The art of illustration began some time between the 13th and 14th centuries. Artists would carve designs into a piece of wood, cover the wood with ink and then press paper or card to the carved woodblock, leaving an impression of the woodblock carving on the page. Initially, woodblock illustrations were used for playing cards and religious books that used pictures to communicate with the illiterate masses. When the printing press was developed in the mid-15th century, illustrations were used as a way to add diagrams to instructive texts and as a way to communicate religious scenes to the public. The first record of a printed, illustrated book that was aimed at children is Orbus Sensualium Pictus (The Visible World in Pictures) which was printed in 1658. Since then, picture books have become a popular way to entertain children and many of the illustrations have become so popular that they are now worn as tattoos.
Picture Perfect Illustration Tattoos
Most children’s books contain a life lesson or moral. Often the books are intended to teach children how to share with others, or how to be empathetic. Even the wildest fantasy stories generally have a deeper meaning. For many people, the lessons that they learned from children’s books have stuck with them through their adult lives and getting a tattoo of their favorite literary character or illustration is a way of honoring the impact that the story has had on their lives.
Many characters in children’s books are very genuine and likable. Authors try to create a character that is realistic, with hopes and insecurities that reflect those of many real children. A good storybook writer can create a character that draws the reader into the story, making the reader into an invisible companion. One author who was particularly good at creating characters that children could empathize with was Roald Dahl. This author wrote for children in a realistic manner, acknowledging the real and imagined worries of children without criticism. Essentially, Roald Dahl created fantastic worlds in which a child’s imagination could feel comfortable, free from the restrictions of reality and adults who misunderstand them.
Another famous children’s book author was Beatrix Potter, whose legacy lives on through her renowned books and illustrations of Peter Rabbit. Potter grew up in the English countryside and like all children she was fascinated with animals and drew them endlessly. As an adult, Beatrix Potter turned her hand to both conserving the English countryside and celebrating it through her children’s books. Potter’s characters are popular as tattoo designs and look fantastic as tattoos when the tattoo artist keeps Potter’s original art works intact. Beatrix Potter’s illustrations were rendered in watercolor and make lovely tattoo designs for artistic people who enjoyed the Beatrix Potter books as a child.
Tattoos that Travel from Storybook to Skin
Many storybook writers make money not just from their books, but from merchandise that focuses on the characters in the books. Most of this merchandise is aimed at children in the form of lunchboxes, pencil cases and kids clothing. Few children’s book publishers have created children’s book merchandise that is aimed at adults, so adults have had to find other ways to celebrate these characters. Tattoos of illustrations from children’s books are a way for adults to proudly display their affection for the characters, and to entertain their own children, who often follow in their parents footsteps and enjoy the same literary characters as their parents.
Dr Seuss’s illustrations are probably the most popular literary tattoos. The colorful, imaginative characters and scenes make fun tattoo designs. Because of the humor and moral in each of Dr Seuss’s tales, the tattoos have a deeper meaning and can act as a reminder for the tattoo owner to stick to those ideals. Sometimes Dr Seuss tattoos aren’t of his illustrations, but of his words, usually tattooed in his signature Seussical font. You can read more about Dr Seuss tattoos in All the News about Dr Seuss Tattoos.
One of the oldest, most beloved children’s book is The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, which was written by Lewis Carroll (born Charles Dodgson) in 1865. The characters and scenarios from the book were instantly popular, and have entertained both children and adults ever since. There have been two movies created around this book and thousands of artists have turned their hand to creating their own interpretation of the story and characters. Tattoos of Alice in Wonderland are very popular and are inked in a variety of illustrative styles. For more about Alice in Wonderland tattoos, take a look at “Ink Me” with Alice in Wonderland Tattoos.
Tattoos of illustrations from children’s storybooks are appealing as body art because the subjects of these tattoos are non-offensive. Literary tattoos are a perfect choice for avid readers and people who want to celebrate a fun childhood and loving parents. For many people, a tattoo of an illustration from their favorite storybook is more than just attractive body art; it is a way of honoring good memories of reading the books with family and friends, and a way to remind them to live by the moral of the story.