Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Horror-Inspired Tattoos

We're all horror lovers, right? So, it's natural for us to find ways to express it. Sometimes, we like to do it visually so everyone seeing us, can see what we're into. For some, it's wearing black and black nail polish, for others it's a nose piercing or eyebrow piercing, for yet more, it's a permanent expression--a tattoo.

When I was considering my tatt, I knew one thing-I wanted just one tatt. It had to be symbolic, it had to personify all that is me, all my elements, and also make a statement because I felt having more than one tatt would take away from my message and muddy the waters of what was ME.

I was going to do a Jack O'Lantern and also considered a lady in white traditional ghost outside some cemetery gates, then a Green Man symbol and ultimately asked myself--what is really me in the most basic form? Autumn. It always came down to the colors, tastes, smells, feels, and Halloween. Nothing says autumn more than a leaf. A changing leaf, in my colors since I only wear yellow, green, orange and brown. Everything cherished, amazing and beautiful, tasty, exciting and arousing happens in autumn!

So, you love horror, want a horror tatt, but what do you get? Well, you can shock the hell out of people, or you can say "I like the creepy, the gothic." Castles, cemetery gates, ghosts and bats are all classic gothic elements. Then, there's love of horror movies in which you can have characters from your favorites from Leatherface to Chucky.

Tatts are not just permanent, they within a glance tell people not only what we value, but our very taste. I remember seeing a man with a full sleeve that was all colorless black and white looking and very complex. It was so complex, that I tried not to look too closely, but couldn't help staring and staring and staring, hoping to capture one element in it. When he saw me looking too long, he sighed angrily, lifted his sleeve and I came over and examined it and still the image was so complex, I could not make out the elements. He pointed to parts of it. "That's my dad's car coming down the winding road and there's the Psycho house at the top of the hill and there's a lady in the window and a gargoyle on the roof." He snorted and shoved his sleeve down. "Jeez!" He snarled. I still couldn't see it. No matter what his intentions were, the execution was so horrendous that the point was lost on all viewers. Only he could interpret it. And, it showed a certain level of bad technique in his whole life. There is message and then there is execution. This is, after all, supposed to be ART.

I'm curious if any of you have considered having a horror tatt to show your life-long love.

If you were to get one, what do you think would say it all--if you could just have one tatt?

I'm curious to hear.


  1. I wish I can get more tattoos and hopefully will if I can save some money. I feel that my tattoos are random because that's how I usually am. I like so many things but they do have a common theme I believe whether its a skull or a mask. Also if someone ask me about my tattoos I never get annoyed to talk about them even when someone makes a face and says why did you get that one with a disapproving tone. Their visible and a part of me so I defend them just as I would anything else in my life that I feel proud of. I haven't posted them on blog put my tattoos are on facebook (Lj Decay) the album is labeled if you want to check them out.

  2. Very cool. You know, everyone is going to have their own way of expressing through tatts. I think my universal problem has been that I love something until I get sick of it, so I know that if I wait 5-10 years, I never want to see that thing again. Like, I did my house as a medieval castle and after 10 years I was seriously sick of it and don't like medieval furnishings any longer. So, I know that finding a consistency that I never ever got sick of was important. I have phases, but there's always a constant. When you find your constants, you've found your tatts!

  3. Niiiiiiiice article, Sharon … On my right shoulder, I've the screaming bat face from Brian Lumley's Necroscope 3: The Source, in which he explains where vampires come from; excuse me, wherefrom hail the Wamphyri … original art by Bob Eggleton, a long-standing fantasy artist of world renown, the ink by itself by NYC area Goth ink-slinger, Morgana Dead, née Sue Duffy.

    On my left upper arm, borrowed from the late, great Psychedelic era artist, Rick Griffin, the seven-eyed, seven-horned Lamb of the Apocalypse, with the Scroll unfurled, plus a dove from Salvador Dalí's painting, The Ecumenical Council.

    Next? More monsters from mythology, definitely. Except that the guy I really wanna have do 'em … John-Paul Bonanno … is gosh darned hard to track down. Whenever 'tis that I'm available, he is not, & et cetera … Once again, sharon, I really appreciated this ~ (•8-D

  4. Wow, bror! You seriously have some beautiful art!!!

  5. That Jack Nicholson tattoo was amazing! You posted some well done ones. I agree with you - I think people should get tattoos of things that mean a lot to them and get them done right! It's not something to go cheap on. As for me, I don't have any tattoos. I'm way too fickle and I know I would change my mind about the design after the work was done.

    I can't believe that story you posted! It's weird that a guy would get that much tattoo work done and then act snotty if someone wants to look at it. What did he think would happen?

  6. Great article - I love how you get people thinking. :)

    Although I have gone by the frog queen for a very, very long time. I hear you when you say you can tire of things. I still collect frogs, but the way I look at them has changed and I know that someday I will move that part of me into less of a focus.

    At my heart I love Halloween - so something that says Halloween in one symbol - a classic jack o' lantern would do me just fine.


  7. Justine--seriously! One time, I was at an outdoor farmer's market and a man went by with his shirt off. He had a huge ghost ship on his flank that had tattered sails and ghostly sailors on board. I literally chased the man through the market to find him again and stare. He must have thought I was simple-minded, but this very plain and average man suddenly seemed like a sex god to me. The right tatt can take an average person and make them seriously interesting.

  8. I actually have Baby Firefly as a pin up girl on my right leg holding a knife and the words BABY in blood below it. I would like to add some background around it.. not sure what yet.

    I also have what I call my PRETTY SCARY sleeve on my right arm that is quite finished yet. It has Lucy from Dracula, Lydia from Beetlejuice, Lily Munster, Morticia Addams, The Bride of Frankenstein etc. Filler is jack o lanterns, webs, bats etc. I actually have a ragged pink banner that goes through it that says PRETTY SCARY.. when it wraps around my arm it ties into a bow with a skull in the middle .. the bow actually is my elbow (yes planned it that way). It's still a work in progress but pretty much almost done.

    And not horror related but still vampire related.. I have the Count from Sesame Street on my wrist.. a symbol of my love for Jim Henson and all that was wonderful about him.

  9. Wow--you have an amazing menagerie that makes perfect sense! Somehow, art is always more meaningful on a human canvas where it can show off what is so beautiful inside and out.

  10. Those are some seriously awesome tatts. I like to refer to our bodies as a skinvas. Although I have yet to have ink touch my skin, I have one in mind. Thanks for sharing these. This was a fun post.

  11. Frog Queen--I'm totally with you. The autumn leaf has more than one meaning to me and the colors are the only colors I wear--yellow, orange, green and brown.

    MM--I am curious. You must reveal your thoughts--I'd like to see you get a mask.

  12. If I ever get a tattoo, it'll be of a spindly scarecrow on my upper right shoulder. Think Pumpkinrot's "Johnny Appleseed" prop to get a visual.

  13. Oh yes! You know the one I'd want? The scarecrow at the beginning of Sleepy Hollow or the one from Jeepers Creepers 2 in the corn field.