Lovecraft-Escher-Tolkien Combo Tattoo

Anna writes with some pictures of her labret in which she wears a handmade talon. She drew up the basic template and then it was molded by Antro del Drago and mounted on the labret stud.

She’s also got a great back tattoo (seen below, which you can click on to zoom in for more detail), based on Escher’s 3D work, and a Lovecraftian creature based especially on the story “Hunter of the Dark” in which an entity is released by a non-euclidean solid. The tattoo was designed by a friend and then tattooed by Giancarlo Capra over three sessions. Slight changes were made to accommodate her anatomy and to give a bit more symmetry, and the Quenya word “Mother” was added as well (“thus making this the Escher-Lovecraft-Tolkien backpiece of utter nerdom.”)

If you’re wondering why, Anna explains,

“Whenever the argument of tattoos popped up in the conversation, I always told my mother I would get a sailor tattoo with ‘mum’ on it sooner or later as a tribute to her patience. Despite my love for pirates and octopi, I hate the whole anchors & hearts traditional style tattoos so it was always said in joke.

“Since I left home the ‘mother’ idea begun to sound less and less stupid… Distance and time have brought us closer than when we shared the same roof, to the point that rather than ‘harrumping’ and raising her eyes, she was so supportive with the whole tattoo thing that she offered to pay a whole session as a birthday/Christmas present… and it occurred to me that the giant geometrical egg-shape giving birth to inane creatures I was in the process of getting was a definitely better way of paying tribute to the one who brough me to life, so I surprised her by presenting a whole back tattoo dedicated to her for her birthday, a couple of months later!”

41 thoughts on “Lovecraft-Escher-Tolkien Combo Tattoo

  1. Really nice, love escher and lovecraft too.. The labret stud is beautiful, integrates well in her face. Beautiful!

  2. Shouldn’t the title rather read “Tolkien” tattoo?
    Escher definitely is is one of my favorite graphic artists – this works really well!

  3. Octopuses is accepted(English plural), Octopodes is correct (Greek plural)… but for the love of humanity… Octopi is wrong. (The word is not Latin or derived from Latin)

    Respect the shark killers!

    Pedants ahoy!

    Loving the ink though (under the skin, not the waves). 🙂

  4. There simply are not words. The tattoo is *gorgeous*, both in design and how it was done, and I absolutely love the idea behind it. Her labret is awesome, and she herself is stunningly beautiful. Much, much respect for this lady.

  5. “Anonymous Coward” – Every time I post about octopuses, some smarty-pants wants to make this comment, but pretty much the opposite of what you said is correct… “Octopodes” is NOT accepted plural, whereas “Octopi” is accepted. Argue all you want about the etymology of the word, but that doesn’t change the reality of how it’s used in modern English.

  6. Awesome.
    I love it when people manage to go for a consistent look. I can never seem to :p

  7. Beautiful. One of the better Lovecraft inspired tattoos out there, IMHO. It’s nice to see someone referencing something other than Cthulhu.

  8. Shannon*, in modern English the word should be pluralised as a modern English word:

    Octopuses – which is an accepted, popular and correct form for modern English. In fact, the overwhelmingly popular usage of the word.

    The problem comes with smartypants people and between smartypants people who are using Latin endings to words which are not Latin or latinate, and those smartypants people who would rather use the antiquated but proper form. It is a Greek word. There is no denying that, or its proper plural would be “Octopodes”.

    Corruption and then reporting of the corpus doesn’t make something wrong, suddenly right.

    Doesn’t your world become a little larger when you learn a little more and apply it? (however trivial, granted. *dons pedant cap*)

    Anyway, what’s wrong with the proper English plural?

    Octopuses by any other name do smell just as sweet.

    Also: Orientate. Accepted but WRONG. Orient is already a verb, no need for ‘ate-ing.

    There’s never any need for ‘ate.

    (^^^The only two words I’m completely anal about. Moving on…)

    *Oh radiant one, wonder of the ages, our benevolent dictator for all eternity…

  9. Wonderful tattoo – I’m not a LOTR fan, but that is fantastic.

    As for Anonymous Coward – why not just reveal who you are? If you’re correct, revel in the superiority.

  10. Anonymous Coward, I am curious as to what your sources are..if you have any of course. That being said..all three terms are acceptable with Octopodes is actually the least acceptable of the three terms.

    “Fowler’s Modern English Usage states that “the only acceptable plural in English is octopuses”, and that octopi is misconceived and octopodes pedantic. Octopi derives from the mistaken notion that octopus is Latin, which it is not. Rather, it is Latinized Greek, from oktōpous (ὀκτώπους), masculine gender, whose plural is oktōpodes (ὀκτώποδες). If the word were Latin, it would be octopes (‘eight-foot’) and the plural octopedes, analogous to centipedes and millipedes, as the plural form of pes (‘foot’) is pedes. In modern, informal Greek, it is called khtapodi (χταπόδι), neuter gender, with plural form khtapodia (χταπόδια).

    That said, Merriam-Webster and other dictionaries accept octopi as a plural form. The Oxford English Dictionary lists octopuses, octopi, and octopodes (the order reflecting decreasing frequency of use), stating that the last form is rare. The term octopod (either plural octopods and octopodes can be found) is taken from the taxonomic order octopoda but has no classical equivalent. The collective form octopus is usually reserved for animals consumed for food. Finally worth mentioning is Octopussy, a play on words which found its way back from the movie title to a term of endearment for the animals that originally inspired it.”

    “We would go with “octopuses,” a perfectly legitimate English plural, and the oldest attested to. “Octopi” is also an acceptable choice, and one in wide use, but you run the risk of being informed that it’s incorrect. Well-meaning people may tell you that -i is a Latin plural, but “octopus” comes from the Greek. While this is true, the word in fact went from Greek to Latin, and only then to English. While the plural is irregular, it’s hardly out of bounds.

    Those who don’t like “octopi” sometimes suggest that the correct term is “octopodes.” Nobody ever uses “octopodes” outside of arguments about the plural of “octopus.” Nor should you.

    In short, stick with “octopuses” unless you really prefer the sound of “octopi.”

  11. gorgeous!
    and let me pay you many compliments for the philological study about the word octopus. 🙂
    I’m a future-philologist (hope to be, at least :-P) and all my tattooes have a meaning related to ancient Greece.

  12. Hi there! I’m the tentacled girl in the pics and I wanted to thank you for all the lovely compliments, especially for the tattoo: photoshop and good photography can enhance an average person, but the artists involved in the tattoo and silver-working are the ones to praise… 🙂

    I won’t get in the plural of octopus matter since after all english is not my native language (I’m from Italy) and this is a body modification blog. Though I think I’ll be using “tentacled beast” in the future just to be sure. 😉

    #28: since I first read Hobbit when I was little (incidentally, thanks to my mother), I fell in love with Tolkien imagery. When I started tattooing myself (I have two other minor pieces) I knew that sooner or later I would get something tattoed in Quenya so I bought texts from the Tolkien society and studied the language… on retrospect, maybe I could have picked a better way to spend my time (such as learning an actual USEABLE language!), but I’m happy to have something on me that has more personal meaning while at the same time is “secret” to those who aren’t in the know.
    Just be sure… I think I checked with at least three different persons and several online sources before I committed it to my skin (and still fear about errors)!

    #30 My mother’s reaction was a huge hug. When I showed it to her, there wasn’s a dry eye in the room as I think it meant a lot for both of us.

  13. That first outfit is the same one Scary Spice wore in their first tour for Move Over. Sorry, huge Spice Girls fan here.

  14. I think that if this blog is going to travel off topic, it should go more in the direction of something relevant in society today, like number 36. Now that is relevant knowledge 😀 haha…and how did you know that? I don’t think I could track of everything David Bowie wore 😛

    That is a beautiful tattoo. It’s just perfect.

  15. I’m personally curious about the custom talon, its materials, process and cost since I might have friends who can possibly make custom pieces for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *