Jekyll and Hyde

Presently her eye wandered to the other, and she was surprised to recognise in him a certain Mr. Hyde, who had once visited her master and for whom she had conceived a dislike. He had in his hand a heavy cane, with which he was trifling; but he answered never a word, and seemed to listen with an ill-contained impatience. And then all of a sudden he broke out in a great flame of anger, stamping with his foot, brandishing the cane, and carrying on (as the maid described it) like a madman. The old gentleman took a step back, with the air of one very much surprised and a trifle hurt; and at that Mr. Hyde broke out of all bounds and clubbed him to the earth. And next moment, with ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot and hailing down a storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered and the body jumped upon the roadway. At the horror of these sights and sounds, the maid fainted.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

Tattoo by Sean Morgan from Scarab Body Arts in Syracuse, NY

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The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

This is one of those references where you’ll either know it right away or you’ll have no clue at all.  Myself, I had no clue, but the wonders of the internet filled me in.  Earlier this month at the International Brussels Tattoo Convention, Michael Kozlenko from Kipod Tattoo in Tel Aviv created this image for a client.  It’s of Nils, the main character of The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, a Swedish children’s book which was adapted into an anime series back in the 80s.

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‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

-Jabberwocky – Lewis Carroll

Now you may be wondering why I’m including Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky in a ModBlog post.  Well, the answer is simple, nbutterf’s tattoo that you see below is the artist’s interpretation of the Jabberwock itself.  Ania Jalosinska from Mantra Tattoo in Cheltenham, UK designed this particular piece using only the poem as a reference.

Given the poem’s nonsensical language, it seems only fitting that Ania took an abstract approach with the design.  Now nbutterf herself loves this piece, and much like Carroll plays with words, she also plays with her tattoo.  If you keep reading, you’ll see exactly what I mean.

So to have a little fun with the design she asked her friend Julia to paint over the tattoo with watercolors, giving it an entirely different look.  This is one of those few times where I am just blown away by the inspiration and execution of a piece.  Kudos to Ania for the design, and thanks to nbutterf for sharing it with us.

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Back to 1984

When Jason Stephan’s wife asked him to tattoo her back, it was the first time he’d ever been able to complete a piece of this size on blank skin.  The couple came up with the design together, and the result is fantastic.  Here’s what Jason’s wife had to say about the design:

This piece is the culmination of feelings about many of the issues of today. Some of these issues have come up in the past, most notably in George Orwell’s book “1984″ and so this tattoo could be described as a creative visualization of that novel. The lamb/ human figures are representative of all things that are good and innocent about mankind: curiosity, naivete, kindness, tolerance, etc. The robot is symbolic of all of the forces that corrupt those “good things.” The corrupting forces could be technology, government, greed, etc. On the robot’s screen is a face reminiscent on “Big Brother” in Orwell

Jason works at Loose Screw Tattoo in Richmond, VA.