The use of skulls in art is not new. Whether the artist is of the classic school or the tattooist in his studio, the skull is a potent symbol. Either way, the skull as an object of art has been around for millennia, depicting death, rebirth or resurrection, immanent judgment, the transitory nature of existence or, more simply, the ultimate end that is faced by all. When Hamlet laments the passing of Yorick he does so holding the skull of his former companion.

Of all the possible meanings that could be attached to the skull the most commonly accepted would be that of death, for which we humans have an abiding fascination. Children who go trick or treating at Halloween, or the crowds that celebrate Día de Muertos in Mexico, make use of the skull image to create masks. Indeed, some ancient and medieval civilizations used the skull as trophies, depicting power over their enemies.

In art the skull has been used to symbolize change, from life to death, good to evil, hope to despair and even, paradoxically, weakness to strength. Often it is chosen to represent a change from one state of being to another. In this case it denotes a change of personality or lifestyle. It is no accident that many hell’s angel biker gangs chose to incorporate the skull into the motifs that represented their particular chapter.

The image of the skull is dramatic. Surrounded by a selection of other images and carefully colored, the skull can become an impressive art form.

Is it any wonder then, that the skull is a popular image when it comes to tattoos. From the simplistic to the ornate, there is no mistaking a skull. Therefore it lends itself to countless artistic variations, each one containing a unique perspective, both for the artist and the recipient.

Rarely is the skull depicted on its own, devoid of color. Those who choose to have a tattoo of a skull usually want to make it stand out. It therefore becomes the focal point of a much larger design and the whole is given prominence in terms of where on the body it is inked. Dramatic statements are less so when they are covered up.

Anyone considering having a Skull tattoo has probably some idea of what they want it to look like when it is finished. The problem may be, how to explain to the tattoo artist what is only an image in your head. Well, help  is at hand. The following website has some of the answers:

What this website offers is an inspiration gallery containing thousands of designs that you can choose from. If you cannot find what you are looking for there, you can always get creative in the tattoo image editor. Both areas of the website are designed to inspire your imagination, lead you to consider options that you may not have thought about, even to create a unique piece of artwork based upon a personal perspective.

Whatever your reasons for choosing the image of a skull, research into style, composition and color are never a waste of time. Keep in mind that a tattoo is a statement. It tells other people something about who you are, their first impression of you is always a visual one. Whatever you want that impression to be, it is more forceful, more empowering, if the image you choose is done well.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Who is going to do the tattooing?
  • Where upon your body are you intending to have it done?
  • How big or complex is the design?
  • What precisely will the image look like?
  • Will the colors lose their luster over time?
  • Why are you having it done?
  • What are the risks – infection, allergic reaction?
  • How long will it take to complete?

Do not forget, tattoo ink is foreign to the body and as such can have adverse effects for some people. Also, the more complex the design the more time that must be spent on it. This could lead to long periods of discomfort until after the work is complete.

To help you answer some of these questions it is recommended that you get to know your prospective tattoo artist before you sit in his chair. For your own benefit you ought to be sure that they are reputable. One way of finding out what their reputation is would be to search the social media sites. The really good artists are likely to have a large following twitter or facebook, they may even have a few You Tube videos available to demonstrate their skills.

How you get to discover how good your artist is really doesn’t matter, so long as you are satisfied with their ability and the standard of work being advertised.

Get to know your artist too. A really good artist will be willing to discuss your ideas and concerns at length. They will also be happy for you to see a wide variety of their artwork and even discuss some of the challenges that more complex designs have created.

If you do visit the website and you find a design that you would like to have there is another feature that will aid you in getting it. Images in high resolution can be downloaded from the site, whether a full color picture or a basic stencil.

You can then take your printed idea along to your tattoo artist and get them to do the work. It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case it would be a good way to get across to the artist exactly what it is that you want. At this point any issues that can be identified will be resolved and the work begun.

Be sure that a tattoo is what you want. Keep in mind that it is a permanent change to the body. Even if you should change your mind in future years and want to have it removed, there will still be a visible mark on the skin where the tattoo was once situated.