Tuesday, March 3, 2009

[BONUS] Win a copy of Book of Skulls!

Tattoo artist Thomas Hooper has graciously offered to give away a copy of his amazing Book of Skulls to a reader of Skull-A-Day!


The book is a collection of over 400 copyright free photographs of different human and animal skulls. It's designed to be used as reference for tattooists, artists and illustrators, though it would make an amazing coffee table book for any skull lover out there as well.

To be entered into a random drawing to win just post a comment below with a brief story about one of your tattoos or a description of what you might get if you don't already have any tattoos. You have until Midnight Eastern Time Monday, March 9th to enter so don't delay!

UPDATE: The contest is over and the winner will be announced soon, thanks to everyone who submitted your stories I really enjoyed learning about you and your tattoos!

And of course you can always buy your own copy of Book of Skulls right away by going HERE.

p.s. Don't forget that I need a way to reach you. If you don't want to leave an e-mail, just make sure your Blogger profile has a contact or a link to a site where you can be contacted!

65 comments:

Leann said...

I don't have it yet, but I've been planning it for a long time, a turtle, viewed from above, with a human skull painted on its shell. Maybe I'll get it on my shoulder blade.

Jess said...

i have 4 tattoos including a half sleeve which all incorporate a skull or skulls into the design. a pirate cross, a pirate skull, a horned demon skull and a dragon half sleeve with skulls in the fillwork.

Tatman said...

Skulls and tattoos are 2 of my most favorite things. My left arm is 99.5% sleeved in black and gray, and it includes a total of 6 skulls. The main skull at the top is the Black Label Society skull.

Alex said...

i have 2 tatoos, one is on my right arm and it´s a dragon that I drew, and the other is on my left arm and it says "do onto others as you´d to yourself"

to-paraphrase.com said...

I have two right now (more planned for the future). The last one I got was the name, birth and death dates of my best friend about three years ago.

it's just me....searching for hidden treasure said...

my favorite tat of mine is my pirate girl pin up...she has a tri-horn hat with a skull in the middle... would love a copy of this book...skulls never go out of style...

Patrick said...

I've got somewhere around 15 skull tattoos between both of my arms and I'm currently working on finishing my left arm concept which is going to be an entire sleeve of nothing but skulls.

david said...

i have a tattoo of the word "winter" on the middle of my back. spelled in Hebrew, because the sound of it is awesome : חורף - choreff. i made the font myself, and by adding it all kinds of lines across is it looks under-constructions-ish.

mordicai said...

I've been thinking of getting the letter "mem" from Amberlain's angelic alphabet tattooed. I want it on my forearm, which maybe would be too visible; actually, if it wasn't for that, I'd definately get it.

Fun fact: I have three titanium plates in my skull!

blakewest said...

I don't have any tattoos because I'm so damn hairy and feel like exposing a patch of skin would just look crazy. However, I've always wanted a great big tattoo of the Lord Ganesh on my back. Fun fact about Ganesh: in Nepal, images of Ganesh frequently have skulls on his crown!

TeratoMarty said...

The Frankenstein monster is a ruling metaphor for my life. Stitched together out of disparate bits, trying to make it work somehow. I designed a Celtic knotwork pattern based on couching stitches- those big railroad-looking ones on the Monster. I'm going to get it tattoo'd across my chest, once I decide on whether I want a bandolier-style left shoulder to right hip, or a Y-shaped autopsy scar. Both have different meanings tome. If I ever get brave enough to shave my head, I'll get a smaller version of the same design tattoo'd just at my hairline.

Norm White said...

I have two tatt's that are skulls. One of them is on my left arm, it's a yin/yang with the dark portion of it as a skull.

The other one is on my right arm, it's a werewolf skull in front of a moon with mist in the background.

Ragnar said...

I have one tattoo, on my lower back, a swirly loopy thing which no one can tell is actually a stylized rendition of the female reproductive system. When people ask about it, I have the option of replying in a loud voice "It's my OVARIES."

And I have another planned, I want an animal-interlace cuff on my upper arm, modeled after the book of kells/viking wood carving, except that each of the animals will be a totem rendition of my family...all tied together. I was all set to get out my designing pencils, but recently found out that I'm pregnant, so now I have to fit in one more animal.

kellybelly said...

I have a tattoo of an illustration from Juan Valverde de Amusco's "Anatomia del corpo humano." It's a full skeleton that takes of 3/4 of my left arm. I was born with severe scoliosis and the illustration, with the spine being prominent, spoke to me.

My next big tattoo will probably be a full sleeve (or a leg piece, I haven't decided) comprising of Halloween imagery, including some more skulls.

Chris Z. said...

I have 3 tattoos, two Felix the Cat related and one yellow rose. The rose was done at Sunset Strip Tattoo at a deep discount due to a friend apprenticing there - and it still looks good 18 years later. I do want another just for balance, I'll probably draw up something skull related in a metal look since welding is my passion.

frankensteinsbride1313 said...

I have many tattoos. My favorite is on my forearm and it is of conjoined twin skeletons. My next one will probably be on my knuckles.

amberlyn said...

i have 8 tattoos 3 wolves. those are my faves. my next one is going to be a half human half wolf skull breaking up out of the ground in a cemetery. the cemetery plot of course is going to be my grave stone.

Another Limited Rebellion said...

Wow, who knew this was the question to ask you guys?! I love reading about your tattoos, keep 'em coming!

Elvistra said...

I have four tattoos, although my third one, a five pointed star has been retouched three times and had many smaller stars tattooed all around it on my arm to complete that space. Above that I had a family tribute piece done for family members who recently passed away. A large pink dogwood flower with three smaller ones to represent my mother, uncle and grandparents. My second tattoo was a wonderful portrait of Elvis as the sun and moon on my ankle, and my first was a large tribal design on my lower back which I received in a hotel room laying on a bed. The next tattoo will definitely be a full upper arm piece of Bettie Page. I was planning on the tattoo for a while and now that she has passed away, it is very special to me.

Jack Morgan said...

I have one tattoo on each arm.
My right has a 23 because it is a prime and mystical number, or was when I was nineteen.
My left has a black silhouette of a storm petrel that I drew.
I am thinking of getting a silhouette of a Morgan horse on my right under the 23.
I hope then that I will not get anymore or that nothing will move me enough to want to get it tattooed.

Splashes of joy said...

that book is a great idea!

Clotho said...

An acute heptagram inside my left wrist. Seven is a sacred number and one that keeps recurring in my life in strange ways; the star is a symbol that has personal significance. The heptagram tattoo is ... a way of acknowledging and welcoming the luck of seven.

jesse said...

I have one tattoo - a small anchor on my right ankle. I did it myself with a needle, ink, and spool of thread, and I wouldn't have it any other way. A lot of people think it's sloppy or too 'hip' or 'scene' to do your own tattoos, but I am an artist, and I feel why not move my art to my very own canvas?

Another Limited Rebellion said...

Don't forget I need a way to contact you if you're the winner! No need to leave an e-mail if you can be reached through your Blogger profile, but if you haven't set that up, you might want to get on it.

Nikoli said...

2 tats for now... a small symbol on my ankle, representing a desire to get a tattoo, and a sun on my calf representing the fun times I spent in Arizona. Plans for at least 5 more... New Zealand related, Skateboard related (see the blog), Print Industry related, Scorpio(n), and my sons name... So many tatts, such little prime real estate. (concretinsATyahooDOTcom)

Daddymem said...

My memorial tat is on my left forearm. It is Sigur Ros art of an angel flying to heaven with some electric arcs and my brothers name and dob-dod.

pyrostylez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pyrostylez said...

i got a tattoo on my mom's 53rd birthday, jan 25th, it is my 5th one, text that says 'we don't let our hearts run our life, we let our minds' in her handwriting. a quote i pulled out of my mom's journal that she kept before she passed. i had it inked on my left set of ribs in the center right under my chest along the side.

it was pretty painful but it was worth it!

Isai said...

Well, I don't have any tattoos now, but i'm lookin' forward to get a sugar skull on my left ribs, as the danzig-era Misfits are one my favorite bands i want it with the same teeth missing off the crimson ghost(the band's logo). And the tradition is that sugar skulls are gifts for your loved ones, so they used to have a piece of paper on their foreheads with the recipient's name, then i want mine with the name of my 9 year-old brother: Alan.

Kevin said...

I want to get the left side of my face tattooed with a skull, matching my own. But here is the kicker, I want to use the UV reactive ink, so that it can only be seen under a black light. (Not Lets go clubbing!!)

Mariano said...

I've got only one tatto(though many more planned in the future).
It's a Phoenix's siloutte (kind of like a shadow...), plain black, on my right leg.

Mariano

P.S. Sorry for the broken english...

negrofrankenstein said...

It was back in 1988, and the world was a pure wonderland of endless possibilities. I was one of two black punk-rockers in Lubbock Texas, and I was trying to prove myself to the redneck punks. I was the first to get a tattoo on a visible section of skin (forearm), and being my first tattoo, it earned me a bit of credibility. I decided to double down and do another forearm piece, except this one would be on the inside of the forearm. For some reason that just screamed hardcore to me. But what should I get? Back then, in Lubbock there were no worthwhile shops, and the only place you could get decent work was at someone's kitchen table. I decided to play guinea pig to an up-and comer, one of the redneck punks named Cobra, who'd just started tattooing.
I'd been dating a girl I'd met in and imported from Chicago, and was trying to work her into a tattoo idea. Being an art student I found the tattoo I wanted in my art-history text. Edvard Munch's "Maiden and Death". I took the female figures long locks and shortened them to resemble my then girlfriends skin-bird haircut.
The procedure was a success... of sorts. I got a cool tattoo, but it reminds me of a bitchy chick that made my life hell for 3 years. I got street-cred, but from a bunch of drunken losers. Life is yin. Life is yang. I remain unmoved.

Fran said...

When I turned 30 I was challenged by my best male friend to get a tattoo with him. He thought I would chicken out, but I followed through and got a scorpion on a rising sun on my hip.

Hope Forstenzer said...

I got my first tattoo at the age of 20. It's a teardrop shaped yin and yang on my right shoulder. I then got an aroboros on my right upper arm, which is the only one that I regret. A phoenix on my left upper arm followed a hieroglyph for Leo on my right heel, followed by the hieroglyph for Taurus on my left heel. I moved across the country at the age of 35, and had huge wings done on my back to help me get there. They worked.

b13 said...

I have a half sleeve that is a representation of a dragons' life cycle.

The outer arm has a Japanese dragon curled around a sphere with the kanji for "spirit" representing a mother and egg. The inner arm has a koi swimming upstream.

When the sphere is pierced by a sword a koi is born and swims upstream. When it reaches its' destination it becomes a dragon which then creates a new sphere.

The shoulder is completed with wind blades and a peony flower.

My arm so far...

Next I want to have a large angel on the back of my calf.

Maryann said...

I have 6 tattoos. My most recent one is of a female skeleton with long flowing black hair. She has a spider on her shoulder and is holding a rat.

Suzu said...

I don't have any tattoos yet, but my first one will be symbolic of my late grandfather who kicked ass during his day. On his tombstone, it's sort of a traditional phoenix-dragon design (Chinese background), so I'm hoping to get a tattoo that incorporates both elements. Most likely to get it on shoulder.

katillac deVille said...

I had wanted a tattoo since I was a child, when I met my great-grandmother. She was 98 years old and had been stuck by lightning - for the second time. She was a tough old bird, who lived an additional six years, passing of natural causes at 104. I greatly admired how ballsy and tenacious she was, not only for living through two lightning strikes, but also for having the nerve to be an upstanding woman with a tattoo. It was a little rose on her upper arm. She married a man of the sea, who had many tattoos, and demanded to have one of her own.
Though I had wanted one of my own for a long time, I waited until I was 24 to have my first. At that time, it was still taboo for women to have tattoos. There still was a stigma of being biker trash or a prostitute, but I didn't care. I was doing it to claim my body as my own, not what society told me I should not do.
Since then, I've been inked a number of times, and as I can afford, will continue adding to my collection. For my next session, the remainder of my upper left arm will be done, the heart on my right middle finger redone, and a cat-looking skull, similar to the avatar that shows when I post here, will be done on my left middle finger. I think my great grandmother would be proud.
Noah, I'm pretty sure my email address is accessible via my blogger account. You may still have my private email address as well. =)

Magπ said...

I've been planning on wings for a long time. They'd be across my shoulder blades, either made of gears or lace with a similarly themed skull in between them.

spooky-sez said...

I have a Skullerfly. It's a large butterfly with a flaming skull with open jaws across both wings. There's also a little spine and cow skull for the butterfly body.

Ortsak said...

on my left leg ive got 21 skulls from ankle to knee fully wrapping my leg, i even let the artists 7year old kid have a go at filling one in, turned out grand. One of the skulls i have under my knee, a few people have, it started out in Minnesota and made its way over here to Ireland. almost everyone that has it ive met and gotten to know pretty well, i guess you could call it some sort of Skull society.

gwe said...

I have three tattoos. My favorite is an eye that is tattooed on my belly. I did it after the birth of my son for my next pregnancy, so the next baby can have a window on the world.

Topaz said...

I have 2 tattoos so far, a hallow star that i got with my best friend when we both were sick of life & a Heart that my boyfriend designed while on a trip in Taiwan. But i plan on getting a Giant spooky tree that has a skull in the center of it with falling stars from it when i become free of debt so that i can always remember the feeling of no longer owing money.

The Schooligan said...

I just got my third tattoo completed 2 weeks ago. It's a greyscale depiction of Ernest Shackelton's ship, The Endurance that runs from the top of my ribcage to my hip. This is simply one of the most incredible adventure stories of all time and everytime I want to whine and complain about something I just think, "What would Shackelton do?"

Vox Mortuum said...

My last tattoo was one I got two years ago: an anatomically correct heart, wrapped tightly with barbed wire, with wings of flame coming out on either side. Kind of a different take on the "sacred heart" look.

I got this after an experience where I nearly died -- my doctor at the time put me on Metformin for PSOD (which I did not have) and said that most people do very well on it, no problem, slight risk of a very rare side effect, but I won't have it because it's very rare.

Yes, but I'm pretty rare too. :)

I got the rare side effect: lactic acidosis, which is part of what occurs in the body during a fun little process called rigor mortis. It felt as if my lungs, heart, and chest muscles were turning to stone while still alive. For two months I was dying while still alive, and I needed a tattoo to commemorate that.

I would love to win this book because the logo I'm designing for my website involves a skull, and I want to understand the skull as much as possible to make the best logo possible. :)

Kanibal said...

I have one that I drew up on my leg. It is part of a sock I am hoping to complete within the next few months.

Luis Pacheco said...

I don't have any, but i'm considering doing from one of my own drawings, and i'm sure it's gonna be a skull!

M D O T said...

I have a couple of tats but no skulls, been shopping around for one that fits my needs.lookng to have my forearm done.

The Girlfriend said...

Waaa, I like reading the story behind a tattoo design~

On February 26th (just a few days ago!), I've had the honour of being inked by my close friend Chawn-C the Greatest. We've cemented our friendship thanks to an amazing concert I've dragged her to 2 years ago but this is a bedtime story for another night...

I overcame a lot of things in the past few years and understood the meaning behind many others. I may not have suffered a excrutiatingly painful past (because no matter what happens to you, there is someone out there who goes through stuff 10 times worst), but it was enough for me to possibly turn out into the wrong type of person. With help from my family and my greatest treasure-girl in the whole wide world, I can finally walk in straight lines and push my self-esteem way up. Hitting 25 felt like a giant step for me after what I've been through, so I've decided to close this chapter with a tattoo on my upper back.

Actually, it was an excuse to stop procrastinating. I've been thinking of having a tattoo for about 8-9 years but couldn't decide on a good long lasting design and placement. It finally struck me: a skull with butterfly wings, but not just any general wing design. I wanted the wings to look like a skull when viewed from afar, like those self-defense patterns butterflies have. Chawn-C had the main idea and I've helped her with the wings design. A mixture of beautiful and dark-but-not-so-macabre. Once my skin stops peeling, I'll see if I can send a picture.

The butterfly is for the "metamorphosis" I went through to become the person I am now proud to be, and is also a nod to my name. The skull is for the classic memento mori with a twist: you have until death to become what you truly want to be.

And that's that. : D

evil dead said...

My wife and I have matching skull tatoos. I designed the original idea with our wedding bands hanging from a tooth in the lower jaw and a banner stating,"Till Death". I got mine on my arm hers is on her leg

Chrixcel said...

Don't have any tattoo even if I am thinking about having one...don't know if it will a skull though...;)

Micki said...

I have lots of tattoos and am always planning the next one.
I have 2 skulls on my chest and several little skullys on my arm, my favourite tattoo is my leg sleeve, that goes from knee to ankle all the way round in a cartoony horror theme!! love it!!

joy said...

I have two tattoos, a Chinese Dragon and a Shamanic symbol. Next will be an American Indian butterfly.

We were out walking today and my partner found another cormorant skull- with beak.

Great site, I always look forward to updates.

Joy

J Skull said...

I have several skull tattoos from my arms to my chest and my newest I just got is a skeleton dragging a beat up Elmo and holding the Austim puzzle piece. I work with kids with special needs and this will be the last yr working with my first student that I will always remember so I got the tattoo to remember him and to represent what I do...

Check out that and my others like my derek hess piece of bleeding skulls at myspace.com/xxsheersxx

Katherine said...

Well, this is a long one. I inherited a really cool book from my grandmother who was an artist (and died when my mom and her twin brother were 16) called "Symbols Signs and Signets." It chronicles images throughout history all over the world that people have used. My son Tevis had picked out one of them, an Asian piece, as his first tattoo love when he was 16-18. He planned to have it done on his left inner forearm by Robert Alleyne, one of the most respected tattoo artists in Lexington. He never got the tattoo, and died in an accident at age 20. A couple weeks after his death, his younger sister and I were searching through the book for that image as a possible memorial tattoo for her when she pointed at the first one in the book and said, "Look mom, it says Tevis!" It was an inscription from the middle ages at Westminster Abbey which actually says "titulus" kindof in a circular pattern but looks a lot like my sons name. I took it to Robert, who owns Charmed Life and worked with him on incorporating the stars in the sky at the time of his death: Orion, Gemini, etc. We still have another session to go, but it is unique and beautiful and is exactly what I want to remember my son.

A pic of it fresh on the table: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwshaw/3331672701/

linnea said...

I have a tattoo of a phoenix which symbolizes rebirth and reminds me of times in my life when I felt I had nothing left and then found new energy to start again.

trouthead said...

i have a back tattoo of a classic winged skull gravestone image most often seen in cemeteries the american northeast dated mostly in the early 1700's. gravestone art is a huge subject overall and this is just a small part. i was attracted by this rather basic, primal. iconic image. some people see it as a negative contemplation of death in life while others see it (like me) as a positive reminder that life is short, value the time you have. it has been adopted in modern pop culture by artists such as edward gorey and tim burton.

frances said...

Hiya,
So hard to choose my favourite tattoo (on me or my husband) but I feel my newest one represents where my love of skulls comes from, so thats a good start.
I lost my mum when I was really young (3) and I have always had some of her jewellery around and in particular a pair of clip on flower earings. Never worn them as earings, just clipped them onto stuff but I eventually took one of them to a jewellery shop and got them to make it into a pendant for a necklace. I have worn it everyday since then and six months ago I decided to get it as a tattoo. It is on my heart chakra just below where the pendant sits and now I have a permanent reminder of my mum, I still wear the necklace sometimes, but I have found a new neclace to wear, with a skull on it! (am paranoid that now it is a permanent thing on my body, I gonna lose the pendant!)

Mrs Schade said...

I got a tattoo of my (at the time boyfriend) husbands fingerprint on my shoulder for our anniversary. He has the apparently unique trait of having circle spirals on each of his fingers. I just have boring old swirls like the majority of the population. I wanted to get a tattoo that represented him in some way and this idea was perfect. The story though is that I asked for his print which he obliged (he has learnt to ask few questions of his artist wife) and was more than a little surprised to see me come home one day with it permanently etched onto my body. Maybe I should have told him what I was doing? Oh well...surprise hunny!

Dr. Timothy Soluble said...

Years ago I used to give tattoos. I was self taught and did about 2 dozen or so, mostly on friends. I think I was the only tattoo artist I had ever heard of that did not have any ink themselves. I've always wanted one, but could never settle on the perfect image.

krista said...

I have tattoos that run the gamut from south african rock art to traditional americana, but my favorite and most recent is my anatomical venus:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3580/3342306896_2319ce8238.jpg?v=0

I am a graduate student of human evolution and work with skeletal remains at a natural history museum, but I've always loved the combination of art and science. As soon as I saw this piece I knew I wanted it on me for forever. Eventually I want to make this the beginning of a "science" sleeve and I'm planning on incorporating the Berlin archaeopteryx specimen:

http://www.geo.ucalgary.ca/~macrae/t_origins/archaeopteryx/archae_zittel_berlin16.gif

and Darwin's 1837 phylogeny:

http://www.zoo.ekol.lu.se/epb/people-en/es-en/Shawn/Graphics/Biology%20175/darwn.jpg

Jessica said...

I'm booked in to get my latest tattoo on saturday. this one is going to be a butterfly with piercing blue human eyes as part of the wing design. the head of the butterfly is a skull. this will be a chest piece on me. i'm getting there with my hopes of being tattooed from the wrist on one arm up across my body and back down.

IanDamnit said...

I tattooed a skull on the bottom of my feet as part of my graduate thesis work in art. One half of the skull on each foot. Worst. Pain. Ever

Plus i have skulls on both knee caps, and an Iron Maiden Skull on the back side of one knee.

Iron Maiden said...

I have three tattoos and it accidentally happened in a way that the left side of my body is in color and the right side is black and white (skin). I plan to eventually cover myself in this pattern with random and self drawn designs.

Mic said...

I got my first tat when I was 20 which is a Decepticon symbol from the generation 2 line of action figures. Because it doesn't really look like the traditional symbol I get a lot of double takes and then people HAVE to ask. Surprisingly I was able the curb the what could have been an addiction, and didn't get my next tat until about last year (I'm 27 now) which is a doodle from Audrey Kawasaki, an artist who starting booming after I got the ink done. I recently got it shaded which isn't in the original sketch but it brought it out a little more. Next steps include Chrysanthemums being worked into the Kawasaki sketch.