The Morbid Family Seal



Somewhere around 6 months ago, I was asked to design a tattoo for this real nice guy on Fiverr. His request was simple enough: Take his family seal and grunge it up! He wanted a dark, bloody theme, and informed me that this was going to be on his chest. I was thrilled with the opportunity!

I decided an old school torture device was in order! But which one and how I was going to arrange it was where the real work came in. I considered the Brazen Bull, the Heretic's Fork, the Judas Cradle, the Rack, the Chair of Torture…the list goes on. And although the Chair of Torture was certainly a fair choice, there was something about the Iron Maiden that really pierced my soul (pun intended). It was probably the matronly visage that said nothing of the slow, agonizing, fatal embrace this device was known for. That was my eureka moment! By placing the open Iron Maiden behind the seal, it was like suggesting that the seal burst from within, covered in the family blood. With consideration for the placement my client intended, I placed a bleeding heart, not only over the chest region of the Iron Maiden, but it would theoretically be placed over his own heart as well, binding them together. Adding chains was not only something he had expressed an interest in when I was thinking of the design, but it fit perfectly with this scary, dark theme. Not only did the Iron Maiden somehow take on an insect or even Medusa-like appearance, but functionally the chains could have been an extra measure to keep the victim closed in tight. This may seem like overanalysis, but for me if every single detail isn't thought through, I wouldn't be happy enough with it to submit to my client.

I was extremely proud of this tattoo design, considering all the thought I put into it. What I love about clients like this guy is that they give you room to explore and work with you to achieve a desirable end product. We communicated well and in the end he was as happy with it as I was! I hope to work with this guy again!



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