Movie Photo Tattoos That Honor On-Screen Style Icons
Movies have the power to change our lives, so it only makes sense that some diehard moviegoers would want a flick of a Hollywood flick inked on their arm.
Imagine a tattoo from the avant-garde fashion film, Legally Blond, showing Reese Witherspoon in sleek pink Chanel, Jimmy Choo heels and a pillbox hat, inspired by the poster for the 2001 film. The look created by the film’s costume designer, Sophie Carbonell, who dressed the character of Witherspoon in Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino and Jill Stuart, showing her as an on-screen haute couture queen who would set the tone for the comedy film boom that followed in the early years.
SoYeon Lee is a Korean tattoo artist who created this tattoo and specializes in this kind of tattoo, working under the name tattoo SUCH in Seoul. After watching movies, she would draw certain scenes in her sketchbook with colored pencils. Choosing each scene was easy, something that captures the emotion of the film with props or characters that convey the overall mood of the film and the style of the film, thanks to the film’s costume designers and set designers.
“There are times when I’m afraid to give away spoilers about the movie while drawing the design, but I try not to give anything away,” she says.
For the past four years, she’s been inking people with scenes from movies, whether it’s Ironman, Alice in Wonderland or 2001: A Space Odyssey. She also inked the momentous scene where Jim Carrey ascends the cloud-covered stairway to reality in The Truman Show.
It’s not just Hollywood films either, but European films, like the famous kiss scene between Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel in the French film, Portrait of a lady on fire, or even a still from the classic Hong Kong movie, Chung King Expressfrom 1994.
The photo of this romantic comedy says a lot about the cinema of its time, “it’s still so memorable to watch even after 20 years,” says Lee, 26. “I think film is a structure that follows the image, rather than the story itself, each scene is so picturesque that it almost trumps the narrative.
After posting her sketches on Instagram, followers started asking Lee if she wanted to ink the photos on their bodies. “I was impressed that clients wanted to tattoo my paintings, and since then it has become an important part of my job as a tattoo artist,” she says,
Lee has inked character profiles of Carolwith Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, Ryan Reynolds as dead Pooland TV shows like stranger things. It’s not just people, but objects that represent a movie, like cars from racing movies like Bumblebee or Mad Max: Fury Road.
“With madmax, the challenge of pulling one of these rusty iron vehicles through a windy desert is symbolized by the car,” says Lee. “I also love how Charlize Theron played the role of Furiosa in the film – a strong woman who blazes her own trail to survive in a cruel world.”
She inked the iconic scene where a blue-haired hologram girl appears in the sci-fi movie, blade runner 2049, although Lee specializes in retro movies, which fans have become very fond of. She inked familiar images from 1991 Thesilenceofthelambsand the 1985 cast The Breakfast Club. With retro films, there is a deeper way to understand film, as they are usually mainstays of pop culture.
“Customers get a lot of retro movie character tattoos,” Lee said. “They take them back to a time before now and what was going on in their lives when that particular movie came out. It is the nostalgia of the cinema par excellence.
It shows how powerfully movies have an effect on our lives. “Not only are they accessible, but the art of filmmaking offers on-screen experiences we otherwise couldn’t get to learn lessons and inspire the way we live our lives,” she says. “It not only reflects modern society, but what could be.”