How we created a stunning back tattoo worn by Hollywood star Salma Hayek

Posted on by Emma Levy

When you see a character in a major film or TV series wearing an amazing tattoo, do you ever wonder how it was designed and created?

Let us lift the veil and take you behind the scenes of a movie featuring leading Hollywood star Salma Hayek.

In the 2014 release Everly, Salma plays a woman brutalised by her lover, a Japanese gangster. The story follows her attempts to escape from his clutches.

Everly was meant to be a B-movie but it’s a really enjoyable and eccentric little film. Daniel Parker, the co-founder of TattooedNow!, was in charge of the design of hair, make-up and prosthetics.

Salma’s character wears a highly distinctive original tattoo that covers most of her back. At the centre is a beautiful woman, representing Salma’s character. At first glance she looks demure and ladylike, but behind her back she is holding a sword. 

To the left is a devil attacking her. To her right is a dragon that is defending her while holding the logo of her lover.

The first stage in the creative process relied on our team’s knowledge of Japanese imagery and characters. We felt passionately that it was important that the design we created accurately observed these traditional designs.

We began, as you will see from the pictures that recorded the progress of the tattoo, with simple black ink drawings.

At every step in the process, we colluded with the production team on the movie, and Salma herself, to make any alterations required to perfect the look of the tattoo.

Once discussions had taken place and everybody was happy with the design, we started adding in extra detail, shades and colours.

As soon as that stage was completed, it was time to create the tattoo itself. We did this in stages and several overlaying sections, each of which was placed in turn on to Salma’s back.

The results were extraordinary. The film itself, as a B-movie, was not destined to be a household name, but every review of it mentions the ornate and intricate tattoo that covers most of Salma’s character’s back.

For us, it was a great opportunity to showcase the excellence of TattooedNow!’s work.

We look back with an incredible amount of pride at the way we followed a creative process to deliver a design that had a tremendous impact on the people who saw Everly.

That’s what temporary tattoos in movies are all about – adding depth and meaning to a character in a way that sells their story to the audience and gives the film extra clout and authenticity.

TattooedNow! has been delivering original temporary tattoos of exceptional quality to the sets of Hollywood films and major TV series for more than a decade.

When you look at the beautiful design we came up with for Everly, it’s small wonder that we are in such high demand from film producers, directors and actors who want the unique assistance we can bring to give their creation that extra touch of style and class.