Medusa Tattoos:

According to Greek mythology, Medusa was born a beautiful woman, one of three sisters known as the Gorgons. When she was still human she was a priestess to the goddess Athena. Being a priestess she was sworn to celibacy.

Aaron Breeze
Dark American trad Medusa head done by Aaron Breeze at Life & Death Tattoos Shrewsbury, England.
Gara Happy Lighthouse Seoul Korea
Heavy blackwork Medusa head as a statue done by Gara at Happy Lighthouse Tattoo in Seoul, South Korea.
Lynn Akura Illustrator, tattooing since 1999. Tiger Bones, Brighton UK
Black and red traditional Medusa head done by Lynn Akura at Tiger Bones, Brighton UK.
Zhuo Dan TING Owner-Tattoo artist at Shanghai Tattoo
Full hyper realistic black and grey backpiece done by Zhuo Dan Ting at Shanghai Tattoo in Shanghai, China.

So how did a beautiful maiden turn into the monster we’re all familiar with? Medusa was really a victim, and turning into a monster was not at all her fault, but the god of the sea, Poseidons. Poseidon met Medusa and was immediately infatuated. He tried over and over again to seduce Medusa, who refused each time. Finally Medusa sought refuge in Athena’s temple to get away from Poseidon. Poseidon didn’t care and went after her, following her into the temple of Athena, where he forced himself on her against her will.

Abel Sanchez
Neo trad Medusa head and rose done by Abel Sanchez at Red Dagger Tattoo in Texas.
Dave Lao Winnipeg,Manitoba,Canada Lone Wolf Studios
Realistic black and grey Medusa done by Dave Lao at Lone Wolf Studios in Winnipeg, Canada.
Kike Esteras
Black and yellow Medusa piece by Kike Esteras at Black Ship in Barcelona.
Shio Zaragoza
Neo trad Medusa head done by Shio Zaragoza at Blessed Tattoo in Spain.

To punish Medusa for having relations inside her temple, Athena turned Medusa into a monster. A woman with snakes for hair that could turn any who looked upon her directly into stone. Seeing herself as a hideous monster, Medusa fled, shunned by all, wandering alone. In her despair her character turned into the monster of her outward appearance.

Alexander Grim
Blackwork decapitated Medusa head done by Alexander Grim.
helena darling halifax Nova Scotia
More elegant looking Medusa by Helena Darling in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Matias Noble in Valencia, Spain
Hyper realistic Medusa piece done by Matias Noble in Valencia, Spain.
Teresa Sharpe
Neo trad Medusa head and Perseus’ sword done by Teresa Sharpe at Unkindness Art in Richmond VA.

Many warriors tried unsuccessfully to slay Medusa, but all were turned to stone, and her reputation grew with each kill. Until Perseus was sent to collect her head and bring it to the king Polydectes. Perseus was given quite a bit of help to complete this task, which the other warriors did not have. He was given a sword smithed by the god Hephaestus, Hades’ helmet of invisibility, winged sandals from Hermes, and a mirrored shield from Athena.

Anderson Luna
Realistic black and grey Medusa on the back of the head done by Anderson Luna in New York.
Jake Danielson from Melbourne, Australia
Large neo trad thigh piece done by Jake Danielson from Melbourne, Australia.
Nik The Rookie
Very bright neo trad Medusa head done by Nik The Rookie.

Perseus was able to slay Medusa by looking at her reflection in the mirrored shield so he could see her coming and not be turned to stone. He decapitated her, and in doing so freed her from Athena’s curse.

Daniel Teixeira
Linework Medusa head done by Daniel Teixeira.
Karlos Lloyd
Dark neo trad piece done by Karlos Lloyd in Australia.
Oash Rodriguez
Heavy black and good use of negative space in this piece by Oash Rodriguez.

As a tattoo Medusa is often done in black and grey, neo traditional, realism, blackwork, and American traditional. She is most often tattooed as just her head, either visibly decapitated or portrait style.

Heath Clifford
Lots of red in this neo trad piece by Heath Clifford at Throne Room Tattoo in New Zealand.
Kati Berlinkey
Black and yellow neo trad piece done by Katie Berlinkey.
Rodrigo Kalaka
Lots of green in this neo trad piece by Rodrigo Kalaka in Barcelona.

Who is your favourite mythological Greek character?

Raven Tattoos

Ravens make for a bold tattoo. They are often linked to death and mystic symbolism in more ancient literature and folklore.

Alessandro Micci
Raven and Japanese hannya mask done by Alessandro Micci.
Cedric Weber
Neo traditional raven and hand by Cedric Weber.
Hans Heggum
stomach raven done by Hans Heggum.
Pari Corbitt
Dark chest raven done by Pari Corbitt.
Debora Cherrys.png
Edgar Allan Poe and raven done by Debora Cherrys.

Many cultures believed that the raven had magical qualities including knowing the answers to powerful secrets.

Akos
Neo traditional raven paired with a tiger and a skull. Done by Akos at Adorned Empire.
Bryan Nirvana Tattoo Studio in Glasgow, Scotland
Treehouse of horror Bart Simpson raven done by Bryan at Nirvana Tattoo Studio in Glasgow, Scotland.
Heath Clifford
Two headed raven done by Heath Clifford.
Mitchell Allenden
Raven in a noose done by Mitchell Allenden.

Ravens can also be associated with wisdom and intelligence as they are extremely smart birds, capable of even mimicking human voices.

Andre Cast
Head raven done by Andre Cast.
David Le Goon
Raven paired with bright flowers done by David Le Goon.
Jason James Smith
Raven with geometric border done by Jason James Smith.
Oshin Timoshin
More delicate dotwork raven and flowers done by Oshin Timoshin.

Ravens can be a symbol of protection, pagan magic, the future, secrets, an omen of death, light/shadow, war, intelligence, and pain.

Andrew Borisuk
Huge torso raven done by Andrew Borisuk.
Dino Nemec
Black and white ravens done by Dino Nemec.
Laura Yahna
Heavy blackwork and pagan raven done by Laura Yahna.
Robert Borbas
Bold mastectomy coverup raven done by Robert Borbas.

Mythologies and religions associated with the raven include Norse, Greek, Roman, Native American, Celtic, Muslim, Christian, and Pagan.

Canijo Marciano
Heavy blackwork and stylized raven done by Canijo Marciano.
Dmitriy Tkach
Sketchwork raven done by Dmitriy Tkach.
Mariñe Perez.
Native American styled raven done by Mariñe Perez.
Scott Move
Raven head done by Scott Move.

As a tattoo, ravens are often done as blackwork pieces, neo traditional, or realistically. They can also be designed with a third eye.

Bruno Santos
Two headed raven done by Bruno Santos.
Drew Shallis
Raven and peaches paired with a red sun done by Drew Shallis.
Mark Halbstark
Horror raven done by Mark Halbstark.
Susanne Konig
Raven with moonlit design within done by Susanne Konig.

Which is your favourite?

The Lord of the Rings Tattoos:

The Lord of the Rings, written by J.R.R Tolkien is one of (if not the) most iconic fantasy stories ever written. The story was written as a sequel to another novel of his, The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings was written in stages between 1937 and 1949.

Jesse Rix
Magnificent realistic back piece featuring Gandalf, Gollum, the ring, and the eye of Sauron. Done by Jesse Rix in Keene, NH.
Ben Kaye Tattooer & part owner of Ship Shape tattoo, New Zealand
Hyper realistic portrait of Gimli done by Ben Kaye at Ship Shape Tattoo in New Zealand.
Heath Clifford
Solid neo traditional hobbit hole done by Heath Clifford at Fat Ink Tattoo.
Kristian Kimonides Tattooist | Leviathan Tattoo Gallery | Melbourne | Australia
Elrond portrait done by Kristian Kimonides at Leviathan Tattoo Gallery in Melbourne, Australia.
Onnie O'Leary
American traditional Witch King done by Onnie O’Leary.

Tolkien fought in WW1, and this was extremely influential in his shaping of Middle Earth. As an example, WW1 was fought not by heroes, but by civilians. This reflects the hobbits who are quite literally the “little people”, who then step up to fight a war that they had not asked to be a part of.

Fong Vang Tattoo Artist @Inkarnate Tattoos 2211 11th ave E, #120, north Saint Paul, Mn
Black and grey portrait of Aragorn, featuring Gimli and Legolas. Done by Fong Vang at Inkarnate Tattoos in North Saint Paul, Mn.
Carles Bonafe
Terrifying portrait of Gollum and his precious. Done by Carles Bonafe.
Iliya Astafiev Tattoo Artist. N.Chelny city, Russia
Terrifying and realistic portrait of a nazgul. Done by Iliya Astafiev Chelny city, Russia.
Lauren Gibler Tattooer & Permanent makeup artist at Inkeeper_s in canton OH
Broken shards of Narsil. Done by Lauren Gibler done in Canton OH.
Róbert A Borbás
Graphic black and grey sleeve featuring Gandalf fighting the balrog on the bridge of Kazan Dum. Done by Róbert A Borbás done at Rooklet Ink, Hungary.

The films were directed by Peter Jackson, starting with The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. They were filmed back to back on location in New Zealand, making for fantastic landscapes and scenery.

Alex Rattray Owner:Artist at Empire Ink EDINBURGH
Hyper realistic colour portraits of Sam, Frodo, and the ring. Done by Alex Rattray at Empire Ink in Edinburgh.
Cody Young Emerald Tattoo
A very green ent done by Cody Young at Emerald Tattoo.
Izhar Rott Owner of Manifacto Amsterdam Tattoos
Black and grey Gandalf amidst a geometric background done by Izhar Rott Owner of Manifacto Amsterdam Tattoos.
Lauren Melina
Blackwork Barad Dur (dark tower) done by Lauren Melina done in Perth, Australia.
Samantha I Love Mom Tattoo Studio in Dovercourt Village, Toronto
There and back again, inspiration taken from The Hobbit book cover. Done by Samantha at I love Mom Tattoo Studio in Dovercourt Village, Toronto.

Some of the most popular characters include Gandalf, Frodo, Gimli, Legolas, Gollum (Smeagol), Sam, Aragorn, Elrond, Saruman, Witch king, and Sauron. Fantastic creatures include the ents, the balrog, and the nazgul. Popular items include the swords sting, and the shards of Narsil, as well as the Witch King’s flail, and quaint hobbit holes. Of course we also can’t forget the ring itself, which makes a stellar tattoo, especially when paired with a portrait.

Alexandra Skarsgård
Sting and flowers done by Alexandra Skarsgård in London.
Dan Mawdsley Pop Culture Tattoos in Melbourne✖️The Black Mark Tattoo Northcote
Black and grey Gandalf portrait done by Dan Mawdsley at Pop Culture Tattoos in Melbourne, Australia.
Jerome Chapman
Linework version of an ent. Done by Jerome Chapman.
Maksims Zotovs
Hyper realistic Gollum done by Maksims Zotovs.
Tony Sklepic Pop culture inspired tattoos and artwork. EDMONTON ALBERTA
Hyper realistic matching portraits of Saruman (and the eye of Sauron) and Gandalf. Done by Tony Sklepic done in Edmonton, Alberta.

Lord of the Rings tattoos are often done in a photo realistic or hyper realistic style, as well as black and grey, dotwork, linework, American traditional, and neo traditional.

artist--khail-tattooer--legolas-tattoo_17190113824
Black and grey Legolas done by Khail Tattooer at Young bloods Tattoo in Perth, Australia.
Dave Swambo
Witch King hand and Morgul blade done by Dave Swambo at Stronghold Tattoo in Cardiff, Wales.
Jess White
Bright and bold hobbit hole done by Jess White in Sacramento, CA.
Nick imms Fumbling through life. Owner of @thechurchtattoo ☦️
Gorgeous portrait of Frodo and the ring done by Nick Imms at the Church Tattoo.
Travis Stanley Ink City Tattoo Bonney Lake, WA Capitol City
American traditional Witch King and flail. Done by Travis Stanley at Ink City Tattoo in Bonney Lake, WA Capitol City.

Which do you prefer, the books, or the films?

Devil Tattoos

Devil tattoos are one of the classics in tattoo history. Devil doesn’t always refer to a red man with horns, it can also be just a symbol of evil. Having a symbol like this on your body can mean protection from demons/the devil by scaring them away. It can show a mischievous side of you, or a rebellious attitude. Sometimes they can be portrayed with an angel counterpart, or a woman, generally symbolizing the balance between good and evil.

Here are some of the best devil tattoo designs. They come in all kinds of styles, from American traditional, to neo-traditional, new school, black and grey, watercolour, realism, and experimental. Whatever the style, a devil tattoo is bold “as hell”.

Alena Chun knee cap
American traditional knee blaster by Alena Chun at Icon Tattoo Studio.
Adrian Edek
Intense full head piece by Adrien Edek at Lowbrow Tattoo Parlour. Those yellow eyes stand out wonderfully from the red, black and white space.
Dustin Barnhart Kitchener, Ontario
Another head piece, only for the toughest clients, these have got to hurt! Done by Dustin Barnhart from Kitchener Ontario at Berlin Tattoo. Another great example of a mischievous looking American Traditional devil.
Franz Stefanik Toronto
Franz Stefanik, helping represent Canadian artists, from Toronto at The Okey Doke Tattoo Shop. Juxtaposing life and death in this stomach piece. Ink right in the belly button must have been fun.
Gordon Combs
This piece has a definite Greek mythological feel to it. Done by Gordon Combs at Art Work Rebels.
Heath Clifford
Fantastic Neo Traditional, black and grey piece done by Heath Clifford at Throne Room Tattoo.
James Armstrong
More black and grey in this wonderfully inventive leg piece, done by the talented James Armstrong at Holy Mountain Tattoo.
Jon Larson - Ypsilanti Michigan
Huge devil and burning church done by Jon Larson from Ypsilanti Michigan at Depot Town Tattoo. Great use of the devil’s fur turning into the flames!
Paulina Szoloch
Interesting water colour, experimental piece by Paulina Szoloch.
Phil Hatchet-Yau - San Diego California
Palm pieces are tricky as they tend to fade quickly. This one looks like it isn’t going anywhere though. Done by Phil Hatchet-Yau from San Diego, California at Felix’s Master Tattoo and Museum.
Robert Borbas
Brilliant realistic black and grey leg sleeve done by Robert Borbas at Rooklet Ink in Hungary. Some seriously intense detail in this piece.
Sergey Vaskevich
Another stomach piece, done by Sergey Vaskevich. The muted tones in this fit the theme perfectly. Nothing too overpowering in this.
Thomas Flanagan - Leeds
Neat matching hand pieces done by Thomas Flanagan out of Leeds, at Oddfellows Tattoo Collective. Quite a bit of detail for such a small space.

Share your own devil tattoo’s in the comments!