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!

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.

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?