Panther paired with a peony flower done by James Armstrong.
Mike Stockings
Gorgeous neo trad panther with red lighting done by Mike Stockings.
Shio Zargoza
Neo trad chest piece done by Shio Zargoza.
Susanne Suflanda König Based in Manchester • Tattooer at Redwood Tattoo Studio
Blackwork panther and peony flower piece done by Susanne Suflanda König Based in Manchester • Tattooer at Redwood Tattoo Studio.

Panthers are powerful animals, and make for a powerful tattoo. They can represent, power, strength, honor, wisdom, and beauty.

Becca Genné-Bacon at Kings Avenue Tattoo in NYC
Panther and snake back piece done by Becca Genné-Bacon at Kings Avenue Tattoo in NYC.
Diego Apu
Angry panther head done by Diego Apu.
Evgenia Sin
Huge torso panther head paired with flowers done by Evgenia Sin.
J Swan
Panther and roses done by J Swan.
Justin Dion
Big traditional panther head done by Justin Dion.
Peter Lagergren
Terrifying panther head with third eye done by Peter Lagergren.
Simone Sbam
Panther, skull, and dagger done by Simone Sbam.
Valentin Hirsch
Realistic black and grey panther and skull done by Valentin Hirsch.

Panthers were most popular with sailors and prison inmates, up until the Vietnam war when they became popular with soldiers as well. Now they are more popular than ever as American traditional designs are still going strong.

Brian Flores
Neo trad panther and flaming torch by Brian Flores.
Carlos Chavarriaga
Classic panther design by Carlos Chavarriaga.
Fulvio Vaccarone
Panther with arrow going through the head done by Fulvio Vaccarone.
Jack Goks Pearce
Black and yellow by Jack Goks Pearce.
Nick Colin Corbett
Small traditional panther head done by Nick Colin Corbett.
Rich Hadley
Classic panther forearm piece done by Rich Hadley.
stu Pagdin
A split open panther head done by Stu Pagdin.
Zach Black
Pink new school panther head done by Zach Black.

Which one is your favorite?