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.

Stranger Things Tattoos:

Stranger Things is the popular Netflix show that came out this year, 2016. Featuring a great cast of Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalie Dyer, and Charlie Heaton, the show was an instant hit with fans. The show takes place in the 1980’s and pays homage to 80’s pop culture such as, Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, John Carpenter, George lucas, and others. The sci-fi horror show follows the disappearance of a young boy in a small town. The boys friends,brother, and mother, separately discover that something is wrong with the disappearance. A telekinetic girl named Eleven is found by the young boys, and helps them find their friend. Friendship, otherworldliness, and a need to belong are strong themes in the show, and make for great tattoos. Fun characters, an unpredictable plot, and a distinct nostalgic factor also make this show appealing straight away.

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“Run” with Christmas lights done by Jon Larson in Tampa, Florida.
Stranger things forest by Cody Smith at White Bluff Tattoo Co. Savannah GA
Great blackwork biking into the forest done by Cody Smith at White Bluff Tattoo Co. in Savannah, GA.
Stranger things El tattooed by Angus Wall at Awol tattoos in Galway
New school El portrait with her number done by Angus Wall at Awol tattoos in Galway.
Stranger things El's own tattoo done by Torie Watooth at Jackson Street tattoo in Seattle
Another number eleven done by Torie Wartooth at Jackson Street in Seattle.
Stranger things Dustin by jeremy Zettler at Perfect Image tattoo, ONtario
Fun cartoon portrait of Dustin done by Jeremy Zettler at Perfect Image tattoo in Ontario.
Stranger Things coffee cup, quote, and lights done by Amber Bananafish at bananafish tattoo parlour
Coffee cup, quote, and lights done by Amber Bananafish at Bananafish tattoo parlour.

Considering the show has only been out a short while, the immediate fan base is quite strong, and of course, with that, comes tattoos. These next four are all done by pop iconography master Matt Daniels at Studio IX in Manchester, UK.

Which one is your favourite?

Artist of the Month: Daniel Anibal

Daniel Anibal is a talented tattoo artist working out of Atlantico Tattoo and Sagrado Corazón Tattoo, in Spain. His work is mainly colorful traditional tattoos, but he also does brilliant black and grey work, and some Japanese. His work is bold, bright, and graphic, and often takes influences from Japanese style, mixing it with American traditional.

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Some original flash work by Daniel.

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Brilliant rose on the hand.
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Chest piece full of iconic traditional imagery.
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Full black and grey traditional sleeve brought together with dots and stars.
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Colourful dinosaur head. Blue paired with yellow and red pops brilliantly.
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Bold tropical parrot.
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Womans head and traditional flowers is a classic.
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Full sleeve with Japanese influenced clouds, and an American/Japanese dragon.
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Other side of the sleeve. Lightning looks great against clouds.
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Striking Medusa. Don’t look directly at her…
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Traditional jungle cat!
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Japanese flower and wave sleeve.

Check him out if you’re in the area!

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?

Tattoo History 1

Ötzi the “iceman” as he is known, is a 5,300 year old mummy who was found in Oetz Valley, Austria in 1991.

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knee tattoo

He has a total of 61 tattoos. The tattoos are made up of crosses and lines throughout his body. It is still unknown whether his tattoos were for decoration, for religious reasons, or for therapeutic reasons. Though in 2013 it was found that his tattoos were mainly placed in areas of the body that could potentially go through a lot of stress and pain such as his ankles, wrists, knees, Achilles tendon, and lower back. Because of these findings it is speculated that these tattoos may have been an early form of acupuncture as well as decorative and/or religious or spiritual.

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simple line tattoos on Ötzi

These tattoos were done by making incisions in the skin and filling them with ash.

Whatever the reason for his tattoos, Ötzi is significant to the tattoo world because he shows how long tattoos have been around.

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?