The Great Mystery of Tattoo References

April 23rd, 2014 by Kevin -


People sometimes give me grief in the comments about not knowing what a tattoo is in reference to or what it’s based off of. I wish I knew what every piece was based off of, but it’s impossible.

This piece is a perfect example. I have no idea what it is, what’s it’s in reference to, or if it’s based off of anything. The only thing I know is that I like it. Isn’t that enough?

Tattoo by Ryan Smith

Tattoo by Ryan Smith at Studio Ink in Westbury, Wiltshire, UK

Fudō Myō-ō

April 23rd, 2014 by Kevin -


This is the Fudō Myō-ō. From what I’ve read, hey can be found all over Japan. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to Japan (yet), so I can’t confirm this.

If anyone has been to Japan, and has first hand experience of these statues – I’d love to hear more.

Tattoo by Chris Walkin

Tattoo by Chris Walkin at Iron Cypress in Lake Charles, LA

It’s What’s Inside that Counts

April 22nd, 2014 by Kevin -


Today’s good hearted reminder is brought to you by the matryoshka doll.

Tattoo by Benj Ashmead

Tattoo by Benj Ashmead at Eagles Wing Tattooing in Manchester, England

From inspiration, to sketch, to finish

April 22nd, 2014 by Kevin -


Anytime an artist sends in a tattoo with a sketch, I’m stoked. When an artist sends in the inspiration for the piece, the sketch, and the tattoo – I’m speechless.

Tattoo Inspiration by Shane BakerTattoo Sketch by Shane BakerTattoo by Shane Baker

Tattoo by Shane Baker at Powerline Tattoo in Cranston, RI

Get On Board

April 22nd, 2014 by Kevin -


I’m embarrassed to say that I sometimes look at pieces like these for symbolism, and fail to see it. Now do I fail to see it because I’m a simpleton or because there is no symbolism, and I’m over analyzing it?

Tattoo by Fulvio Vaccarone

Tattoo by Fulvio Vaccarone at Darkink Tattoo Studio in Garlasco, Italy

Baby Harry Potter

April 21st, 2014 by Kevin -


Given the fact that I’ve never seen a Harry Potter movie, I don’t think I’m the guy to talk about Harry Potter tattoos.

With that being said, even I recognized the tie. Although, I think the lighting bolt ‘scar’ would be a lot cooler if it was a tattoo.

Tattoo by Seth Campbell

Tattoo by Seth Campbell at Cloud City Tattoo in Worcester,MA

Disney inspired

April 21st, 2014 by Kevin -


I cropped this picture quite a bit, but you can see it has a handful of Disney/Pixar pieces. I don’t know if the client is piecing a sleeve together piece by piece, or if this is an on-going project.

Either way, I’d love to see more pieces like these. Maybe we can do a theme day? If you have a piece, you can send them to submit at

Tattoo by Nate Anderson

Tattoo by Nate Anderson at Bearcat Tattoo Gallery in San Diego CA.