Sun Dancer Tattoos:

The Sun Dancer tattoo is an easily recognizable American traditional design, first painted by Bert Grimm, a pioneer of American traditional tattooing who worked from around 1916-1970. An important part of Indigenous history and culture, the Sun Dance is a spiritual ceremony that was and is still very important to different groups, primarily to those of the plains cultures in America and Canada.

Sun Dancer with eagle and heads by Fabio Onorini.
Blackwork back done by Clemens Hahn.

The ceremony is a gruelling but important one, primarily (though not entirely) performed by males. The dancer fasts, going without both food and drink for days at a time, while dancing around a sacred fire and traditional pole meant to represent the sun. Others drum and sing prayers while the dancer dances until exhausted.

Sun Dancer true to Bert Grimm by Kim-Anh.
Backpiece true to Bert Grimm by Gustavo Silvano.

As part of the ceremony, piercing and suspension is also common. This involves a leader piercing rods into the chest or back of the dancer, while they drag a bison head until the skin rips. Other variations involve horses pulling at the rods, or the dancer being suspended from the pole by the rods in their skin. This inspired modern suspension.

Blackwork interpretation by Flurick Ruslan.
Cute foot Sun Dancer by Heath Arnolde.

Often times the dancer would become delirious and hallucinate both from the physical and mental exertion, topped with dehydration and extreme hunger. Unfortunately the ceremony was banned in Canada in 1885 under the Indian Act, but the ban was dropped in 1951, though Indigenous people continue(d) to be treated unfairly. Today the Sun Dance is still performed by some communities.

Sun Dancer with dragon in this piece by Florian Santus.
Big thigh Sun Dancer done by Nick Griffiths.

One of the first examples of this ceremony being painted is Bert Grimm’s Sun Dancer flash and tattoo. The original painting depicts a girl dancing with her left knee raised, right hand holding a spear, with a shield depicting a bald eagle in her left hand. A red sun and traditional roses make up the background.

Sun Dancer and dragon by Rich Hadley.
Skeletal Sun Dancer by Roger Oliveira.

As the design was first made by a pioneer of American traditional tattooing, it is mainly tattooed today in the same style. Though people do take artistic liberties, sometimes including animals or other flowers, and even changing the subject of the tattoo. It is often done as a back tattoo, but can also be seen on arms and legs, usually as still large pieces, though through adaptation artists have created smaller pieces as well.

Punk interpretation in a painting by Miguel Neils.
A more neo traditional animal version of the Sun Dance by Robson Nagata.

To read more about the Sun Dance please check out https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/sun-dance

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Artist of the Month: Übler Friedrich

übler Friedrich is a Neo-traditional tattoo artist who works in Berlin, Giessen, and Vienna.

stag beetle on the hand

Knights helmet and flowers.

Incredibly detailed black and grey cat portrait with flowers.

Gorgeous candlestick piece.

He works mainly in colour, but also does brilliant blackwork and fantastic black and grey pieces.

Healed forearm pieces. Brilliant rose and a dagger through a heart.

Ruler of the sea, Poseidon!

Portrait/scenery piece featuring a waterscape scene.

Huge skull and octopus thigh piece.

His pieces are both realistic and traditional, making a perfect blend of the two.

Vicious looking spiked mace.

Mean looking hawk with skulls on the neck.

Badass Roman skull torso piece.

Arrows and knots on a thigh.

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!

Healed knees! Painful looking chimp and a bat.

Bright blue octopus head piece.

Delicate bluebell face tattoo.

Absolutely terrifying demon on a forearm.

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!

Gorgeous flowers on Oli Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon.

Raven and castle thigh piece on the back of the leg.

Butterfly head piece.

Wicked bear head chest piece done in only two sessions.

Alice in Wonderland Tattoos:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (better known as Alice in Wonderland) was written in 1865 by Charles Dodgson (under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll).

Omar Orozco
Black and grey Caterpillar (Alan Rickman) done by Omar Orozco.
Ace Of Spades Tattoo Established tattoo shop located in Asheville NC. Owner operated Brian Reaid
Bright back piece done by Brian Reaid at Ace of Spades Tattoo in Asheville NC.
Julia Dumps
Bright pastel coloured Tim Burton sleeve done by Jules Boho, an Austrian based traveling artist.
a̶̶b̶̶b̶̶o̶ ̶F̶̶l̶̶o̶̶r̶̶e̶̶z̶
Matching Alice and the White Rabbit in a delicate black and grey design. Done by Abbo Florez.

The story follows a young girl, Alice, who falls down a hole into a fantastical land full of bizarre characters and situations.

Aleksandra Katsan
Watercolor Cheshire done by Aleksandra Katsan in Kiev, Ukraine.
Bryan at Nirvana Tattoo Studio in Glasgow, Scotland
Linework version of Disney’s Alice done by Bryan at Nirvana Tattoo Studio in Glasgow, Scotland.
Kristen Goetz
Dark and sinister looking Mad Hatter done by Kristen Goetz.
Ricardo Gomez TATTOO ARTIST @ Soledad Tattoo & Art Studio 505 front st. Soledad ca
Cheshire in Mad Hatters Hat done by Ricardo Gomez at Soledad Tattoo.

There are also films based on the book, with the most popular being Disney’s animated version from 1951.

Alex Moro
Realistic and stylized version of the Red Queen. Done by Alex Moro done in London, UK.
Efthimis Vrettos
“Drink me” done by Efthimis Vrettos in Athens, Greece.
Lucatesdiferro
Stylized White Rabbit in a teacup done by Luca Testadiferro in Jesi Italy.
Sanninolello
Sleeping Alice done by Lello Sannino in Italy.

More recent films Alice in wonderland (directed by Tim Burton) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (directed by James Bobin) are also produced by Disney, but take on a much darker theme.

Ben Kaye Tattooer & part owner of Ship Shape tattoo, New Zealand
Hyper realistic White Rabbit and his pocket watch done by Ben Kaye at Ship Shape Tattoo, New Zealand.
Fabio Onorini
Black and grey Disney’s Mad Hatter done by Fabio Onorini Fronte Del Porto tattoo , in Rome.
Mugs Costa
Neo traditional portrait of Alice done by Mugs Costa in Australia.
Sigbjørn in Copenhagen
Blackwork Mad hatter and teacup done by Sigbjørn in Copenhagen.
Tania Catclaw
Sketchwork/watercolour Cheshire done by Tania Catclaw.

People in the 1960’s-80’s speculated about what the story was “really” about. Many people thought that it was really a psychedelic trip. Due in large part to the frequent usage of drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms at this time. Experts usually disagree with this theory though, as Charles isn’t thought to have been a user of recreational drugs.

Brent O'Leary I am an artist, custom guitar maker, and musician. I'm currently working at Blue Collar Tattoo in Plainfield IL
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland sleeve done by Brent O’Leary at Blue Collar Tattoo in Plainfield IL.
Gina Gila 💔 Tattoo Artist at Riverwest Tattoo Company Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Linework version of the Walrus and the carpenter with their tasty clams. Done by Gina Gila at Riverwest Tattoo Company Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Nick imms Fumbling through life. Owner of @thechurchtattoo ☦️ 1
Brilliant black and grey version of the Mad Hatter done by Nick Imms at The Church Tattoo.
Nick imms Fumbling through life. Owner of @thechurchtattoo ☦️
Queen of Hearts and White Rabbit, also done by Nick Imms.
Nick Imms
And a third done by Nick Imms.

Popular characters include the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, Red Queen (Queen of Hearts), the March Hare, White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, and many more.

Bruno Corvalan Tattoo artist Currently working at MISSION INK in San Francisco
A partial watercolor style March Hare and a lovely cup of tea done by Bruno Corvalan Mission Ink in San Francisco.
Jack Goks Pearce
Neo traditional Red Queen done by Jack Goks at Cloak and Dagger Tattoo in London, UK.
Oash Rodriguez
Brilliant neo traditional White Rabbit hand piece done by Oash Rodriguez.
Steve LaMantia
Hatter’s hat, pocket watch, and painted rose done by Steve LaMantia at Ever After Gallery, Spring Hill, FL.

Who is your favourite character?

Winnipeg Artist 8: Jan Veldman

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

1
Matching Russian nesting dolls with totem designs.
6
Blackwork death’s head moth.
7
Big ole’ werewolf and red moon.
12
Badass cobra with witchy hands.
13
We all float down here… Pennywise and balloon.
18
A Salvador Dali inspired piece.
20
Traditional ship with flowers.
23
He’s late! Black and grey white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.
22
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.

2
Ghost sheet tattoo with some classic flowers.
5
Devilish baphomet in black and grey.
8
American traditional style Jesus Christ and cross.
11
Hobo cat doing his thing!
14
Japanese good fortune Maneki Neko cat.
17
A drunk Speedy Gonzales.
19
Road Runner and Wile E Coyote.
24
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!

3
Neo trad woman and wolf head.
4
Classic and deadly scorpion with red background.
9
A ghostly Bart Simpson with some script and trad flowers.
10
Cute little cactus with budding flowers.
15
Bender!
16
Bright red chameleon.
21
Adorable Michelangelo with his favourite food.
25
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?

Baphomet Tattoos:

Baphomet today is regarded as a Satanic figure, but for a long time Baphomet was actually a word for the prophet Mohammed in Islam, and worshipping a Muslim god or prophet was seen as idolatry. The Knights of Templar were accused of worshipping Baphomet the false idol in Medieval France, and were tortured under King Philip.

baphomet Daniel Baczewski
Baphomet head by Daniel Baczewski.
baphomet Róbert A Borbás
Brilliant back of the head and neck piece by Róbert A Borbás.
JASON OZ in Denver Colorado
Majestic Baphomet head done on the skull by Jason Oz in Denver Colorado.
Matthew Murray, Black Veil Tattoo, Salem Massechusetts
Amazing long bearded Baphomet head by Matthew Murray, Black Veil Tattoo, Salem Massachusetts.

Over the next 500 years, Baphomet changed from Mohammed the prophet, to a hermaphroditic stone figure borrowed from Egypt or the Gnostic Christian Ophites. This was after both scholars and mystics studied the Knights of Templar, writing that the Knights brought back ancient magical knowledge from the middle East and North Africa. The idol in question was called Baphomet in 1818, and were most likely just misidentified artifacts from other cultures and religions.

Patrick Toussaint Melbourne
Fantastic blackwork/linework full bodied Baphomet by Patrick Toussaint in Melbourne.
Anka Lavriv at Black Iris Tattoo in New York
Blackwork goat head by Anka Lavriv at Black Iris Tattoo in New York.
baphomet Brooke Ashliegh at Binx Tattoo
Pentagram, goat skull, and flowers by Brooke Ashliegh at Binx Tattoo.
Frederico Rabelo in Portugal
Large Black Philip torso piece by Frederico Rabelo in Portugal.

But the final Baphomet that we picture today was created in 1854 by occultist Eliphas Levi for his book “Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie” (“Dogmas and Rituals of High Magic“).  Levi describes Baphomet in detail in his book.”The goat on the frontispiece carries the sign of the pentagram on the forehead, with one point at the top, a symbol of light, his two hands forming the sign of hermetism, the one pointing up to the white moon of Chesed, the other pointing down to the black one of Geburah. This sign expresses the perfect harmony of mercy with justice. His one arm is female, the other male like the ones of the androgyn of Khunrath, the attributes of which we had to unite with those of our goat because he is one and the same symbol. The flame of intelligence shining between his horns is the magic light of the universal balance, the image of the soul elevated above matter, as the flame, whilst being tied to matter, shines above it. The beast’s head expresses the horror of the sinner, whose materially acting, solely responsible part has to bear the punishment exclusively; because the soul is insensitive according to its nature and can only suffer when it materializes. The rod standing instead of genitals symbolizes eternal life, the body covered with scales the water, the semi-circle above it the atmosphere, the feathers following above the volatile. Humanity is represented by the two breasts and the androgyn arms of this sphinx of the occult sciences.”

baphomet alex tabuns
Large goat head on the torso by Alex Tabuns.
baphomet sakari
Full bodied Baphomet in a fantastic blackwork backpiece by Sakari.
Matthew Kaufmann Drunken Monkey Tattoo, Mixhigan
Bright neo traditional Baphomet head and skulls by Matthew Kaufmann at Drunken Monkey Tattoo in Michigan.
Rodrigo Lopez
Three eyed Baphomet by Rodrigo Lopez.

As a tattoo, people often get the full bodied Baphomet, or a goats head, as goats are often also related to Satanism as well as witchcraft and paganism. Full bodied goats and goat heads are also popular in part thanks to the film The Witch, and the Satanic goat named Black philip. Generally these tattoos are done in blackwork or black and grey but also realism, neo traditional, and American traditional.

baphomet ant walsh
Three eyed goat head and quote by Ant Walsh in a neo traditional style.
forest ink tattoo, South Korea
Baphomet head and snake done at forest ink tattoo, South Korea.
Vince Genois Panthere Noire Limoilou:Quebec
American traditional take on Baphomet by Vince Genois Panthère at Noire Limoilou, Québec.
Nestor Gonzalez at Sailor's grave in Costa Rica
Huge American traditional stomach Baphomet and dagger by Nestor Gonzalez at Sailor’s grave in Costa Rica.
Tatiana Esmeralda Marcum Tattooer at Iron Rite
Full bodied Baphomet with a little bit of colour done by Tatiana Esmeralda Marcum Tattooer at Iron Rite.

Which style is your favorite?

Jason Voorhees Tattoos:

Jason Voorhees is the iconic villain from the Friday the 13th franchise. Jason is a silent, undead killing machine, and mamma’s boy. Jason haunts Camp Crystal Lake where he drowned as a child due to inattentive lifeguards. As a tattoo Jason is done in a realistic style portrait, American traditional style, neo traditional, black and grey, and new school/cartoon. He is usually seen wearing his hockey mask, sometimes paired with his machete or other weapons, or seen in Camp Crystal Lake.

DJ at True Color Tattoos
Jason mask with full bodied Jason in very dark tones done by DJ at True Color Tattoos.
Paul Acker The Séance Tattoo Parlor in Bensalem PA
Hyper realistic Jason in a killing position done by Paul Acker The Séance Tattoo Parlor in Bensalem PA.
Joe K Worrall at Heart & Arrow Tattoo Studio, U.K
Colour piece by Joe K Worrall at Heart & Arrow Tattoo Studio in the UK.
Matt Beirne at Stefano's Tattoo Studio in Ft. Lauderdale
Black and grey Jason at Camp Crystal Lake with nude camp counsellor by Matt Beirne at Stefano’s Tattoo Studio in Ft. Lauderdale.
Moira Ramone at 24 to Life in NL.
Great contrasted Jason mask and machete by Moira Ramone at 25 to Life Tattoo in NL.

Jason was born with facial deformities and a mental disability. His mother kept him away from other people, homeschooling him and looking after him herself, but when she was unable to find a babysitter she resorted to sending him to Camp Crystal Lake where she worked as the cook. Jason was bullied by the other kids and thrown into the lake where he drowned while the counsellors were having sex in the woods. Mad with grief, Pamela, Jason’s mother, murdered the counsellors she blamed for Jason’s death. Jason came back to life and waited for his mother to come back to him, for 20 years. Years later the camp tried to re open, but Pamela murdered all but one of the counsellors. The survivor, Alice, cut off her head, while Jason watched. Jason killed anyone who came back to the camp, mostly using the machete that killed his own mother.

Alessia at Bikini Bottom Tattoo Shop
Adorable cartoon Jason done by Alessia at Bikini Bottom Tattoo shop.
Fran Muñoz
Realistic black and grey Jason head and chain by Fran Muñoz.
Megan Fell
American traditional Jason mask with “mamma’s boy” and flower by Megan Fell.

Jason has a kill count of over 150 throughout the films he’s been in. Jason’s supernatural powers include immortality, regeneration, superhuman strength, enhanced speed, and durability.

Amanda Fox in Glasgow
Jason mask and machete’s in classic skull and crossbones fashion by Amanda Fox in Glasgow.
Jesse Torres
Mostly black and grey Jason mask by Jesse Torres.
Murrmosavich at Blue Blood Custom Tattoos
Blackwork mask and machete by Murrmosavich at Blue Blood Custom Tattoos.
Sabrina Sawyers
Blackwork Jason mask and trees by Sabrina Sawyers.

Jason is a fan favorite in the horror genre, often paired with Freddy Kreuger, due in part to the film Freddy VS. Jason.

Done at Bespoke Body Art Tattoos in Grimsby, UK
Jason’s torso and machete, with chains, done at Bespoke Body Art Tattoos in Grimsby, UK.
Matt Bishop at Artistic Edge Tattoo
Neo traditional Jason and Camp Crystal Lake tattoo by Matt Bishop at Artistic Edge Tattoo.
Tony Davis in VA.
“Mama tried” American traditional mask and flower by Tony Davis in VA.

What is your favorite Friday the 13th movie?

Anubis Tattoos:

Anubis is the ancient Egyptian god/guardian of the dead. The name Anubis actually comes from the Greek, but the earliest Egyptian names for him include Anpu, or Inpu. Both have the same root word which means “royal child”, and “inp” which means “to decay”.

Anubis Agny Fran at Black Velvet Studio Salon in De Santiago, Chile
Watercolor Anubis done by Agny Fran at Black Velvet Studio in De Santiago, Chile.

He is generally depicted as a black, jackal-dog-man hybrid, with the body of a man and head of a jackal/dog. The colour black was chosen for its symbolism of both decaying bodies, and the soil along the Nile river.

Anubis Andrew Conner
More American traditional version of Anubis by Andrew Conner.

Anubis is first seen as the son of Ra and Hesat, before he is brought into the story of Osiris, and said to be his son.

Anubis Bryan Hidalgo Reyes
Black and grey full bodied Anubis by Bryan Hidalgo Reyes.

Anubis is the earliest god depicted on tomb walls, usually presiding over the mummification process, or weighing of the soul. This is the process in which a persons soul is weighed against the feather of truth.

Anubis Codrea Bogdan
Brilliant black and grey Anubis and Ra by Codrea Bogdan.

Anubis is both judge and guide of the dead. Making him an authoritative figure, as well as a protector. This makes him one of the most important gods in Egyptian history.

Anubis Dany Linhares in Brazil
Neo traditional Anubis by Dany Linhares in Brazil.

Later in history he was partially adopted into Greek mythology, associating him with Hermes.

Anubis Dono B in Seoul, South Korea
Blackwork skeletal Anubis by Dono B in Seoul, South Korea.

As a tattoo, Anubis is often done in blackwork, black and grey, neo traditional, water colour, and realism styles.

Anubis Fatima Oliveira
Neo traditional Anubis by Fatima Oliveira.
Anubis Heather Bailey at Black Heart in San Francisco, CA
Heavy matching black/dark colour Anubis and Bastet by Heather Bailey at Black Heart in San Francisco, CA.
Anubis Mario Farfán Calderón ar
Black/dotwork Anubis head by Mario Farfán Calderón at Blackmoon Custom Tattoo in Mexico.
Anubis Melissa Flattinger Corpsepainter Tattoo and Piercing in Munich, Germany
Realistic black and grey Anubis by Melissa Flattinger at Corpsepainter Tattoo and Piercing in Munich, Germany.
Anubis Meza Cruz in Mexico
Realistic black and grey Anubis head by Meza Cruz in Mexico.
Anubis Miss Poppy in the Netherlands
Neo traditional Anubis head and scarab beetle by Miss Poppy in the Netherlands.
Anubis Ráa Fernandes in Tokyo Japan
Black and grey sketchwork Anubis head by Ráa Fernandes in Tokyo, Japan.
Anubis Shawn Qin Cat Town Tattoo South Korea
American traditional Anubis by Shawn Qin at Cat Town Tattoo in South Korea.
Anubis Yeray Perez in Sitges, Barcelona
Brilliant neo traditional Anubis by Yeray Perez in Sitges, Barcelona.

Which is your favorite?

Yōkai Spider Tattoos:

Yōkai are supernatural monsters/ghosts/demons from Japanese folklore. The word itself is made up from the kanji for “bewitching, attractive, and calamity” and “spectre, apparition, mystery, and suspicious.” There are hundreds and hundreds of yōkai, from fairly harmless tricksters, to monsters that prey on human flesh. Being an animal that many are already afraid of, of course there are also spider yōkai.

As a tattoo these creatures are usually done in Japanese style, but can also be neo traditional, American traditional, black and grey, or blackwork.

There are three main types of spider yōkai:

-Ushi Oni: Which is actually classified as an ox demon. This demon is often depicted with the head of an ox and the body of a spider, and is usually near bodies of water. These creatures are always carnivorous and dangerous to humans. They are not always spiders, but this is one of the more popular depictions. The Ushi Oni is described as cruel and vicious, breathing toxic poison, and sometimes inflicting curses or spreading disease.

S Ben Wight at Pyramid Arts Tattoo
Blackwork Japanese piece by Ben Wight at Pyramid Arts Tattoo.
S Brian Faulk Hand of Glory Tattoo
Black and grey Japanese piece by Brian Faulk at Hand of Glory Tattoo.

-Tsuchigumo: A giant spider who can live a very long time, and grow to monstrous sizes. When they get old enough they can transform themselves into other yōkai, even taking the form of humans in order to lure and kill people. These creatures live in forests and mountains, mainly preying on travelers. One famous tale tells of this creature transforming into a beautiful woman who leads an army of yōkai against Japan. A man named Yorimitsu is the first to meet the beast on the battlefield and strikes her, making the army disappear. The Japanese army then follows her back to her cave where she morphs back into a giant spider. Yorimitsu slices her open, unleashing thousands of human sized baby spiders. The Japanese army kills every last one and returns victorious.

S Adrian Evans at Saints and Sinners Tattoo in Dallas
Huge spider with skulls and web by Adrian Evans at Saints and Sinners Tattoo in Dallas.
S Alexander Rusty Cairns at Lighthouse Tattoo in Sydney, Australia
Cover up piece by Alexander Rusty Cairns at Lighthouse Tattoo in Sydney, Australia.
S Gab Lavoie at Tattoo Mania in Montreal
Spider with hannya mask by Gab Lavoie at Tattoo Mania in Montreal, Canada.
S Ganji Tokyo Three Tides Tattoo
Black and grey beast done by Ganji at Tokyo Three Tides Tattoo in Tokyo, Japan.
S Horihiro Mitomo Three Tides Tattoo Tokyo:Osaka
Very traditional Japanese piece done by Horihiro Mitomo at Three Tides Tattoo Tokyo/Osaka, Japan.
S Vond Barta Sacred Monkey Tattoo Melbourne
Brilliant Japanese scalp banger done by Vond Barta at Sacred Monkey Tattoo in Melbourne.

Jorōgumo: This creature was known as the “whore spider” but is now better known as “entangling bride”. She lives both as a beautiful yōkai in human form and as a giant spider. This spider gains the ability to transform after it has lived for 400 years. She uses her human form to lure unsuspecting men to her lair before eating them. They live in caves, forests, or abandoned houses. This creature is often seen as part spider, part woman, generally the body of a spider and head of a woman.

S Eric Alcantara at Ridgewood Tattoo Studio
More American traditional piece with Japanese influence by Eric Alcantara at Ridgewood Tattoo Studio.
S Francesco Giamblanco at Black Horse Tattoo
Colorful piece by Francesco Giamblanco at Black Horse Tattoo.
S George Galloway at Windhorse Tattoo
Half spider half woman by George Galloway at Windhorse Tattoo.
S Hozho at Tattoo Station in Romarin
Colorful neo traditional piece by Hozho at Tattoo Station.
S Nhia Yang at Gook Kind Tattoo in Chicago
Terrifying neo traditional piece with noh mask as the head. Done by Nhia Yang at Goodkind Tattoo in Chicago.
S Nick Crampton at Chapel Tattoo
Spider with skulls by Nick Crampton at Chapel Tattoo.
S Vova Bydin at Citizen Ink Brooklyn NYC
More American traditional piece by Vova Bydin at Citizen Ink in Brooklyn NYC.

All versions of this beast are terrifying, and all make a bold tattoo. Which is your favorite?