Katy Perry has gotten a tattoo for each of her albums when she’s near the end of her touring cycle. With Witness: The Tour winding down, she finally got her Witness tattoo on August 17, 2018, a few days before the end of the six-continent world tour that started back in September 2017.
Her previous three tattoos — a strawberry, a peppermint, and a prism — have all been on her ankles and have all had a very similar style, turning symbols from the album into colorful cartoon characters with cutesy eyes. But everything is different with this tattoo: different tattoo artist, different body part, and a completely different design style.
She flew Los Angeles-based artist Dr Woo out to Sydney Australia to tattoo herself and many members of her crew. He is known for his intricate fine-line designs, and he applied his signature style to this tattoo. Katy had said a while ago that her Witness tattoo would likely be “some form of an eye,” and Dr Woo’s design is that, but there’s also a lot more going on in it.
The pupil of the eye has a ring around it to look like a planet and the white parts of the eye are drawn with architectural curved lines through them. The whole design has a very outer space feel, looking almost like a spaceship or a satellite, which is reinforced by the twinkling star above it. But the eye also has a little teardrop in the corner.
Katy chose an eye for her tour tattoo since eyes have been the most prominent symbol of her Witness era. The album cover features Katy with an eye in her mouth and eye motifs have been used for her stage backdrops and costumes. The elongated eye shape of her tattoo, with the whites separated from the iris, is copied directly from the eye-shaped video screens behind the stage.
The Saturn-like planet in her tattoo is also inspired by the tour’s stage art. Katy performed the song “Thinking of You” each night while flying through the air on top of a planet.
Sophie Turner got this infinite triangle tattoo on her upper left arm in July 2018. The geometric design looks like three overlapping triangles but it is actually made up of one continuous line that weaves over and under itself. It resembles a minimalist version of both the Viking valknut symbol and the classic impossible triangle illusion.
Adding to the cryptic tattoo are three lowercase Greek letters on each corner of the triangle: lambda (λ) on top, epsilon (έ) on the right, and phi (φ) on the left.
This is a matching tattoo that she shares with her brother Will. We don’t know why they chose these letters, but their tattoo artist Maxime Plescia-Buchi says that Sophie and Will designed the tattoo themselves.
Julia Michaels has an interesting tattoo design on her right wrist consisting of three V-shapes and three circles. You can see two triangles in the negative space even though they are not fully formed. This optical illusion is why the design resonated with Julia. It represents the power of the human mind to see beyond what exists on the surface.
People like to make fun of me for it because they’re like ‘oh Pac Man!’ But this is actually a symbol for perception. It has two triangles and three circles, but nothing is actually fully formed. Even though the brain perceives it as whole, and it’s not, which I think is really interesting how you can perceive something as whole even when it’s not.
This design, called the Kanizsa triangle, is a famous optical illusion created by the Italian psychologist Gaetano Kanizsa in 1955.
Julia Michaels has a tattoo of a geometric anatomical heart with an eye crying in the middle of it on her right arm. The crying eye represents a bit of her vulnerability and the whole design was inked on November 3, 2016 by talented artist London Reese.
As cliche as it sounds, it’s because I wear my heart on my sleeve. And we put the eye in there because it’s my way of showing myself a little bit. And showing that I’m slowly coming out of hiding. Because I do, I hide, and I’ve gotten so content with hiding over the years.