Tove Lo Tattoos

Tove Lo celebrated the release of her sophomore album Lady Wood by getting this tattoo on her arm on November 27, 2016, a month after the album’s October 28th release date.  Tattoo artist Mark Lonsdale created a simple minimalist outline from Tove Lo’s new vagina logo, which was designed for this album cycle.  The illustrated image shows the full vulva with labia surrounding the vaginal opening. The circle at the top and cross at the bottom together represent the female symbol ♀ while the circle on its own is a clitoris.  This logo appears on the Lady Wood cover art in place of the letter “O”s in her name.  She and her whole tour crew have matching vagina jackets.

Tove Lo wrote an essay for Teen Vogue where she explains that the female anatomy is nothing to be ashamed of:

To some people “showing off” the vagina in any way is seen as something shocking and scandalous. I don’t know if it’s their religious or cultural beliefs that make them think it’s something to be ashamed of, but I know for sure I don’t feel that way: You should be proud of your vagina — it’s a cool and positive part of you! Being open and free about the body and self-love (the way I am) can be provocative — but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad or dangerous.

My vagina tattoo reminds me not to make myself smaller, which is often what’s expected of women. To be loud is to be seen as being a troublemaker. As girls, we’re often not encouraged to speak up. I’m allowed to claim my space. The symbol, which is also on the cover of my album Lady Wood, is a reminder to go for the things that scare you but also give you a rush. People tell me all the time that I’m a chick with balls. It’s supposed to be a compliment, but really it’s insulting. Women don’t need balls to be brave. Our vaginas will do just fine.

The album title Lady Wood itself shows how female sexuality and female power in general is often viewed through a male perspective.


Tove Lo added new ink to her collection of tattoos with this huge lynx on the back of her hand. Lynxes are her favorite animal and “Lo” means “lynx” in her native language Swedish. The singer-songwriter, whose real name is Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson, explains how the nickname came about in a YouTube vlog:

Basically there was a lynx in a zoo that was named Tova and I fell in love with it as a kid. So after that my family and relatives starting calling me Tove Lo. I think I kind of stuck with that name because I wanted it to be me and at the time I didn’t know anyone else who had the same. So I kept it as a writer and it then it just felt natural to keep it as a solo artist. It feels like my spirit animal just because it’s been one of my favorite animals since I was so little.

She visted artist Alex McWatt, founder of Three Kings Tattoo in New York City, while on tour with Maroon 5 in September 2016. She didn’t think too much about the specific details of the tattoo, but she wanted it on her microphone-holding hand so that it would be very visible.

Most people would stress about where and when and why to get a tattoo because it is for life. I honestly did not think about it too much. I just figured it would be so nice with the little tassels on the ears. And it’s my mic hand so I figured it would look cool. (more…)

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Tove Lo’s third tattoo is this design on her right forearm of a heart with an eye in the middle and flames coming out the top. The image comes from the paintings of artist Mark Ryden. She told Idolator “It’s in a lot of his paintings, but really small. So I wanted to blow it up because I just love the eye so much.” Tove Lo’s tattoo combines details from multiple occurrences of the symbol: the eye in the heart comes from the painting Sophia’s Mercurial Waters while the flames look most like those in Swap Meet Man.

The tattoo was done at Infamous Studio in Stockholm, Sweden. She describes her artist as “a total asshole but very talented.”

Tove Lo has had three tattoos — this flaming heart, a scorpion, and a girl riding a bee — for the entirety of her career, so we’re not sure precisely when she got them. She first showed off this tattoo in a June 2012 instagram photo, though it could possibly be older than that. (more…)

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Tove Lo has a large tattoo on her upper left arm of a girl riding a bumblebee from the Mark Ryden painting Clear Hearts, Grey Flowers.

The tattoo reminds her of the times she spent in her first band called Tremblebee. “I used to have black hair and bangs when I was in that band, and since it was my first band that I was part of it meant so much to me. I had my first gigs with that band,” she told Arena. “Then I found this painting of Mark Ryden’s that I really enjoyed, he’s an American painter who’s super talented. I saw this picture and I’m like ah, that just goes straight to my heart, so I decided to put it all over my arm.”

The painting was created to be the cover of alternative rock band Jack Off Jill’s 2000 album Clear Hearts, Grey Flowers.  Jack Off Jill’s lead singer Jessicka Addams came up with the concept for the artwork and the based this particular character off of herself. However it seems that Tove Lo didn’t know that the painting was designed for an album cover. In an instagram post, Addams explained that she was flattered by the tattoo, even it is was unintentional. She writes: “[Tove Lo] happens to have (unknowingly) my face on her arm. This image is from a painting by Mark Ryden created to become Jack Off Jill’s “Clear Hearts, Grey Flowers” album cover released on July 18th 2000. It doesn’t upset me that the singer claims to know nothing of this album, but it does exist.”

This was her second tattoo and it’s much larger than her first, which was the scorpion on her chest. “I went from that to this big one, this Mark Ryden painting,” she says in a YouTube vlog. “I remember after I did this one I was kinda like ‘Fuck. What did I just do? It’s over my whole arm.’ But now it’s just part of my body.”


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Tove Lo has a tattoo of a scorpion on the right side of her chest, which she got when she was only 17 years old. Her dad was so upset by it that he cried, and Tove isn’t very fond of it either. She told Popbytes “I have a little super ugly scorpion that’s tattooed under my right collarbone, which I don’t know what I’m going to do about. I mean, it’s part of me now, but it’s so ugly! It’s the worst.” (more…)

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