16

An Exploration of Literary Tattoos [NSFW]

The world of literary tattoos is surprisingly large, yet it remains relatively niche. Sure, there was Shelly Jackson’s SKIN project about five years back, but otherwise it’s fairly infrequent that we hear about the two worlds intersecting. That’s why when Penguin announced Penguin Ink, their re-covering of several classic (or modern classic) novels with cover art from leading tattoo artists (including the now epically badass-looking Bridget Jones’ Diary,) it whet our appetite for more book/tatt intersection. Thanks to online communities like Bookworms With Ink and Contrariwise (as well as good old Flickr), we were able to not just satiate but gorge on skin ink of the bookish variety both good… and bad. We had a few caveats: no Harry Potter, no Twilight, and no Alice In Wonderland. Every single one of those has been done to death. Some of our favorites both highbrow and lowbrow (as well as a few very NSFW) after the cut.

The Highbrow:

David Mitchell’s literary tour-de-force Cloud Atlas translated into a gorgeous piece of body art.

A cute, fitting nod to Beatrix Potter

This visual homage to Oscar Wilde’s Salome has us wanting to see more.

A simple, well-designed nod to Joyce is always in fashion.

One of many The Little Prince tatts we came across, but one of our favorites. Again, simplicity and elegance win out every time.

This C.S. Lewis quote is made all the better by the hanging comma, a comment on where the tattoo ends and the sentence continues. Note to those looking to get literary tattoos: the more of a grammar and punctuation nerd you are, the better. Commas are sexy.

There are many, many Shel Silverstein tattoos out there. We’re fans of this one of his Missing Piece.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,659 other followers