Yōkai Spider Tattoos:

Yōkai are supernatural monsters/ghosts/demons from Japanese folklore. The word itself is made up from the kanji for “bewitching, attractive, and calamity” and “spectre, apparition, mystery, and suspicious.” There are hundreds and hundreds of yōkai, from fairly harmless tricksters, to monsters that prey on human flesh. Being an animal that many are already afraid of, of course there are also spider yōkai.

As a tattoo these creatures are usually done in Japanese style, but can also be neo traditional, American traditional, black and grey, or blackwork.

There are three main types of spider yōkai:

-Ushi Oni: Which is actually classified as an ox demon. This demon is often depicted with the head of an ox and the body of a spider, and is usually near bodies of water. These creatures are always carnivorous and dangerous to humans. They are not always spiders, but this is one of the more popular depictions. The Ushi Oni is described as cruel and vicious, breathing toxic poison, and sometimes inflicting curses or spreading disease.

S Ben Wight at Pyramid Arts Tattoo
Blackwork Japanese piece by Ben Wight at Pyramid Arts Tattoo.
S Brian Faulk Hand of Glory Tattoo
Black and grey Japanese piece by Brian Faulk at Hand of Glory Tattoo.

-Tsuchigumo: A giant spider who can live a very long time, and grow to monstrous sizes. When they get old enough they can transform themselves into other yōkai, even taking the form of humans in order to lure and kill people. These creatures live in forests and mountains, mainly preying on travelers. One famous tale tells of this creature transforming into a beautiful woman who leads an army of yōkai against Japan. A man named Yorimitsu is the first to meet the beast on the battlefield and strikes her, making the army disappear. The Japanese army then follows her back to her cave where she morphs back into a giant spider. Yorimitsu slices her open, unleashing thousands of human sized baby spiders. The Japanese army kills every last one and returns victorious.

S Adrian Evans at Saints and Sinners Tattoo in Dallas
Huge spider with skulls and web by Adrian Evans at Saints and Sinners Tattoo in Dallas.
S Alexander Rusty Cairns at Lighthouse Tattoo in Sydney, Australia
Cover up piece by Alexander Rusty Cairns at Lighthouse Tattoo in Sydney, Australia.
S Gab Lavoie at Tattoo Mania in Montreal
Spider with hannya mask by Gab Lavoie at Tattoo Mania in Montreal, Canada.
S Ganji Tokyo Three Tides Tattoo
Black and grey beast done by Ganji at Tokyo Three Tides Tattoo in Tokyo, Japan.
S Horihiro Mitomo Three Tides Tattoo Tokyo:Osaka
Very traditional Japanese piece done by Horihiro Mitomo at Three Tides Tattoo Tokyo/Osaka, Japan.
S Vond Barta Sacred Monkey Tattoo Melbourne
Brilliant Japanese scalp banger done by Vond Barta at Sacred Monkey Tattoo in Melbourne.

Jorōgumo: This creature was known as the “whore spider” but is now better known as “entangling bride”. She lives both as a beautiful yōkai in human form and as a giant spider. This spider gains the ability to transform after it has lived for 400 years. She uses her human form to lure unsuspecting men to her lair before eating them. They live in caves, forests, or abandoned houses. This creature is often seen as part spider, part woman, generally the body of a spider and head of a woman.

S Eric Alcantara at Ridgewood Tattoo Studio
More American traditional piece with Japanese influence by Eric Alcantara at Ridgewood Tattoo Studio.
S Francesco Giamblanco at Black Horse Tattoo
Colorful piece by Francesco Giamblanco at Black Horse Tattoo.
S George Galloway at Windhorse Tattoo
Half spider half woman by George Galloway at Windhorse Tattoo.
S Hozho at Tattoo Station in Romarin
Colorful neo traditional piece by Hozho at Tattoo Station.
S Nhia Yang at Gook Kind Tattoo in Chicago
Terrifying neo traditional piece with noh mask as the head. Done by Nhia Yang at Goodkind Tattoo in Chicago.
S Nick Crampton at Chapel Tattoo
Spider with skulls by Nick Crampton at Chapel Tattoo.
S Vova Bydin at Citizen Ink Brooklyn NYC
More American traditional piece by Vova Bydin at Citizen Ink in Brooklyn NYC.

All versions of this beast are terrifying, and all make a bold tattoo. Which is your favorite?

Geisha Tattoos:

The geisha, or, “person of accomplishment” date back to 1751 in the mid-Tokugawa period in Japan. Geisha’s were originally men, but eventually became women.

geisha Ami James
Deep in thought by Ami James.

Geisha’s were trained artists skilled in tea ceremony, flower arranging, and as singers, dancers, storytellers, servers, and conversationalists. These women were all literate and were familiar with poetry and tales of warriors in order to entertain their patrons. Geisha’s were not prostitutes, but worked in the pleasure districts, also called “the floating world” and while not they were not sex workers, some did become concubines or mistresses for men who would buy their contracts from their masters.

geisha Andrew Mcnally at Northside Private Rooms in Newcastle
Black and grey neo Japanese geisha with cherry blossoms by Andrew Mcnally at Northside Private Rooms in Newcastle, UK.
geisha Anna Yershova
Realistic side/stomach piece with cherry blossoms by Anna Yershova.
geisha Asakusa Horiyasu
Brilliant Japanese back piece by Horiyasu.

Geisha’s are known for their musical prowess, particularly with an instrument called samisen, which today is also used in kabuki plays and has an inherently “Japanese” sound. As for appearance, while working a geisha would wear a kimono tied from the back, which is another difference between a geisha and a prostitute as a prostitute would have her kimono tied in the front. A thick white foundation of makeup is applied to the face, neck, and upper chest, with a line around the hairline creating a mask like appearance. Other makeup includes black around the eyes and eyebrows with bright red lips.

geisha Daniel Gensch
Fantastic neo traditional neck piece also with cherry blossoms, by Daniel Gensch in Berlin, Germany.
geisha Emily Rose Murray
A more Westernized neo traditional geisha by Emily Rose Murray in Melbourne, Australia.
geisha Gakkin
Blackwork Japanese piece of a sly looking geisha by Gakkin in Amsterdam.
geisha Horihana in Brasil
Another traditional Japanese back piece with cherry blossoms, skeleton, and Buddhist imagery by Horihana in Brazil.
Geisha Jarrad Serafino at The Sweet Life Tattoo in Melbourne
Dark American traditional geisha and flower by Jarrad Serafino at The Sweet Life Tattoo in Melbourne, Australia.

Geisha’s still exist today, though due in part to the rigorous training in order to become one, are much less frequent. Today, geisha’s mainly entertain politicians at parties.

geisha Kevin Nocerino at Still Life Tattoo
Neo traditional namakubi or severed head geisha with peony by Kevin Nocerino at Still Life Tattoo.
geisha Mark Wosgerau
Realistic black and grey geisha by Mark Wosgerau at Sinners Inc in Denmark.
geisha Michael Litovkin
Bold mix of black and grey and colour in a realistic style by Michael Litovkin.
geisha Pavel Krim
Soft, colourful, realistic geisha by Pavel Krim in Stockholm.
Geisha Reuben Todd at Kapala tattoo in Winnipeg
American traditional black and red work by Reuben Todd at Kapala Tattoo in Winnipeg.

As a tattoo a geisha will generally be done in Japanese traditional style, neo Japanese, American traditional, neo traditional, black and grey, or realism.

geisha Shon Lindauer in Hollywood
American traditional work by Shon Lindauer in Hollywood.
geisha Thomas Pineiro at Black Garden Tattoo in the UK
Fantastic Japanese piece by Thomas Pineiro at Black Garden Tattoo in the UK.
geisha Tony Nilsson in Norway
Bold American traditional piece by Tony Nilsson in Norway.
geisha Victor Octaviano
Modern watercolor piece by Victor Octaviano in Brazil.
Geisha William Roos in Stockholm
tiny blackwork geisha and hannya by William Roos in Stockholm.
Geisha Zak Partak in Toronto
Geisha head and fan by Zak Partak in Toronto.

Geisha’s are an important part of Japanese history and make a fantastic design!

Artist of the Month: Nissaco

Nissaco is a tattoo artist based in Shinsaibashi Osaka at an unnamed private studio that goes by the name room_23_26 on Instagram.

Nissaco 1
Smaller scale pieces. Healed waves and fresh geometrical shell design.

Nissaco does mainly large scale pieces such as full sleeves, back pieces, and even body suits. His style is black geometrical work and it is extremely detailed.

Nissaco 2
Big and painful back of the leg going right over the knee ditch with some popping red in the mandala and linework designs.
Nissaco 3
Full back piece right over the butt and legs leading into a great sleeve on the left arm. Some great use of negative space in the back.
Nissaco 4
Fantastic sleeve with bird skull and eye mixed with geometrical designs.

His work is hard sought after with visitors going to see him from all around the world. Along with having clients from around the world, he also travels, going to various tattoo conventions. Most recent he will be at the 13th London Tattoo convention in September 2017.

Nissaco 5
Filler neck/throat piece that fits great with the adjacent neck pieces.
Nissaco 7
Matching geometric sleeves.
Nissaco 8
Full back and legs with a lot of heavy blackwork for filler.
Nissaco 9
Full front is a tender area going right onto the nipples, with brilliant line work and heavy blacks.
Nissaco 12
Brilliant full torso, sleeve, and two leg sleeves with geometric designs and a hidden face.
Nissaco 13
Half body suit full of heavy blacks in large scale geometrics.
Nissaco 15
Fantastic intricate healed geometric design.

Along with being geometrical in design, Nissaco’s work also often features classic Japanese elements such as dragons, waves, flowers, snakes, koi fish, and hannya masks. These pieces are almost entirely black, but occasionally feature a small amount of red to make them really pop.

Nissaco 6
Full front, sleeve, and half leg sleeve. Featuring a brilliant Japanese dragon, and flowers such as chrysanthemums and cherry blossoms.
Nissaco 10
Great geometric koi fish with some colour thrown in.
Nissaco 11
Heavy blacks and lots of negative space with this angry hannya.
Nissaco 14
Another hannya coming off of a sleeve and onto the back.

Nissaco is a must see artist in Osaka, Japan, but book well in advance as his books fill up fast!

Rick and Morty Tattoos:

Rick and Morty is a popular animated adult sitcom created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon for Adult Swim. The show follows the Sanchez/Smith family, with a focus on the drunken mad scientist, Rick, and his grandson Morty, who go on crazy adventures throughout the universe, as Rick has technology that allows interdimensional travel. The pair meet hostile monsters, aliens, and see fantastic worlds, always getting themselves into horrible situations.

RM Amy Tenenbaum Carausel Custom Tattoos Newbury, UK
Tiny Rick by Amy Tenenbaum at Carousel Custom Tattoo s, Newbury UK.
RM John Anderton at Nemesis Tattoo in the UK.
Great realistic Rick and Morty by John Anderton at Nemesis Tattoo in the UK.
RM Katie Nowicki in MA
A defeated Mr. Meeseeks telling it how it is by Katie Nowicki in MA.

The show has hilarious and memorable characters such as Rick, Morty, Beth, Jerry, Summer, Bird Person, the Meeseeks, Morty Junior, Evil Rick/Evil Morty, Squanchy, Tammy, Abradolf Lincler, Mr. Poopybutthole, Tiny Rick, and many more!

RM Lu Skywalker at Ink Fusion Empire
Wicked butt tattoo of Rick and Morty by Lu Skywalker at Ink Fusion Empire.
RM Matt Daniels 1
Split Rick and Morty with one of Rick’s inventions by Matt Daniels at Sticky Pop Tattoo in the UK.
RM Matt Daniels UK
Whole bunch of Rick and Morty also by Matt Daniels.
RM Matt Daniels
Tiny Rick also by Matt Daniels.

The show is on its third season after years on hold, making its fans wait a long time for more shenanigans.

RM Mewo Llama in Montreal
Rick and Morty giving a friendly greeting by Mewo Llama in Montreal.
RM Paul Crowther Cardiff
Fart spouting wisdom by Paul Crowther in Cardiff.
RM Raine Knight Second City Tattoo Club Birmingham UK
Cromulon by Raine Knight at Second City Tattoo Club in Birmingham, UK.

Who is your favorite Rick and Morty character?

Goddess Kali Tattoos:

Kali is a Hindu goddess often misconstrued as a goddess of death. While she does bring about the death of the ego and demons, she does not kill humans. She is the counterpart of the more violent deity Shiva the destroyer, both of whom are the destroyers of unreality. Kali is depicted as a woman with a garland of skulls or heads, and dismembered arms, because the ego arises out of identification with the body. She also is usually seen with black or dark blue skin, which symbolizes the womb of which all creation arises and into which all creation will eventually dissolve into. So she is often mistaken as a fearsome deity, she is actually a motherly figure.

As a tattoo Kali is often done in American traditional style, neo-traditional, black and grey, or realism.

kali-aaron-riddle
Neo-traditional Kali by Aaron Riddle at Black Lotus Tattooers in Phoenix, Arizona.
kali-andrew-strychnine
American traditional, less angry Kali by Andrew Strychnine at Redrum Tattoo Collective in Moscow.
kali-dan-molloy
Unfinished black and grey Kali back piece by Dan Molloy in Perth, Australia.
kali-joe-ellis
Mostly black Kali by Joe Ellis at Sacred Electric Custom Tattooing in Leeds, UK.
kali-natalya-litvinenko
Full colourful Kali back piece by Natalia Litvinenko.
kali-philip-yarnell
Dark American traditional Kali head by Philip Yarnell at Skynyard Tattoos, UK.
kali-steven-huie
Full bodied version of Kali by Steven Huie at Flyrite Tattoo.
kali-tom-caine
Another unfinished Kali back piece by Tom Caine at Holy mountain Tattoo, UK.
kali-andrew-fyfe-at-main-street-tattoo-collectivve
Full rib panel Kali head by Andrew Fyfe at Main Street Tattoo Collective in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
kali-lucy-at-into-you-tattoo-piercing
A much more motherly version of Kali by Lucy Pryor at Into You Tattoo & Piercing in London, UK.

Artist of the Month: Dust “Horitsuki” Wu

Horitsuki is a tattoo artist and owner of Galaxy Tattoo 3 in Hong Kong. He studied under Nicckuhori, the god son of the brilliant Horiyoshi III, in Singapore before finding his own style within Japanese traditional art, despite working in China.

He has gained recognition throughout Asia and Europe, travelling as a guest artist. He does all the classic Japanese designs such as hanya masks, snakes, koi fish, fu dogs, and flowers. However it is dragons that he is most famous for. He is nicknamed the Dragon King in Europe.

horitsuki-2
Fu dog hand piece.
horitsuki-3
Brilliant Hanya with a bold placement.
horitsuki-4
Colourful chrysanthemum.
horitsuki-6
Ghost lantern.
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Koi and cherry blossom sleeve.
horitsuki-9
Koi and cat piece.
horitsuki-5
Matching foot namakubi.
horitsuki-8
Beautiful, bloody namakubi.
horitsuki-7
Bold red Oni.
horitsuki-10
Traditional smoking frog.
horitsuki-11
Beautifully detailed Japanese tiger.
horitsuki-13
Angry dragon head.
horitsuki-14
Dragon head and claw.
horitsuki-15
Dragon chest piece coming off of a sleeve.
16
Gorgeous dragon back piece with flowers.

Horitsuki is the guy to see if you’re in Hong Kong.

Artist of the Month: Tomas Tomas

Tomas-Tomas-P-Mod
Shot by P-MOD Photographies

Tomas Tomas is a blackwork,  neo tribal, dotwork, and geometric tattoo artist, tattooing out of the shop, Into You, which is in London England.

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Great optical illusion.

Tomas Tomas tattoos large, sometimes spiritual pieces, which often also act as optical illusions. He focuses on the spiritual aspect as well as ornamental with regards to tattooing. His pieces can take a long time to complete, sometimes even adding up to full bodysuits.

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Full bodysuit, the dedication of both artist, and client is astounding. 

When asked by the website, needlesandsins, Tomas Tomas had this to say about tribal tattoos.”Further exploration of this practice revealed that, often, tattoos in tribal societies were poetic visual representations of the environments and cultures in which people lived at the time. It was also a celebration of the mysteries of life. I then realized, rather unconsciously, these same desires and values still fuel many to get tattooed today worldwide.” As we can see, he is passionate about this style, and his dedication comes through in the beautifully delicate, and intricate art.

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Bold neckpiece.
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Another body piece, this one using more or less the same style and designs.
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Spiral, detailed piece. Neat to see the connection between back and sleeve.
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Delicate lower stomach piece.
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Huge detailed skull and intricate geometric sleeves.
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Note the matching elbow and neck.
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This piece looks almost like armour, and is very pleasing to the eye, especially from a bit of a distance.
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Tomas Tomas also works well with other people’s work. It’s not intrusive and pairs well with other styles.
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Two full leg sleeves are a rare sight, and these are amazing.
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Chest, stomach, and two half sleeves.
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Huge bold lines on the neck make it really stand out. The chest and stomach features an extremely interesting optical illusion.

Whatever the design, Tomas Tomas has a great eye for tattooing. He is a must visit artist in London, and anyone for a passion for tribal should put him on their list of artists to be tattooed by.