Today, when you think of tattoos, you don’t automatically assume what many of our parents did – that they’re reserved for bikers and military types (think cartoon Popeye with the anchors on his forearms). People from all walks of life wear them now as art, and as expressions of love, loss, and remembrance. They express themselves and their passions, no matter how weird or geeky, through their tattoos. Some wear bold, intricate sleeves while others choose more modest designs that can be concealed beneath business suits or jeans. Tattoos today can be true works of art, involving hours of meticulous detail and several sessions of sitting through the willingly incurred pain of the needle. Johnny Depp said it best, “My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.” This sixth installment of our Geeks With Ink series features submissions from Amber, Cat, Chris, Colleen, Fish, Matthew, Richard, Sheina, Stephanie and Zoe who show love for their favorite movies with gorgeous ink.
“I got The Worm first. I also have one of the lines that he he says to Sarah, “Things are not always what they seem“, trailing after him. Labyrinth has always been my favorite movie. Always. It was my comfort movie–the movie I watched when I was sick, the movie I returned to over and over again–and The Worm was one of my favorite characters. His appearance (brief though it was) shapes so much of the movie and he is just so awesome! So when I was thinking of a new tattoo (he was only my second), my brain instantly went to him. After I got Worm, I started thinking about other movies that I love; movies that I grew up with, movies that I returned to. Movies that always made me feel better. I went through some personal stuff, and it became important to me to recapture the feelings that these movies gave me. I needed some fun and magic in my life and these movies gave me that. So I started a half-sleeve with Falkor flying on my upper arm. Zero is also part of the sleeve–he is on the other side of my elbow from Worm. I don’t have any pictures, but I also have a Black Mask and poison vial (from the Princess Bride), The Brownies from Willow and the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland (the Tim Burton version – Tim Burton is one of my favorite directors).” – Amber
“The Jedi ducky is for a friend who was a good person that died way too young from alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. It is a reminder of his interests and philosophy: to be a Jedi and always do the right thing and to just be available to people who need you. The halo is because he’s part of the force now. The ducky is on my ankle so I like to try to make him look like he’s floating whenever I dangle my feet in water. ” – Cat
“I have always loved Disneyland since I was very young and that love has grown since I married my wife who loves it as much as I do. The Haunted Mansion was always my favorite ride and the Duelists were a couple of my favorite characters from the ride. I also have a tattoo of the caretaker and his dog. I have another in progress of the Hitchhiking Ghosts with the mansion in the background.” – Chris
“All my tattoos mean something to me and the concepts are developed by me, the artistic piece I leave to the tattoo practitioners. I love that they tell a story and that part of who I am is on display. I grew up watching sci-fi and fantasy and the shows I watch are meaningful (and just fun!) in that important and universal ideas are explored in the contexts of the endless imagination of our brains. I keep adding to my pieces because they have brought me joy: I love tattoos! But also because the conversations that they spark are so wonderful and bring me closer to my compadres and my community.” – Colleen
“One day back in 1977, my parents took a six year old version of me to the UA Cinema 150 in downtown Seattle to see a movie. I don’t recall that I even knew what we were going to see. I don’t even remember if my older brothers were there too. I just know it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen and as far as I was concerned it was based on a true story. My eyes were glued to the night sky for the entire thirty minute drive home, hoping for a glimpse of an x-wing firing lasers at a TIE fighter. Since that night I could not count how many times I have seen the original film, or the sequels, but two characters have always stood out for me, mainly because the both look completely BADASS: Darth Vader and Boba Fett. After seeing the original for the first time I wanted to be Vader for Halloween (and I was, but with the saddest costume ever.) Then came along The Empire Strikes Back and Boba Fett! I couldn’t even begin to imagine getting a costume that cool, but many years later I was at a SciFi convention and they were selling a Boba Fett helmet. That seemed like the most difficult piece, so after a purchase and a lot of material buying, cutting, sanding, painting, and sewing I had a Fett costume. That was satisfactory. Well, for a while. I had never been one for tattoos and honestly never considered getting one until I was over thirty years old. While having a homemade Fett costume shows a certain devotion to the film series, it spends most of its time in a storage bin. Tattoos, however, are always there. After meeting up with an old friend and learning he had been working as a tattoo artist, we started discussing how we could incorporate Vader and Fett into one piece. I had the idea of the two villains dueling and then he suggested having it span the back of my calves so they could both be featured. It’s a work in progress and I am eager for the coloring and shading to be completed!” – Fish
“My tattoo holds a ton of meaning for me. Walt is my personal hero and idol. This is my favorite quote of his. I had it done in the Haunted Mansion font, my favorite ride. I wanted Walt’s full name, but couldn’t find an example of his signature with all three, so I found a similar font and added elements of his own such as the dots on the i’s and the flourish below. The reason for such scrutiny over his name is because my son, who was born shortly after I had the tattoo done, shares a name and initials with Walt. Westley Elias David Jones – a mouthful, we know. The clock beside the quote shows Walt’s time of death. I created it as a symbol of how much he was able to accomplish in his lifetime. With the added Hidden Mickey at the bottom of course.” – Matthew
“Have you ever just seen something and knew it would make an awesome tattoo? Every Halloween, Disneyland transforms their Haunted Mansion ride with a The Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. Both the inside and the outside of the attraction get the full Tim Burton treatment. While in the queue for the ride, you pass a scarecrow with a pumpkin head, draped in Christmas lights. For years my wife and I would walk by this scarecrow and I would remark about how cool a tattoo that would make, and she would agree. We finally made it happen! Cheers to Mags at Sailor Beware Tattoo for taking my vision, and making it real.” – Richard
“When I gave in to the ever-present urge for another tattoo last year, I wanted something that had meant a lot to me since childhood and was still among the Things I Love Most. The Last Unicorn has been my favorite movie for as long as I can remember – it is actually the first movie I ever remember watching. (An embarrassing number of years later, I realized it was based on an actual book, which I immediately bought & devoured.) My favorite cousin and I did not grow up near each other, but we visited several times a year, and we would lay in the floor and watch it over and over. We loved the colors, the art, and most of all, the story. It was magical without being childish, melancholy yet beautiful.” – Sheina
“In 2010 I found out I was diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder. I was pretty depressed. I was sent to a mental hospital where I stayed for 2 months. After that I tried spending time with friends to cheer myself up. I felt better but was still down. My friend asked me if I had ever seen the movie How To Train Your Dragon. I told her I had heard of it but never watched it. I laughed for the first time in a long time. Genuinely laughed. I cried; I was shocked. I felt every emotion. I began to feel human again. So I decided to get a tattoo of Toothless. How To Train Your Dragon was a movie that helped me get out of a rough time in my life. And I am grateful because of it.” – Stephanie A.
“It’s a yin-yang. The word itself is an ambigram; the top word says Jedi, flipped, it says Sith, opposite sides of the same world. The top image is the Sith empire symbol, the bottom, the Jedi symbol. No matter how much each side denies it, they complete each other, such is the yin-yang. I chose this image because I love Star Wars and because I love deconstructed/abstract yin-yang. They make me happy.” – Zoe