Cactus Tattoos:

While existing for centuries, cacti have become extremely well known as a pop culture phenomenon more recently over the years, particularly among my fellow millennials. This definitely has something to do with how easy they are to take care of, requiring only sunlight, sand, and water on occasion; they pretty much thrive if left alone in a sunny spot. 

Black and grey cactus by Julien Perron in France
A cute new school cactus by Bronte Evans in the UK

They’ve become so popular now that you could light your cactus candle for the dinner table to see your cactus salt and pepper shakers and cactus glasses before you reveal your new cactus tattoo, all without ever having to mention the word cactus. 

Ram skull and cactus by Laura Gómez at Blessed Art Tattoo in Barcelona
Skeleton lovers, cactus, and a dreamy sunset by Kayla Gohm Webster at Kitchen Sink Tattoo

People seem to love the diversity and toughness of these prickly plants. They can come in all shapes and sizes; from tall and skinny to short and fat, perfectly round, multiple offshoots, each with their own unique personality. 

An old school cactus by Randy Sanchez at All Is One Tattoo in New Mexico
Tortoise and cacti by Maggie Campanelli at Hereditary Tattoo

This diversity makes them look great in photos, paintings, and tattoos, and their tough exterior could represent a kind of (symbolic) protection for the tattoo wearer. 

Old school skull and cactus by Nichher in Puerto Rico
Black work cactus by Chris de Arms in California

As tattoos, the most popular cacti by far seems to be the tall skinny ones (San Pedro Cactus/cereus). These pieces are often done in old school, black work, neo-traditional, fine line, or new school styles.

A classic black and grey vase and cactus by Jade Harper at House of the Rising Sun tattoo in Winnipeg
Old school cactus with swallow done by Samantha Fung at the 59 Tattoo in Hong Kong

Do you have a cactus tattoo?

Edited by Harrison R.

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Artist of the Month: Joel Soos

Joel Soos is a tattooer working out of Sanctum Tattoo in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Classic Pharaohs Horses
Cool mythical/folklore piece

Joel tattoos mainly in classic old school American traditional style, with dark and muted colours. He also does work with no colour, as well as work in the Japanese style. 

Skeleton from Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre and traditional building
Gnarly palm skull

Much of Joel’s work features dark imagery such as skulls, demons, snakes, and reapers. When he does work in the Japanese style, he mainly focuses on Oni and Yurei (demons and ghosts). 

A very full back with a lady head, skull, snake and flowers
Matching hands of a swallow and rose

Joel does a lot of smaller work that can be done in one session if you’re just visiting the area, but he also does a lot of beautiful large-scale work such as full sleeves and back pieces. 

Sacred Heart with roses
A devilish bleeding goat head

Joel’s work is just what you look for in an old school artist, with dark bold lines and perfectly shaded colours, particularly in various shades of red, yellow, and green.

A different depiction of the Grim Reaper
A sacred heart and severed heads

Be sure to get some work done by him if you’re traveling in Sweden or if you live in the area.

Edited by Harrison R.

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Tattoos For Pluviophiles:

Pluviophile (n)- A lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

Storm clouds by Shannon Mcfarlene at Iron Lotus in Winnipeg
Realistic black and grey storm clouds by Marcin Sonski

As a pluviophile myself, I love anything related to rain and storms. The sight, sound, and smell of rain all make me feel happy and at peace. Some of my favourite art is inspired by storms and rain, and that includes tattoos.

Storm clouds by Mel Mauthe at Iron Lotus in Winnipeg
Skeleton enjoying the rain by Madar Norbert at Knuckle Up Budapest

As a tattoo, some common rain themes include rain clouds, storm clouds with lightning, umbrellas, and people in the rain.

Dot and line work rain by Masi in Nürnberg
Umbrella and storm by La Maison Hantée

Common styles include black work, American traditional, realism, dot work, and black and grey.

Black work piece by Julaika at Vienna Tattoo
Rainy day window by Pixie Cat at Art Lab Tattoo Studio

What is your favourite thing about rainy days?

Dot and line work skull and umbrellas by Jay Baldwin
Angel and rain by Rat at Imperial Tattoo Toronto

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Tattoo Artist Couple: 1

Couples who tattoo together stay together!

Demons and monsters by Osang
Three witches spinning the threads of human destiny done by Sojung

Osang and Sojung are a South Korean couple who tattoo at Hysteric Garden, Seoul, and also do guest spots around the world, including America, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Taiwan.

Burning candle, skull, and magic hand by Osang
A goat and its brides done by Sojung

Both artists specialize in black work that is heavy on detailed lines, and macabre subject matter. As Halloween is right around the corner, they are a perfect pair to get a couple of tattoos from!

Burning church set ablaze by a mischievous demon, done by Osang
A burning witch done by Sojung

You can bring in your own ideas or get an original piece from either of them.

Torture device and a big ole bug done by Osang
Guillotine by Sojung

The couple do lots of specifically occult pieces such as demons, devils, black goats, witches, etc. They are also happy to tattoo more traditional Korean designs such as tigers and ravens if that’s more your style.

A meeting with a demon done by Osang
A dance with the devil by Sojung

If you want a one of a kind, detail oriented black work piece, look no further.

A witchy hanging done by Osang

Anatomical human by Sojung
Traditional Korean tiger done by Osang

Medieval torture by Sojung
Beheading done by Osang
Demonic Angel by Sojung
Gallows and face done by Osang
Vision of the valley of dry bones by Sojung
Gallows in Hell done by Osang
Three eyed goat by Sojung

Keep an eye out on their Instagrams for their travelling guest spots, or pop in while you’re in South Korea. @osangbrutal @goatblackeyed you can find their emails for bookings on their individual Instagram accounts

Plague Doctor Tattoos:

Plague doctors are commonly associated with the 14th Century epidemic, though there is no historical evidence to suggest that the grotesque healers had yet come into play.

Black and grey plague doctor and rose done by Luke Wasser at Sink or Swim Tattoos, Aurora.

Neo traditional smoking doctor and coffin done by Michela Zanni at Skin Cake Tattoo.

The believed inventor of the plague doctor uniform is Charles de l’Orme, the chief physician to Louis VIII. He created it in 1619, and it was used for over 100 years. The terrifying suit was made to look like a bird, with a long leather beak, thick goggles, a black leather coat over top a lighter leather shirt, black goat skin boots, leather gloves, and a black top hat also made of leather to indicate that the wearer was a doctor.

Muted colours in a neo traditional style done by Anderson Escaleira at Maza Tattoo.

Black work doctor with a candle done by Nate Kemr.

Plague doctors would stuff the end of the beak with herbs and spices such as mint, cloves, garlic, and myrrh to battle the noxious smells coming from the plague victims. Sometimes these herbs were set aflame so that the smoke would also protect the doctor. The smoke would then trickle out of the beak, making the doctor appear even more demonic and reaper-like.

American traditional doctor and flower done by Charlotte Louise at Lucky Cat Tattoo Parlour in Glasgow.

American traditional doctor and “memento more” done by Nicholas Chaney at Electric Chair Tattoo in South Wales.

Along with the uniform, many plague doctors would carry a long staff used for examining patients, as well as beating back some of the more aggressive ones. Some patients also believed they had been given the plague by God as some sort of punishment, and thus would occasionally ask the doctor to beat them with their canes as a form of repentance.

Gorgeous neo traditional half sleeve done by Francesco Garbuggino.

Hyper realistic doctor and cemetery done by Paul Vaughan at Rendition Tattoo Studio.

This suit was created because it was believed that the bubonic plague was spread through “foul air”, though in fact we now know that the plague was really spread through sharing bodily fluids, as well as pests such as rats and fleas.

Great contrast in the dark browns and blacks and red flowers. Done by Friedrich Uber.

Gruesome black and grey plague sleeve done by Róbert A Borbás.

The suit would have helped to protect the wearer from the plague to some degree, but not enough to stop the doctors from contracting the deadly sickness. This was in part due to air holes at the end of the beak, where bodily fluids such as blood and pus would enter when the doctor would perform bloodletting and lancing on the unfortunate victims (bursting the large pus-filled cysts).

American traditional plague doctor done by Gordie at Rebel Waltz Tattoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

American traditional style smoking doctor and rat done by Shawn Beatty at Soul Survivor Body Art in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Because the majority of these doctors were inexperienced or even completely unqualified, the treatments were often cruel and unusual, performed with no scientific or medical reasoning. Treatments included the fore mentioned bloodletting and lancing, covering the open and festering cysts with human excrement, and even pouring hot mercury on the cysts and then putting the patient into a large oven to burn the cysts off. These methods often just accelerated an already painful death.

Realistic black and grey doctor done by Jordan Croke at Second Skin Tattoo in Derby, UK.

Trash polka style doctor done in black and red by Thorant at The Scarlett Tattoo Studio in Bedford UK.

As a tattoo, plague doctors are often done in a heavy black work style (due to the nature of the uniform). They are also popular in realism, American traditional, neo traditional, and black and grey.

Horrifying black work bird/doctor done by Merry Morgan at Northgate Tattoo in Bath, Somerset.

Colourful neo traditional piece done by Tim Stafford Violet Crown Tattoo in Austin Texas.

Which morbid piece is your favourite?

Vlad the Impaler Tattoos:

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.

ryan murray Salem Ma. identical twin. co-owner of @blackveiltattoo
Terrifying portrait in heavy blackwork style done by Ryan Murray at Black Veil Tattoo in Salem Ma.
Melissa Vargas in Costa Rica
A bloody Vlad with impaled skeletons done by Melissa Vargas in Costa Rica.

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.

Done at Black Book Tattoo Romania
Vlad and the castle done at Black Book Tattoo in Romania.
VT at The Amber Rose Tattoo
Zombified Vlad head in American traditional style done by VT at The Amber Rose Tattoo.

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.

Jason Herring at Inkaholics art Studio
Realistic black and grey portrait with some red background done by Jason Herring at Inkaholics Art Studio.

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.

Jelle Jansen at The Office Tattoo
American traditional Vlad portrait done by Jelle Jansen at The Office Tattoo.

Many lovers of horror choose to get tattoos of Vlad, the “original” Dracula. Most tattoos are portraits, often blackwork or American/neo traditional.

Lisa Orth
Beautiful line work piece with Vlad and impales bodies, made to look like the old wood carvings. Done by Lisa Orth.
vlad impaler
Wood carving of Vlad eating while watching his guests being impaled.

Which tattoo is your favourite?

Tattoo Bodysuits:

A bodysuit is the ultimate way for a tattoo collector to show their dedication to the craft. A bodysuit is most often done as one cohesive piece, usually in one style. But some people do start getting tattooed without the intention of having a bodysuit, then end up growing into it.

Adam Craft at The Tattooed Heart
Japanese bodysuit done by Adam Craft at The Tattooed Heart.
Frank Lewis Montreal
The late Rick Genest’s bodysuit done by Frank Lewis in Montreal Canada.
MATT JORDAN SHIP SHAPE TATTOO
Hyper realistic suit completed by Matt Jordan at Ship Shape Tattoo.
Samuel Christensen
Brilliant black work/tribal bodysuit done by Samuel Christensen.

Japanese is the most well known style for creating bodysuits. Done by one artist, tied together with background work such waves, clouds, and other nature themes.

back by Shige at Yellow Blaze in yokohama. Sleeves unknown
Back and legs done by Shige at Yellow Blaze in Yokohama.
Guy Le Tattooer
The recognizable line work of Guy Le Tattooer.
Nissaco
Black work and geometric bodysuit done by Nissaco in Osaka.
Tomas Tomas Seven Doors London
Black work/tribal bodysuit done by Tomas Tomas at Seven Doors Tattoo in London.

More recently black work is becoming more popular for full bodysuits. Either heavy black work or smaller pieces.

Collaboration piece between Gerhard Wiesbeck and Little Swastika
Heavy black work torso and arm piece. A collaboration between Gerhard Wiesbeck and Little Swastika.
Jason Butcher immortal ink tattoo studio
Beautiful black and grey bodysuit done by Jason Butcher at immortal ink tattoo studio.
Paco Dietz Tattoo Artist, Oil Painter, Sculptor. Santa Clara, Ca
Colourful bio mechanical bodysuit done by Paco Dietz in Santa Clara, Ca.
Valerio Cancellier
Heavy black work done by Valerio Cancellier.

Similarly people get bodysuits of American traditional pieces. Hundreds of small pieces filling up a body to make it look more or less like one huge suit.

Cory Ferguson Good Point Tattoo Ontatio Canada
Geometric and dotwork done by Cory Ferguson at Good Point Tattoo in Ontario Canada.
Julian Siebert Corpsepainter Tattoo Munich:Germany
Arm, Back, and leg done by Julian Siebert at Corpsepainter Tattoo Munich, Germany.
PIERLUIGI DELIPERI
Black/geometric bodysuit done by Pierluigi Deliperi.

Black and grey, neo traditional, and realism styles are also being used for bodysuits now, making for eye popping artwork.

Duncan X
Black work torso and shoulders done by Duncan X in the UK.
Koji Ichimaru
Full body Japanese suit with lots of black done by Koji Ichimaru.
Rich Hadley UK
American traditional bodysuit done by Rich Hadley in the UK.

The word bodysuit may make you think of really a full body covered in tattoos, but it also refers to torso pieces that lead onto the arms, and/or legs.

Gakkin
Beautiful and heavy black work nature themed bodysuit done by Gakkin.
Lupo Horiokami Italy at mushin studio
Heavy black Japanese done by Lupo Horiokami Italy at mushin studio.
Rich Hardy UK
American traditional mostly black work torso and arms done by Rich Hardy in the UK.

Which bodysuit is your favourite?

Artist of the Month: Shige

Shige works out of Yellow Blaze Tattoo Studio in Yokohama, Japan.

350
Beautiful back piece that leads into a sleeve as well as legs.
592
Very bright sleeve.
1385
Full leg sleeve.
2977
Rib panel that attaches to a back piece.

He has been tattooing since 1995, after teaching himself the craft.

378
Brilliant bodysuit.
720
Full samurai back piece.
1409
3/4 sleeve with a Buddhist goddess, Benzaiten.
3246
Hannya torso piece.

He tattoos in the Japanese style, while adding some realism to his pieces, making a lot of his work neo-Japanese.

555
Full sleeve that also contains some coverups.
754
Hannya back piece.
1987
Hannya chest piece.
3620
Full body suit with lots of colour.

Shige does large pieces including full sleeves, leg sleeves, back pieces, chest, and body suits.

573
Half hannya torso piece mixed with tribal in a collaborative piece.
810
Almost full bodysuit with lots of natural imagery.
1992
Tiger on top of the head.
1993
Fudo Myoo on the back of the head.

Much of Shige’s work revolves around Buddhism, including demons and gods and goddesses.

576
Bright full sleeve.
1278
Sleeve topped with a raven.
2141
Bright red hand piece of Agyou.

Shige is a must see artist in Japan.

Bart Simpson Tattoos:

Bartholomew J. Simpson, son to Homer and Marge of the Simpson family. KNown for his quick wit, pranks, and one liners.Bart’s character of rebelliousness and lack of respect for authority have had him described as an updated and modern version of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He is a disruptive student at school, and often causes trouble for his teachers, the principal, and the grounds keeper.

Alex Strangler
Neo traditional “I didn’t do it” Bart done by Alex Strangler.
Giovanni Muglia
3D Bart head done by Giovanni Muglia.
Matt Daniels • Chapel Street Tattoo • Chorley
Bart on a squishee bender done by Matt Daniels at Chapel Street Tattoo in Chorley.
Michel Tattoo Studio
El Barto done at Michel Tattoo Studio.

Although Bart is a prankster he has a soft spot for his family, particularly his siblings.

Anthony Stewart
Baby devil Bart skateboarding done by Anthony Stewart at Anchor Tattoo in Vacaville, CA.
Gueller at Cry Baby Tattoo Studio in Mexico
A sad grown up Bart done by Gueller at Cry Baby Tattoo Studio in Mexico.
Marco Mopils Tattoo Artist Kartell Tattoo, Frankfurt : Germany
Bart with his slingshot done by Marco Mopils at Kartell Tattoo, Frankfurt : Germany.
Наташа Дестройщица Russia
Johnny Rotten Bart done by Наташа Дестройщица Russia.

He is often seen with a skateboard, a slingshot, or candy!

Bryan Ferrari Apprentice @ Honor Bound Tattoos Calgary AB
Cool looking Bart in blackwork style done by Bryan Ferrari at Honor Bound Tattoos in Calgary AB.
Iain Sellar Long Fox
Blackwork skeleton Bart head done by Iain Sellar at Long Fox tattoo.
seanfromtexas
An older Bart design done by “Sean from Texas”
Yeray Perez Tattoing in Malibu tattoo studio 💥💥Sitges, BARCELONA
Inspired by The Simpsons movie. Done by Yeray Perez in Malibu tattoo studio, Sitges, BARCELONA.

Bart can get up to some pretty bad behaviour, but ultimately isn’t a bad kid. He likes having fun (sometimes at other peoples expense) but on a number of occasions he shows true remorse for his actions.

Camille Gualtieri 💖⚡️ Qc, Canada Tattoo artist at :: Tattoo Art Connexion Repentigny
Little Bart and baby Lisa. Bart really is a great big brother! Done by Camille Gualtieri in Qc, Canada.
J at  Under The Gun Tattoo Co Los Angeles
Blackwork Bart mooning on his skateboard done by J at Under The Gun Tattoo Co in Los Angeles.
Roberto Euán
Traditional Bart done by Roberto Euán.

In some of the Treehouse of Horror episodes, Bart is seen as a monster, such as the fly, zombie, gremlin, devil and more.

dolly tattoos black sails, brighton
Edgar Allan Poe Bart done at Dolly Tattoos Black Sails, Brighton.
Ellen Morris Custom tattoo studio, Chesterfield
Bart as “The Fly” done by Ellen Morris Custom tattoo studio, Chesterfield.
Jon Larson Depot town tattoo Ypsilanti-MICHIGAN
Ghost Bart done by Jon Larson at Depot town tattoo in Ypsilanti-MICHIGAN.
Josh Herman Black Wood Tattoo in Denver
Hyper realistic gremlin Bart done by Josh Herman at Black Wood Tattoo in Denver.
Mark Backstrom Tattoo Artist at AntiSocialite Tattoo
Zombie Bart done by Mark Backstrom Tattoo Artist at AntiSocialite Tattoo.

As a tattoo Bart is most often done in American traditional, neo traditional, and blackwork style.

carlatattoos
Tiny neo traditional Bart jamming to some tunes done by Carla Evelyn at Paper Moon Tattoo.
Liza Musselman Tattoo artist at ⚜️Archive Tattoo⚜️ Toronto
Skeletal tattooed Bart with a wicked skateboard done by Liza Musselman Tattoo artist at Archive Tattoo in Toronto.
Jason Ochoa while guest tattooing at Flying Panther in San Diego, CA.
Bart dressed up for Halloween done by Jason Ochoa while guest tattooing at Flying Panther in San Diego, CA.

What’s your favourite Bart moment?