Beetlejuice Tattoos:

Tim Burton’s 1988 film, Beetlejuice, is as fun today as it was over 30 years ago. Featuring a great cast with Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, and the ghost with the most, Michael Keaton, Beetlejuice is a great spooky comedy for those who love the Halloween aesthetic, but not horror.

Beetlegeuse done by Paul Acker at Seance Tattoo parlour
Barbara and Adam done by Sarah Keeley in Toronto

Along with being a hit cult movie, an animated show following Lydia and Beetlegeuse’s relationship was created, and ran for four seasons.

A black work piece featuring Barbara and Adam, the sandworm, and the house, done by Angelo Parente at Black Casket Tattoo
The Handbook For The Recently Deceased, done by fakelegfoxtattoo

Beetlejuice was made on quite a moderate budget, but made $73 million at the box office, was the 10th highest grossing film of 1988, and even won an Oscar for best makeup.

Sandworm done by Brittany at Permanence Tattoo Gallery
Barbara and Adam portrait done by Jessica Channer at Take Care Tattoo

The number “three” was very important in the film. To summon Beetlegeuse you must say his name three times, the Maitland’s say the word “home” three times to escape Beetlegeuse, they knock on the door three times to get into the afterlife, and when the family moves into the house, Delia wonders why there are only three sculptures.

Cute “no feet” ghost piece done by Priscila Wolff at Studio 22
“Never Trust The Living” and house done by dollytattoos in Brighton

As tattoos, fans continue to get Beetlegeuse portraits (both from the movie and cartoon), as well as tattoos of Barbara and Adam in their monster form, the sandworm, ghosts, the creepy house, and the Handbook for the Recently Deceased. The most popular styles appear to be old school, Neo-traditional, and black work, though realism and minimalism are also seen quite a bit.

Cartoon Beetlegeuse done by Sara Taylor at Arsenal Ink
The house and sandworm done by Suzie Woodward

Who is your favourite Beetlejuice character?

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Ghost Tattoos:

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story this time of year?

Black and grey/pointillism piece done by Angelo Parente at Black Casket Tattoo.

People have always had a fascination with death and dying, and with that fascination comes story telling. Some of my favourite books are ghost stories (or related). Here’s a short list of some of my favourites, and some great tattoos to go with them!

Heavy on the black, spooky sheet ghost done by Shannon McFarlene at Iron Lotus Tattoo in Winnipeg, Canada.

Hell House, by Richard Matheson.

American traditional ghosts around a fire done by Grace LaMorte at Spring Street Tattoo in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson.

Cute American traditional Casper tattoo done by Jackpot the needles in Seoul, South Korea.

The Taxidermists Daughter, by Kate Mosse.

A traditional Japanese ghost done by Rob Mopar at Sacred Monkey Tattoo.

The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill.

Super cute fall tattoo including a spooky lil ghost, done by Kassidy Autumn at Cincinnati Tattoo Studio.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, by Alvin Schwartz.

Terrifying sheet ghost done by Ryan Murray at Black Veil Tattoo in Salem, MA.

The Amityville Horror, by Jay Anson.

Halloween themed snow globe done in American traditional style, by Mandee Jane Robinson.

As a tattoo, many people prefer blackwork or black and grey, to maximize the dark feelings that generally come with ghosts. American traditional and realism can also be popular choices for a spooky ghost. Of course not all ghosts are scary, and American traditional ghosts tend not to be. Many American trad ghosts are based on casper the friendly ghost.

Sexy ghost costume done by Samantha Croston at Reign Supreme Tattoo Studio.

Do you prefer scary or fun ghosts?

Wicked pointillism Halloween themed piece done by Tulio Tattoo.

Candle Tattoos:

Candles are often seen as a representation of religion or spirituality. They can also be paired with light and dark for contrast.

Jak Connolly Based in Bournemouth and Manchester
Brilliant hyper realistic candles coming out of fingers, with skull and woman portraits. Done by Jak Connolly Based in Bournemouth and Manchester.
Arlo DiCristina
Realistic black and grey candle coming out of the hand. Done by Arlo DiCristina.
Jason Call in Dallas, Texas
Large dotwork sternum candle lantern with roses and a moth. Done by Jason Call in Dallas, Texas.
Matt Adamson
Badass candlestick with moths and skull. Done by Matt Adamson at King’s Avenue in New York.
Teresa Sharpe
Spooky ghost and candle done by Teresa Sharpe at Unkindness Art in Richmond VA.

Candles can also represent honor, faith, love, wisdom, energy, and life.

Akos
Dripping black candle with spooky witch hand. Done by Akos at Adorned Empire.
Fraser Peek from Chatham, England
Death moth, rose, and lantern with candle. Done by Fraser Peek from Chatham, England.
John Mendoza
Neo traditional skull and candle with lots of gold. Done by John Mendoza in Mexico.
Pari Corbitt
Black candle dripping over a small skull. Done by Pari Corbitt.
Tine Deflore
Linework candle done by Tine Defiore at Black Oak Tattoo.

Candles are often accompanied by flowers, skulls, moths, and books.

Cedric Weber
American traditional candlestick with butterfly. Done by Cedric Weber.
Gara
Terrifying skull and candle done by Gara in South Korea.
Kaitlin Greenwood
Beautiful candle with pink roses done by Kaitlin Greenwood in Perth.
Ryan Mullins
Hyper realistic candle, book, and skull. Done by Ryan Mullins who works out of New York and New Jersey.
Ulysses Blair
Bright neck piece with roses and a lantern done by Ulysses Blair.

Candles dripping with wax can also be in remembrance of a deceased person.

Devx Ruiz
American traditional candlestick with dotwork crescent moon. Done by Devx Ruiz.
Hannah Flowers
Neo traditional female portrait with dripping candles. Done by Hannah Flowers.
Kevin O'Connell
Candle with lots of red. Done by Kevin O’Connell at With Love Tattoo in Brisbane, Australia.
Scott Move
Blackwork candle with lots of light! By Scott Move at Parliament Tattoo. London UK.
Xabier Barreiro at Black Poison Tattoo, Ourense, Spain.
Candle, skull, and book done by Xabier Barreiro at Black Poison Tattoo, Ourense, Spain.

When done as a tattoo, they are most often done as realism, neo traditional, or American traditional. Black and grey is also a popular option.

Emmanuel Mendoza
Another spooky witch hand with some bright neo traditional colours. Done by Emmanuel Mendoza.
Helena Darling HFX Tattoo in Halifax Nova Scotia
Bright purple candles done by Helena Darling at HFX Tattoo in Halifax Nova Scotia.
Kyle Cotterman
Realistic portrait mixing black and grey with colour, and geometric pieces. Done by Kyle Cotterman.
Sergey Vaskevich
Badass neck piece done by Sergey Vaskevich.

Which is your favorite?

Artist of the month: Gakkin

Gakkin is a (mainly) blackwork and freehand artist working out of Amsterdam after first working in Kyoto.

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Blackwork raven across the back of the neck.
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Large octopus sleeve and chest piece.
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Bodysuit featuring birds, flowers, wind, and clouds.
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Huge snake torso piece.

His pieces are all large scale. Full sleeves, large torso pieces, back pieces, and bodysuits.

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Gruesome namakubi (severed head), with hair that flows into an almost cloudlike state.
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Massive crane back piece with clouds, waves, and koi.
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Negative space stomach hannya as part of a full bodysuit of mainly solid black.
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Red flowers on heavy black leg sleeve, with white spider web.

He collaborates often now with another Japanese blackwork artist, Nissaco. The two work well together, and their pieces flow seamlessly into each other.

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Bright flowers within a dark backdrop.
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Chrysanthemum with Japanese noh mask.
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Back of a bodysuit featuring negative space geometric designs.
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Beautiful blackwork moon and cloud back piece.

His work is largely inspired by nature. Everything from wind, water, flowers, mountains, the sun, and the moon, and animals.

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Large brushstroke style.
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Geometric, blackwork sleeve.
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Large chrysanthemum as part of a sleeve.

Gakkin also takes direct inspiration from ancient Japanese painters, adding his own interpretations.

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Waves and wind in these nature sleeves.
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Part of a bodysuit featuring wind and waves.
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Bright red flowers on heavy black.

Though he mainly works with black, he does also add splashes of red to draw the eye. In an interview with Tattoo Life, he said about working with black “I believe that black is the most important color in tattooing. Every ancient tattooing culture – Maori, Japanese, and Polynesian – considers it as such. It just works better than any other color on the skin.” (www.tattoolife.com)

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kuchisake-onna ghost, from stories dating back to the Edo period.
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Tsuchigumo, the Japanese spider demon.
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Collaboration piece done with Nissaco at the London tattoo convention 2017.

Which piece is your favourite?

Winnipeg Artist 8: Jan Veldman

Jan Veldman works at Gypsy Cat Tattoos in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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Matching Russian nesting dolls with totem designs.
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Blackwork death’s head moth.
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Big ole’ werewolf and red moon.
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Badass cobra with witchy hands.
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We all float down here… Pennywise and balloon.
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A Salvador Dali inspired piece.
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Traditional ship with flowers.
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He’s late! Black and grey white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.
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Terrifying snake lady with barbed wire.

Jan’s style can be characterized as neo traditional and new school, with a hint of American traditional thrown into the mix. He tattoos everything from classic roses to characters from shows and movies.

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Ghost sheet tattoo with some classic flowers.
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Devilish baphomet in black and grey.
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American traditional style Jesus Christ and cross.
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Hobo cat doing his thing!
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Japanese good fortune Maneki Neko cat.
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A drunk Speedy Gonzales.
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Road Runner and Wile E Coyote.
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Creepy new school spider with eyeball.

Most of Jan’s work is bright and bold, but he doesn’t shy away from some brilliant black and grey work either!

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Neo trad woman and wolf head.
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Classic and deadly scorpion with red background.
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A ghostly Bart Simpson with some script and trad flowers.
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Cute little cactus with budding flowers.
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Bender!
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Bright red chameleon.
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Adorable Michelangelo with his favourite food.
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Super cute new school cupcake.

Bring in your own design or pick one of his. Whatever you choose, Jan is a must see artist in Winnipeg!

Spirited Away Tattoos:

Spirited Away is Hayao Miyazaki’s most popular film to date. It is an Academy Award winner, and Japan’s highest grossing film of all time. It came out in 2001 and is still one of the most popular Japanese films out there.

brando Chiesa
Bright neon, neo traditional take on Haku and Chihiro with a smiling No Face underneath. Done by Brando Chiesa in Florence, Italy.
Hugo in south korea
Dotwork No face with soot sprites and bath house done by Hugo on Seoul South Korea.
Russel Van Schaick in Orlando FL
Yubaba and heads done by Russell Van Schaick in Orlando Florida.

The film was created without a script. The artwork came first, and it was drawn, directed, and written by Miyazaki himself.

carly kroll
Cute little soot sprites and cherry blossom branch done by Carly Kroll at Seven Tails Tattoo in Melbourne Australia.
jessica channer
Three tiny soot sprites done by Jessica Channer at Tattoo People in Toronto Canada.
littlemissjesstattoos
Watercolor Haku by Jess Hannigan at Paper Moon Tattoo Collective.
scott_m_harrison
No face with leaves done by Scott M Harrison in Melbourne Australia.

The lead character, Chihiro, was actually based on one of Miyazaki’s friends’ daughters. She was supposed to be a relatable character and as average as possible. This was to show that ordinary people, particularly young women, could be heroes too.

Kozik_tattooer
Black and grey portrait of Chihiro with some kanji, done by Kozik in Melbourne.
joice wang
Haku and Chihiro in a geometric background done by Joice Wang at Grit N Glory in New York City.
Lunie Chan
Cute No face with cherry blossoms by Lunie Chan at Coup de Foudre.
violette bluenoir
Dotwork geometric No face done by Violette Chabanon at Bleu Noir in paris France.

A common occurrence in Miyazaki films are the quiet scenes of inaction. These are often some of the most beautiful scenes in his films. In Spirited Away, these scenes include driving, various nature scenes, and characters staring off into the distance.

Chris Stockings at Legacy Tattoo
Another vibrant Haku with cherry blossoms done by Chris Stockings at Legacy Tattoo.
josh legend
No face offering his gold done by Josh Legend who is a traveling tattooer.
marc Durrant
Sketchwork watercolor Haku done by Marc Durrant at Hidden Los Angeles Tattoo.

Spirited Away has many memorable characters that make for fantastic tattoos. Some of the most popular characters for tattoos are no face, Chihiro, Haku, Yubaba, and the cute little soot sprites!

david legoon
Another soot sprite hard at work, done by David Le Goon in Melbourne Australia.
Josh Crotty in Duluth MN
Start to a sleeve featuring Chihiro, Haku, and the bath house. Done by Josh Crotty in Duluth MN.
Josie sexton
Whimsical Watercolor Haku done by Josie Sexton.
Matteo Nangeroni
No face with the bath house and sky inside of him, done by Matteo Nangeroni.

These tattoos are often done in blackwork, neo traditional, dotwork, and watercolor.

hori Benny
No face in full rage done by Hori Benny in Osaka Japan.
Jules Gordon
Dotwork No face and soot sprites done by Jules Gordon at Frontier Tattoo Parlour in Cardiff Wales.
simon zook
New school Haku head done by Simon Zook in Santiago Chile.
Simon K Bell
Bright geometric No face done by Simon K Bell at Design 4 life in liverpool England.

Who is your favourite Spirited Away character?

Artist of the Month: Sergey Vaskevich

Sergey Vaskevich is a tattoo artist from Minsk, working out of Good Sign Tattoo. His work is dark traditional and neo-traditional. His work is dark both in colour, and in imagery. Often featuring devils, demons, ghosts,and occult designs, along with the occasional fetish piece.

sergey 1
Horrifying bat head.

He has a fantastic imagination, combining often mundane designs with a fantastic mix of death and horror.

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Devil head and mountain range.
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Vampiric looking ladyhead with her own great snake tattoo.
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Knee mandala
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Wicked throat piece of a fiery candle.
sergey 6
Beautiful harp.
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NSFW fetish/torture piece.
sergey 8
Spooky occult piece featuring a demon hand making shadows.
sergey 9
Classic wolf head.
sergey 10
Fiery bold torch.
sergey 11
Well and ghost.
sergey 12
Classic bear head.
sergey 13
Banging elbow spider.
sergey 14
Fantastic demon head eating a naked woman.
sergey 15
Severed ladyhead with moon and crow.

Which piece is your favorite?

Winnipeg Artists 2: Reuben Todd

Reuben is a tattoo artist working out of Kapala Tattoo in Winnipeg. His main styles are American traditional and Japanese. Along with tattooing, Reuben also paints; mainly Japanese inspired images.

Reuben has years of experience under his belt and is a pleasure to be tattooed by. Even while tattooing my stomach which is quite a tender area, he was able to take my mind off the pain with conversation.

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My own blackwork American traditional stomach piece.
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Blackwork American traditional clasped hands and dagger with flowers.
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Peter Pan inspired piece with pan flute and script.
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Blue traditional rose.
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Matching knee ditch Halloween pieces. A witch and Casper the friendly ghost.

Reuben has been doing larger pieces recently including half and full sleeves. His American traditional pieces are reminiscent of the old days, but have a twist of newer style, particularly while tattooing lady heads.

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Ladyhead with apple and different coloured eyes based on his clients photo.
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Large healed ladyhead with new traditional wolf below.

His Japanese work is bold, often featuring waves or flowers, which really make the main center piece of the tattoo pop. His Japanese work is generally done large in a arm or leg sleeve.

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Japanese dragon 3/4 sleeve with fire.
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Full Japanese leg sleeve with koi, waves, and leaves.
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Japanese snake sleeve with waves.

Reuben is a must see artist for your traditional or Japanese tattoo needs.