Kraken tattoo by Jean Leroux, London

It Came From Beneath The Sea…

From the dawn of humankind, the ocean has gripped our imagination. Its power, beauty and unexplored depths have spawned legendary tales of mythical beasts…

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It Came From Beneath The Sea…

Across the world, fantastic stories of krakens, mermaids, selkies and sirens have inspired artists to bring this ocean mythology to life.

From Walter Crane’s pre-Raphaelite masterpiece ‘Horses of Neptune’ to Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s terrifying depiction of the ghostly ‘Umibōzu’ looming from the sea, there are an abundance of saltwater-dwelling beasts depicted in the arts.

Naturally, our curiosity for deep-sea adventure extends to tattooing, too. Traditional Japanese bodysuits portray ‘ningyo’ – Japanese mermaids – surrounded by cascading sumi-shaded waves whilst the earliest Western-traditional flash was often informed by the anecdotes of sailors. Nowadays, our design options are unlimited yet our fascination with creatures of the ocean is as compelling as ever. 

In celebration of our upcoming exhibition with Sea Shepherd, we take a look at some of the most intriguing and enduring legends brought to life on skin. 

Kraken tattoo by Jean Leroux, London

Kraken by Jean Le Roux, Good Fortune – London, UK

@jeanleroux

goodfortunestudio.co.uk

Mermaid tattoo by Valerie Vargas, Modern Classic Tattoo UK

A mermaid portrait by Valerie Vargas, Modern Classic Tattoo – London, UK

@valeriemodernclassic

modernclassictattooing.com

Mermaid tattoo by Suflanda
Mermaid tattoo by Suflanda
Mermaid tattoo by Suflanda

A series of mermaids – and mermen –  in various styles, by Suflanda, Susa’s Klubhaus – Manchester, UK

@suflanda

Mermaid tattoo by Makkala Rose

A musical mermaid by Makkala Rose – Love Craft Atelier, Christchurch, NZ

@makkalarosetattoos

makkalarosetattoos.com

Water dragon backpiece by Vlady
Wave mask tattoo by Vlady

Dragons and masks appearing in the waves – by Vlady, Positive Vibrations – Italy

@vlady_positivevibrations

Steve Byrne biomech octopus tattoo

A biomechanical octopus by Steve Byrne, Rock of Ages – Austin, Texas

@steve_byrne_tattoo

rockofagestattoo.com

 

Mermaid tattoo by Miss Juliet
Mermaid tattoo by Miss Juliet

A pair of detailed mermaid tattoos by Miss Juliet, Kings Avenue Tattoo – NYC

@m1ss_juliet

kingsavetattoo.com

Sea creature tattoo by Peter Lagergren
Sea creature tattoo by Peter Lagergren

A fearsome mermaid by Peter Lagergren, Malmö Classic Tattoo – Sweden

@peterlagergren

peterlagergren.se

Japanese mermaid backpiece by Diego Azadelgui
Japanese mermaid backpiece by Diego Azadelgui

Traditional Japanese ‘ningyo’ backpieces by Diego Azaldegui, Private Studio – Argentina/Leeds, UK

@diegoazaldegui

Sea creature tattoos by Otto D’Ambra
Sea creature tattoos by Otto D’Ambra
Sea creature tattoos by Otto D’Ambra

Modern mythology – sea creatures by Otto D’Ambra, The White Elephant Tattoo – London, UK

@otto_dambra

ottodambra.com

 

Horror style skull kraken by Lenu

Horror style skull-kraken by Lenu, Alien Tattoo – Poland

@lenutattoos

tattooalien.com

Traditional mermaid tattoo by El Bara

Traditional sailor-style mermaid tattoo by El Bara, True Love Tattoo – Madrid, Spain

@bara_madrid

 

Hand tattoo by Theo Mindell
Kraken and ship tattoo by Theo Mindell

Two mythological creatures tattooed by Theo Mindell, Spider Murphy’s Tattoo – CA, USA

@theomindell

theomindell.com

Mermaid tattoo by Claudia Ducalia

Art nouveau inspired mermaid by Claudia Ducalia, Mater Medusa Tattoo – Italy

@mater.medusa

@claudia_ducalia

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