Skinny Puppy Love: hanDover, Werewolf Graffiti & My New Tattoo

“Puppy Graffiti”

This tattoo has been a long time coming, but tomorrow, I’m finally getting the color done with renowned Chicago/Austin based tattoo artist Bill Smiles! The artwork is by Jennii Palmehn, who created the “Puppy Graffiti” artwork above while listening to Skinny Puppy‘s ‘hanDover‘.

Jennii’s vision of Nivek Ogre as a stalking, drooling, technicolor werewolf came along well before the recent 2014 Shapes for Arms tour. When we first saw Ogre and his apocalyptic doggie/wolfie/animal get-up on this tour (pictured above), we collectively shit our britches.

As he stalked back and forth in his torn and bloody fur, we were seeing what Jennii had drawn ages ago on stage, in real twitching life. Completely blew our minds. The piece is on my left shoulder.

The Final Product


Here it is, after a night of healing (pic’s a bit dark). Bill and I had a good chat about how to approach the color scheme, as the original is a gorgeous, richly colored image, but very dark. It could end up looking more like a giant bruise, once applied to actual skin.

So he gave me a few suggestions and we ended up compromising on a lighter approach on the lower half, with blues and purples instead of black, etc. He then also added accents of lighter colors so that there would be better definition between limbs, claws and the tail. I go back in four weeks for touch-ups and final color accents.

It’s Unique and Meaningful, Dammit!

When someone shows off a Skinny Puppy tattoo, it’s most often one of the many versions of their logo, or art by Allen Jaeger, Jimmy Cummins (i braineater), or other Puppy-affiliated artists. I wanted something truly unique that no one else can claim.

Jennii was my conjoined twin in website design for a spell. They worked on projects with me that I consider my pride and joy, and I treasure their friendship and talent deeply. When they first posted “Puppy Graffiti”, I knew immediately that was the piece I wanted on my back. It was gorgeous, technicolor-icious, so very representative of that side of on-stage Ogre and something no one else has on their body. So, I scrimped and saved and planned, found the perfect tattoo artist who was also a fan of Skinny Puppy and who appreciated Puppy as much as I did and I made it happen.

When Jennii first saw the outlining complete, they lost their shit. But when it was finally colored in, well…they got squishy, and so did I. GROUP HUG/GROSS SOBBING

Anyway, it’s not only a unique Puppy-themed piece, it’s also a symbol of honor, respect and friendship for my dear design maven and fellow freak and the uber-fan thing we have for all things Puppy, but also what Puppy means to both our mental health and creative inspiration, both in common and unique to ourselves.

Jennii also created the gorgeous Art below: Nivek Ogre, Ghosts of Vivisection