All The Tattoos Of Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp, the popular Hollywood star, known to the world for his role in the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ is one of the many renowned personalities who are fanatic lovers of tattoos. Distressed over some nagging domestic problems and obsessed with a concern for his personal safety, Depp started to injure himself. In fact there are more than seven scars on his body as a result of self inflicted injuries.

Speaking to an interviewer, Depp commented on his self-inflicted injury by thus – “My body is a journal in a way. It’s like what sailors used to do, where every tattoo meant something, a specific time in your life when you make a mark on yourself, whether you do it yourself with a knife or with a professional tattoo artist”.

Depp has at least fourteen tattoos as of now and each tattoo has a specific reason. For instance the tattoo “head of Cherokee Indian chief” is to commemorate his ancestral heritage. The tattoo “Lily-Rose” is because of his first-born child. The tattoo “Betty Sue” is his mother’s name and below this tattoo is curiously a sparrow flying over water and underneath is written his son’s “Jack”. The most recent one is “Silence Exile Cunning” – though it is unclear what the significance is.

One can see a ribbon tattoo reading “Wino Forever” and the story goes that this tattoo was originally “Winona Forever”, and Depp amended it by removing “na” after his estrangement with Winona Ryder. Johnny had this tattoo done at Sunset Strip Tattoo reportedly paying 75 Dollars. Their adline proclaims `Tattooers of the Stars Since 1971′ and proudly announces that Johnny’s `Winona Forever’ double-banner tattoo was done on his right bicep by us to serve as parallel to his tattoo on the left honoring his mother.

It is reported that nearly seven of Depp’s tattoos were done by New York tattooist Jonathan Shaw and interestingly Shaw was the one who played the role of a tattoo artist in ‘Tightrope’ – a Clint Eastwood movie.

It is worthwhile looking into the background of some of Depp’s tattoos.

As stated earlier, “Betty Sue” depicts the standard ‘heart’ tattoo with a ribbon through the middle where the name of his mother written. It is said that such tattoo designs were profusely sported by servicemen to remind them of their homes as also the cause they were fighting for.

The “Inverted Triangle” seen above the Betty Sue tattoo represents the heart, and is considered a symbol associated with women to reveal romantic love. Depp must have had his own reasons for sporting this tattoo.

The “Brave Symbol” tattoo on the right arm is obviously to remember his film entitled ‘The Brave’.

“The Swallow” or “Flying Bird” has apparently been taken from the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. Depp meaningfully redesigned the tattoo on his right forearm as he turned it around to give the impression that the bird is flying towards him and he wrote his son’s name, “Jack” underneath.

This tattoo has a particular significance. It is said that a sailor is entitled to this tattoo after voyaging 500 nautical miles. There is a belief that Swallow indicates that land s nearing and it also signals safe return.
The Three Rectangles

Swallows are traditionally known to travel long distances in the sea during migration and they would hang around boats parked at the shores. Thus, the sighting of swans presumably lent credence to the fact that land was close by.

Also see “Say Body Paint Or Body Art”

On his right biceps just below ‘Wino’ there is the prominent tattoo “Cherokee Indian Chief in full headdress”. This is to honor his Cherokee great-great-grandmother, Minnie. This tattoo also serves to testify his ancestral cultural heritage.

Those who know Depp closely would have noticed “Three Little Rectangles” on his right index finger. He lightheartedly calls these squares as a “permanent phone doodle.”

The number “3″ is found on his left hand and John says in the April 1996 issue of Young Flix Magazine that 3 is a special number for him as it is a creative number denoting Triangle, Trinity and he also meaningfully comments that two people make another person. “Three is a mystical, magical number.”

Johnny appropriately sports the tattoo bearing the name of his daughter Lily-Rose Melody near his heart.

The traditional danger signal of “Skull and Crossbones” is seen on his lower right leg with the suggestive phrase “Death Is Certain” written below the diagram.

Inexplicably there is the question mark “?” symbol on the right inside leg just above the ankle.
The most recent tattoo, by all accounts, is the “Silence Exile Cunning” on his left arm, which many saw for the first time at an MTV movie awards function. Booklovers know that this tattoo must be the result of his reading the book “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” penned by James Joyce.