Duncan X is a old school artist whose inspiration comes from early photographs of old school tattoos. These photographs are of course all in black and white, so the tattoos appear black even if they were colourful. This led to Duncan tattooing in only black.
He is one of the most popular artists in London, and he works out of Old Habits Tattoo shop.
Duncan was born and raised in London in the 60’s and was introduced to tattoos through the punk scene. Artist Dennis Cockell taught him tattooing and helped him shape his unique style.
While Duncan uses mainly old school motifs for his source of inspiration, his style resembles medieval wood carvings and is distinctly working class.
To learn more about Duncan and see his own tattoos watch David Penn’s short film here.
übler Friedrich is a Neo-traditional tattoo artist who works in Berlin, Giessen, and Vienna.
He works mainly in colour, but also does brilliant blackwork and fantastic black and grey pieces.
His pieces are both realistic and traditional, making a perfect blend of the two.
Übler is not shy about tattooing faces or heads, and gives people brilliant and visible pieces for the world to admire. He also does both small and large pieces, so don’t be shy about getting something big!
Currently (January 2019) his books are closed, but you can check out his Instagram @friedrichubler and send him an email when his books are open again!
Bram Stoker based his fictional character, Dracula, on the real person with a taste for blood, Vlad the Impaler. Vlad III, the Prince of Wallachia, was born in 1431 in what is now Transylvania.
Now to his gruesome nickname. Vlad invited hundreds of people to a banquet, people who were questioning his leadership, and had them stabbed, then impaled on spikes. According to legend he then continued to eat while watching his guests twitch as they slowly and painfully died on large spikes.
Vlad is also credited with impaling dozens of Saxons in 1456, as well as a group of Ottoman men. The latter refused to remove their turbans for Vlad, and Vlad commended them on their belief, saying they would never be apart from their turbans again, reportedly nailing their turbans to their skulls.
Though there is much uncertainty surrounding Vlad, it is confirmed that he did die, unlike the numerous Dracula stories. Vlad was killed during a raid, but there is much debate as to where his tomb is.
Many lovers of horror choose to get tattoos of Vlad, the “original” Dracula. Most tattoos are portraits, often blackwork or American/neo traditional.
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.”
Many people feel so strongly towards the school that they choose to have it tattooed on them permanently.
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.
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!
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.
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 .
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.
The first Triwizard Tournament was held 300 years after the school was founded.
Muggles cannot see Hogwarts. Electronics also do not work on the school grounds, so no WIFI!
Peeves who is unfortunately not featured in the films, first came to Hogwarts in 993 AD and is an indestructible spirit of chaos!
As a tattoo Hogwarts is often done in a realistic style, often as black work or neo traditional.
Don Ritson is the owner of Rebel Waltz in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Don works in mainly in American traditional style, as well as Japanese and some black work. When doing American traditional style, his pieces are heavy on black and red.
Don has done two of my own tattoos, both of my forearms which are a gramophone and a design based off of the rose of no mans land. Don is a very friendly guy who makes getting tattooed a genuinely pleasant experience.
You’ll find Don taking walk ins on Saturdays, though starting earlier this month (April 2018) the shop will rotate the main artist doing walk ins. You can find Don’s contact info on the Rebel Waltz website.
Don is a must see artist if you are in Winnipeg. He also does guest spots in Canada so watch his Instagram for that as well.
James Mckenna is an artist at Foothills Tattoo Byford – Western Australia. James is a painter as well as a tattoo artist, with a focus on surreal and horror themed pieces, mixing American traditional and neo traditional styles.
The majority of James’ work features skulls, often hidden within designs. Other work includes lady heads, animals, and demons.
James is a must see artist if you’re travelling through Western Australia.
The Deathly Hallows are three magical objects from the Harry Potter series that together make up a triangular design that when worn shows you are a believer. The three objects are the Elder Wand, a wand made to be unbeatable, The Resurrection Stone, which brings back the dead, and the Cloak of Invisibility which as it says, renders the user completely invisible. The cloak forms a triangle, the stone is a circle within the triangle, and the wand is a straight line within the triangle and circle.
The story of the Deathly Hallows is first told in the seventh book. In the story, Death created each of these three items, and gave them to the three Peverell brothers who had outsmarted Death by crossing a river that usually claimed lives. These items were their rewards for outsmarting him. The two eldest brothers had requested the wand and the stonem but both met grisly deaths due to the nature of their magical items. The wand caused Antioch Peverell to gloat, leading him to be killed in his sleep and have the wand stolen, while the stone caused Cadmus Peverell to take his own life after bringing his late wife back from the dead, as she was unable to be happy in the land of the living again. The youngest brother Ignotus Peverell requested Death’s own cloak, and used it to avoid him until he was ready for Death. Ignotus passed the cloak on to his son and from there greeted Death “like an old friend”. This cloak is the very same on that Harry had passed down to him.
Lovers of the Harry Potter series, whether the books or films, have often gotten the Deathly Hallows as a tattoo to show their love of magic. The Deathly Hallows symbol is often paired with quotes or other images such as flowers, Hogwarts, magical creatures, spells, potions, and people’s patronuses.
Ryan and Matthew Murray are identical twin tattooers who do brilliant dark, blackwork tattoos in Salem Massachusetts working out of Black Veil Studio. Being in Salem the two are drawn to the darker side of life.
The two men do fantastic, realistic horror and death related artwork. Their pieces are brilliantly realistic and detailed.
Be sure to see them if you’re going through Salem!