Friday, January 22, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Johnny Depp’s tattoos express his quirky personality and sense of humor. A banner on his arm that used to read “ Winona forever”, in honor of actress Winona Ryder, was altered – or should we say edited – after his breakup with Ryder and now reads “Wino forever”! Depp’s other tattoos include a tribute to his mother and his daughter, a skull on his ankle with the words “Death is certain”, and, most puzzling, the number 3 between his thumb and index finger! These and other celebrity tattoos are great examples of how the art of tattooing can be adapted to individual taste and expressions of personality. Celebrity tattoos have been instrumental in the rehabilitation of this ancient art, making it attractive and acceptable for the rest of us.
He has 6 tattoo designs on his body, including a cross tattoo on his shoulder, a guardian angel tattoo on his back, some Chinese characters and an Aquarius tattoo.
Melanie C, one of the 5 Spice Girls, is a celebrity with a big love for tattoos. At least, she used to be, lately there have been some signs that she is regretting her tattoos.
Mel C has about 10 tattoos on her body, primarily designs with an Eastern origin. She's got a lotus flower, a tribal phoenix, a Chinese dragon, a Celtic cross, a Celtic armband, a star tattoo, an English writing tattoo and 2 Tibetan writing tattoos.
If Robbie Williams is the King of celebrity tattoos, then the queen is undoubtedly Angelina Jolie, famous for her multiple tats – at least a dozen, at last count.
Critics are quick to point out that Jolie broke one of the cardinal rules of tattooing – she incorporated the name of her former husband in a prominent tattoo design on her upper arm, and then had to undergo a painful and tedious laser tattoo removal treatment after they broke up (she had more tattoos removed).
Angelina Jolie’s tattoos can also be a bit of a challenge for movie makeup crews to cover up – putting all that aside, though, they are a creative and fascinating expression of her individuality and personal philosophy. Examples include a saying in Arabic that means “will” or “determination”, and the phrase “know your rights” in gothic letters across the top of her back.
Here's the translation:
May your enemies run far away from you.
If you acquire riches, may they remain yours always.
Your beauty will be that of Apsara.
Wherever you may go, many will attend, serve and protect you, surrounding you on all sides.
Several websites say that it means "Strength of Will", but that is wrong.
This tattoo on her left underarm is the Roman number 13. She had it done because she doesn't believe in superstitions.
Later she had V MCMXL added to the tattoo. 13 May 1940 is the date when Winston Churchill gave a famous speech, in which he said: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat".
This tattoo on Jolie's left arm are the words of Tennessee Williams:
"A prayer for the wild at heart, kept in cages."
Angelina Jolie had this tattoo done in the presence of her mother.
This cross tattoo covers the little dragon with the blue tongue she had done in Amsterdam. Next to it is a phrase in Latin:
"Quod me nutrit me destruit", meaning "What nourishes me, destroys me."
Angelina Jolie had the cross tattoo done the day before she married Johnny Lee Miller in 1995. In her own words: "It was all symbolic, and it was a good thing, nothing dark."
This rune style tattoo on Angelina's wrist is the letter h. Depending on the source it is to remind her of her ex boyfriend Timothy Hutton or her brother, James Haven.
These numbers are the geographical coordinates (longitudes and latitudes) from the locations where her children first entered her life.
This 12-inch long, 8-inch wide Bengal tiger tattoo on her lower back is Angelina Jolie's latest. It was done in Bangkok on July 8, 2004, during a 2 hour session by tattoo artist Sompong Kanhphai who also blessed it by chanting an ancient hymn. Sompong also did her Khmer tattoo. She had the tiger tattoo done to celebrate her Cambodian citizenship.
The tiger tattoo was done in the traditional Thai tattoo style with a manual needle. The tiger's tail covers her blue window tattoo.
Angelina wants to have yet another tattoo done in Thailand.
This is Angelina Jolie's Asian dragon tattoo with the name of her second husband Billy Bob Thornton above it (added later). She had it removed after they broke up.
In an interview during the time of the tattoo removal procedure she said:
"I'll never be stupid enough to have a man's name tattooed on me again."
It took 5 visits to the tattoo removal clinic to erase the dragon and you can still see it a bit.
Jolie has 3 tattoos on her lower back: a tribal, a blue window and a tribal dragon.
The tribal dragon is now partly covered by the tiger tattoo.
The window is symbol for the fact that she always found herself looking through the window, wishing she was somewhere else. The window is covered up by the tail of the Bengal tiger. She had it covered because she is where she wants to be right now.
This dragon tattoo with blue tongue on Angelina's hip is covered up by the cross tattoo (see above). She got it in Amsterdam while she was drunk.
This abstract lines tattoo design on Angelina Jolie's right arm is a custom tattoo created by herself and Billy Bob Thornton. It is now covered up with the Arabic tattoo.
This tattoo on Jolie's left shoulder blade is the Japanese symbol for Death and it reminds her to live. She had it removed and now has the Khmer tattoo for her son Maddox on that place. This Japanese tattoo was her first tattoo ever.
This tattoo on her right arm is the Japanese symbol for Courage. Her ex husband Johnny Lee Miller had a matching tattoo, that's why she had it removed, it didn't feel like her own.
gecko tattoo on the back of a woman, this tattoo has a message that a woman could be as funny as geckos. gecko describes the sinister animals but has a more exotic values so that these tattoos can make a woman feel sexy and confident.
Although nowhere near the scale of LA or NY, Japan is slowly opening up to the idea that tattoos are fashionable. Led by celebrities such as Amuro Namie and Hamasaki Ayumi, the notion of getting skin art is hardly as taboo as it used to be, with its stygian yakuza associations.
Whilst traditionally getting tattoos was predominately the pastime of men, women are also taking an interest in fashionable skin art and have a strong presence in the tattoo industry. Many of the top artists are female, the editors of the tattoo magazines are also typically women, and the pseudo fashion magazine Tattoo Girls features models from agencies shot by prominent photographers such as Hiromix…although strangely enough, they are all sporting fake tattoos.
Osaka’s Nattsu at Chopstick Tattoo tells me, “I get lots of girls, girls working in the fashion and beauty industries, and gay guys,” and her portfolios are filled with super cute tattoos. Moreover, Horisho from Mindscape tattoo, says, “My clients are going from being the blue-collar workers and laborers who were my usual clientele to a sudden surge in interest from fashion people, designers, hair-dressers and many more female clients.”
There is no doubt about the popularity of tattoos in Japan. There are three major magazines for the tattoo enthusiast, and half the pages are ads for tattoo shops. There are tattoo events on at least once a month. I’m told that there are over 500 shops all over Japan.
However, having said that, be aware that most people are still quite shocked by tattoos- and if you get heavy tattoo work, you will inevitably find yourself wearing long sleeves in summer. They simply don’t do much to aid employment, according to Hata from Koenji’s inkrat.
“I foresee a generation of elaborately tattooed homeless in the future,” he says, only half jokingly. “It’s hard to get bank loans and rental contracts with visible tattoos. Things haven’t changed much.”
Aside from being aware of the fact that you probably won’t be able to go to your favorite onsen without either refusal or quizzical stares, also take into consideration that tattoos are quite the luxury, with a standard 15,000 yen per hour charge. They are also addictive!
As with any expensive purchase, get as much information as possible. There are several excellent tattoo magazines, the best being Tattoo Burst, and numerous books aimed for the fashion conscious sold at any bookstore, especially the cooler shops like Village Vanguard.
Japan is full of inspiration, and tattooing motifs can come from the classic lexicon of traditional tattooing motifs, such as dragons, carps, phoenixes, foo-dogs and the like, that come with their own prescribed meanings, that should be taken into consideration. However, living in Japan, it’s just as common for clients to get inspired by Sanrio characters, kimono prints, and Pokémon. There is no shortage of places to look.
Some of the questions you should ask are:
Do I really want something permanent? How big, and where do I want it? What do I want? And, Who do I go to?
We have selected ten of the more reputable street shops in Tokyo that are accessible, friendly, offer top notch tattoos, and are strict with sterility.
The wait lists for some of these shops can be incredibly lengthy, although some people luck out and get a “walk-in” tattoo. It’s best to go, consult with the artists, see if you actually like the person, and are comfortable getting tattooed by them, and then proceed.