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You loved the first part of our symbolic tattoos article? Learn more about other symbols often inked on the bodies of people from all over the world.
From Celtic symbolic tattoos to Yin Yang designs
Triskelion is a symbol of constant movement, action, progress and development. It literary means “three legged” and people sometimes draw it as three bent legs. It can be a Celtic sign, but archaeologists have found it in Neolithic artifacts.
Yin Yang is a Chinese Tao sign. It’s emphasizing the vision of harmony, universal energy and the unity between the opposites. Yin is referred to being passive and negative. It also represents the female being. On the other hand, Yang is a male symbol. It’s about being positive and active. When combined they speak of balance.
Four triangles are alchemy symbols of the four elements. If the triangles are pointing up they speak of fire. When they look down it means water. A crossed triangle illustrates the air. If it’s pointing down it means earth. Getting those in corresponding colors is a great choice.
Religious crosses and beyond
Crosses are also very popular designs in symbolic tattoos. Since there are many different types be careful which one to pick. Their meanings might also differ a lot. The most common crosses are the Latin and the Greek ones. These symbolize Christiantiy.
There are also the Celtic, Maltese and Templar crosses and tattoo artist do many of those. Don’t forget, that the Swastika is also a type of cross. Despite its notorious usage by the German Nazis it’s originally a Buddhist symbol of the sun, which was commonly used in Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
Another beautiful symbol is the Mandala. We love it for its symmetry and complexity. It name comes from Sanskrit and means circle. The Mandala speaks of focus, perfection and mental awareness. It is used in Yoga meditation practices. It’s linked to the chakras.
The Om symbol and mantra are coming from Indian religions. It’s a complex symbol with multiple meanings, but is basically speaking of creation and going beyond the conscious and revealing and controlling one’s unconscious and subconscious.
Eyes and their meanings
The All Seeing Eye or The Eye of God represents the deity watching over mankind. It is used by the Freemasons. In recent times it’s presumed as the Illuminati sign. The All Seeing Eye can be traced back to Egyptian religion as the Eye of Horus. Many people discard this symbol, because they associate it with conspiracy, control and manipulation.
We hope we helped you find the inspiration for your own symbolic tattoo.
Tattoos are a type of visual art so they use every means of expression known to the art world. In this sense, pattern tattoos are no exception.
Beautiful and balanced, pattern tattoos are like endless sequences of harmonic elements.
Pattern tattoos – a lesson in history
Art has been utilising patterns since Ancient Greco-Roman times. People found the beauty the repeating ornaments long ago and first started using them in mural paintings and ceramic tiles. In later centuries patterns began appearing in rug designs and canvas paintings.
Both nature and geometry are inspiring artists to design patterns. You’ve surely seen numerous patterns like decorative leaves or stylized floral elements. Tattoos with patterns have appeared quite later. Especially when we have in mind all these centuries of decorative art. However, they still look more than marvelous.
The essence of patterns
A pattern is a complex structure of rhythmically arranged visual elements. They can borrow real life images or be built of completely abstract shapes. Some designs are more abstract or involve optical illusions. Most of the pattern-based tattoo works are using geometric shapes and ornaments. Lines, plain shading, dots and meticulous details are the signature “moves” of pattern tattoo artists.
The difference between pattern tattoos and geometric pieces
The line between entirely geometric designs and pattern tattoos is thin. While many geometric tattoos include patterns not all pattern tattoos are geometric. Contemporary tattoo art is a beautiful mixture of both geometry and rhythm. In the superb examples which we selected, you will find popular tattoo elements like the mandala or the Flower of life patterns. You will also spot the hexagon – another of the widest used shapes.
We hope we caught your attention with these stunning designs. If you’re already considering getting a pattern tattoo definitely check out these two artists:
Nissaco – the master of super detailed sleeves.
His insane sets of dots and lines are breath taking.
Lewisink – a black ink lover from Paris
He is a true admirer of large scale pieces. Lewisink often uses optical illusions and bold flat spaces of ink.
Symbols and signs are inseparable parts of human history, culture and religion. Based on their purpose and usage, there are numerous kinds of symbols but some are universal. They both have found their place in symbolic tattoos.
If you’re looking for your spiritual self or are on the quest for a broader interpretation of your mindset you can…
Learn more about symbolic tattoos here
Universal symbols are widely spread all over the world. Some of them have origins that are hard to trace back. The most popular spiritual and occult signs are products of religious beliefs and associations. Others were born in modern ages and are product of certain cultural movements. A good example is the circle A or the modern sign of “Anarchy”. You can find it in various youth cultures and even in some occult groups.
We will try to list some well-known and universal symbols here. Those are great for tattoos. They have managed to preserve their meaning and translate it in our current times.
We consider the arrow as a Native American symbol. However, it has a wide range of meanings. It can symbolize movement, strength and power. In Ancient Greece it was associated with the powerful deities.
Infinity is probably the most popular symbol. It speaks of perfection and determination. Some of its variations are the endless knot and the ouroboros – a serpent eating its own tail.
As a symbol, the spiral is present literally in every nation and religion. You can find it each and every corner of the world. The spiral means an open end, positive outlook, constant change and evolution. Moreover, in ancient times it symbolized the feminine force.
Not just geometric shapes
The circle is not just а geometric shape. It also symbolizes the female power, the cycle of life. It can be a sign of union and fertility. A circle with a dot inside refers to the sun, the metal gold, the male power and carries a creative spark.
The pentagram is a five-pointed star. Contemporary culture is commonly linking it to Satanism or modern occultism, when it’s pointing down. When it’s pointing up it means harmony. The Golden Proportion is the foundation of the pentagram and it’s actually a symbol of protection against evil.
Тhe Jewish religious symbol of the God of Israel a.k.a David’s Star is a hexagram symbolizing the Fifth Element. If you don’t know the story, that’s a substance called Ether. David’s Star stands for the perfect union between the four Elements and the natural forces.
German and Scandinavian people have many runic letters. Those are pictograms from the ancient times. People used them before the adoption of the Latin alphabet. The signs were usually used more as magic symbols than as a language. Each rune has a different meaning and interpretation. The translation of the runes is a complicated process as their authors usually used them in combinations of two or three.
If you have enjoyed this article find part two here.
People will always love animal tattoos. So, we decided to show a few designs that girls have picked for their bodies.
However, this time we will be avoiding the most common pieces like hummingbirds, kittens, dragonflies and sweet puppies.
You might have noticed but women are not that defenseless and fragile creatures. They’ve been breaking this cliche and tattoos are one way they do it. We will focus on the more uncommon animal tattoos which women pick.
Uncommon animal tattoos
Octopus tattoos are now very trendy among girls. This sea creature looks great on the skin. It can be in color or inked only with black. It gives girls an unusual and intricate looks.
Butterfly tattoos, especially realistic close ups are now all over the place. Instead of having a sweet sugary tattoo some girls go for the bold black designs.
Fox tattoos are also very cool. They vary from simple geometric of polygonal tattoos to new school designs and tiny pieces.
Ravens and crows might seem more appropriate for men, but surely look amazing on female bodies. Especially when artists do them in larger scale and with a good amount of details.
More of these obscure girl animal tattoos pieces are coming
Snake tattoos are not only for ripped machos. They also make wonderful designs for girls. You can see them drawn geometrically or in neo traditional style.
Let’s now move forward to tiger of lion designs. These can come with an aggressive animal gaze pointed at you. Most often these tattoos are realistic. Thus, show the best the animals’ power and beauty.
The stag is a typical male symbol of wisdom, superiority and power. This animal stands for domination. This is why mostly men choose get a deer inked on their skin. Fortunately, with the variety of styles more girls now also go for stag animal tattoos. These look as magnificent on a female body as they look on men.
Keep searching for unique tattoos and ideas. Don’t be satisfied with the most common ones. Of course, choose what you like the most, but always challenge your tattoo artist.
Contemporary tattoo art is an endless source of inspiration, images and themes. However, there are some timeless tattoos, which will never be forgotten and also be popular.
You have probably gone through thousands of designs and unique artists. Some things never change though and there are designs which are always up to date.
Let’s see some timeless tattoos
We have to start with roses. Preferred by both men and women, they reveal their beauty in numerous different styles. Of course, the most traditional one remains the Americana tattoo with heavy outlines and bold red colour. If you want to be creative, check out roses done in neo traditional or watercolor style. They are all amazing.
Tigers and eagles
Tigers and eagles, as well as snake tattoos lay are the very foundation of the Western ink culture. These designs are rooted into tattooing traditions ever since sailors and traders started inking their arms in the shops of the famous NYC Bowery Street. Tigers and eagles will always symbolize strength, power and masculinity even though nowadays many girls also turn to these kinds of designs. The perfect style is no other than Americana. We suggest you stick to it.
Knuckle “Love” tattoos
For quite a long time knuckle tattoos were associated with tough men. Those who spend their nights fighting in pubs or just sweaty rockers with leather jackets. Today things have changed and hot tattooed chicks and famous models also get their knuckles with words like “Love” or “Strength”. The lettering remains in cursive, the ink is still black, its only the popularity of this spot that has grown bigger.
Dragon tattoo designs
Dragon tattoos originate from traditional Japanese tattooing. Today mostly American artists manage to translate this ancient symbol of wisdom and power into the hottest tattooing trends. They mix styles and inks, but the dragon tattoo is still one the most preferred designs all around the globe.
Celtic Symbols like the Celtic knot or the spiral are “on the list” of every tattoo shop. You can see Celtic knots shaped in circles, tattooed as arm or leg bands, put on the shoulder on the chest. Don’t forget Celtic crosses as well. Today they are sometimes done in hyper-realistic or even 3D style.
If you just ask an artist about the most commonly tattooed design chances that he’ll say “A skull” are damn high. From realistic to decorative skulls with ribbons, horror designs with bloody skulls or the so-called sugar skulls, this design rules them all.
It’s an everlasting tattoo theme. You can get this one in many variations.
Tribal tattoos will always be a huge thing. You have many options to choose from, Polynesian, African, Maori, even Indian tribal tattoos are now next level. There are many black work artists, who specialize in tribal tattoos.
We hope we inspired you to get at least one of the timeless tattoos. If you’re reading this we are pretty sure you already have one of these designs though.
Typography is a huge tool not only in tattoos but to design in general. The way we visualize words speaks of ability to transfer text into meaning.
Good understanding of it will help you choose a good typo design and avoid some common mistakes and misunderstandings. We’ve already talked about the importance of balanced lettering. So, once again, don’t let the ‘words’ spoil your tattoo but make it better instead.
What makes a good typo good?
Typography needs complex knowledge, but here’s some basic advice for you to follow. The style of the written text needs to suit the subject. It will be strange to incorporate a punk style lettering into a gothic piece, right? Your typo must clearly show the message.
For example if you write “love” with bold and big letters what will others understand? Probably that for you love is a strong, deep feeling. It probably means the world to you and you’re emotional and exalted person. However, “love” in curved, slim letters will speak of love as a gentle and a private emotion for you. It will show the world you’re a calm and introvert person.
Don’t forget about the communication between different types of lettering. They also must complete each other. If the styles are too distinct it will just not work.
The basics of typography tattoos
The first thing you need to have in mind is what kind of font style to use. Serif, Sans Serif, Script or Modern – they can all mean a lot. There is a certain level of psychology coded in your choice.
Serif typography suits traditional messages, like famous sentences. Sans Serif letter are most commonly used to express strong words which speak of power and a clear mind. Script typography is really beautiful and is your best choice for emotional contexts, or single words of personal significance. Vintage fonts belong to the Script Typography style.
Modern typography styles are numerous. They vary from tech styles, to thin elegant lettering or handwritten letters, which are imitating brushes or markers. In tattooing, typography can be about breaking the letters apart and turning them into a new and personal symbols. Always remember that letters are still nothing without a good message!
Street Style is most commonly associated with wearing sneakers, large t-shirts, snapback hats and hobbies like skateboarding. We will try to break the norm by showing you some inspiring photos of tattooed girls who rock the street style.
Society’s visual taste has changed in recent years, you can easily evidence this. Just look at all the hot photoshoots with tattooed models we see these days online – tattoos are becoming more mainstream by the day and this is due to our visual taste evolving and also the fact it became more ‘trendy’ to have a tattoo. For sure social media is helping tattoos to get more and more attention.
Let’s get back on the streets
We spend so much time on the internet that we might have missed all those beautiful and amazing tattooed girls walking around the very same streets we walk. Freshly inked and rocking their style. Nowadays tattoos are a thing you see everywhere. They have become a huge part of our lives. We see tattooed people everywhere. Sites like Suicide Girls will keep you happily supplied with amazingly unique ‘Street Style’ girls for as long as you could want.
When we’re talking about heavily tattooed people, well, they are attracting massive attention. Especially when they are combined with cool clothing sense. Street style seems to perfectly suit the very nature of tattoos because it’s eye-catching and often controversial.
Street style combines many visual elements just like tattoos
You also have to note how well tattoos and black and white clothes go together. Street style girls have this aggressive looks which tattoo lovers dig. It’s not that much about the designs, but just the act of having ink on your body means you really have something to say to the whole world… or rather shout it out loud.
Skater girls are often quite heavily tattooed, which makes them a great source of inspiration for those who seek unique ideas for tattoos. Whether it’s a full sleeve, a leg piece, or knee and knuckle design, street style girls know their stuff when it comes down to tattoos.
Check out all these stunning, tattooed street style girls. Inspiration for your own looks will surely follow…
Optical illusion tattoos are an interesting and often somewhat mind blowing. They can make your body seem unreal and they’re really intriguing to look at.
Let’s check out some amazing examples from the wild world of skin art.
Optical illusion for the body
Illusions appear due to our brain’s misperception of visual objects. They may occur as a result of the games that lights and shadow play. Smart use of colors or patterns might also be a way to achieve them. Our eyes gather information, but our brain transforms it to thoughts. In the case of optical illusions these thoughts differ from reality.
In art this is often done on purpose. Some appear by chance. A good example is the way different people see colors in a different manner when it’s falls under light or shadow.
In art the optical illusions are mostly used in op art. However, surrealists also loved them. Op artists trick our brains to create amazing and impressing abstract artworks. Those come mainly in black and white. This is because black and white are contrasting colors which often confuse the brain.
These artworks, just like optical illusion tattoos, evoke the same impressions of movement or hidden imagery inside the pieces. These tattoos usually use geometric shapes or patterns.
What about the world of tattoos
There are other tattoos of optical illusions, which borrow images from the real world. Those feature animals, human figures and a lot of 3D effects. They can be related to surrealist tattoos, which have adopted the same effect of dividing the image or involve blending.
Hyper-realistic optical illusion tattoos are quite impressive. However, the tattoo should be seen from a specific angle.
Optical illusion tattoos will surely tease your brain and make your body seem twisted. Some very popular optical illusion effects are the blivet, the famous Kanizsha triangle, the Hermann grid, the Fraser spiral and many more.
How to choose the right colour for your tattoo is a question so often asked. Let’s help you get familiar with the possible answers.
Picking the colors and knowing more about the types of ink will help you. Hopefully you can avoid unwanted tattoo cover ups or removal because of bad results or simply a change in personal taste. However the colour you choose does affect this!
We will give you some basic advice about picking the right colour and the best ink according to your skin tone.
Right colour of ink
Tattooing inks are basically made of pigments and carriers. Some ingredients are chemical, while others are organic. They also contain alcohol and water. However, there are inks which are completely organic and some are hybrid mixtures. Tattoo artists often use inks, which are already mixed.
Still, there are people who like to make their own inks. Organic pigments are more skin friendly and safe. Industrially produced inks contain iron and metal oxides as well as heavy metals.
Some colours are more resistant to aging and some are easier to remove. Black, blue and green fade less, and in case you want to remove them it is easier. Vivid colours like red, orange and yellow are difficult to remove but fade fast. Large bright tattoo pieces in yellow or orange might take years to remove. On the contrary, black pieces might be gone after a few months of (painful) procedures.
Types of skin
If you have a pale skin, you can ink yourself with light colours and almost skip the black ink. The colours will still fade with the years, but will remain more visible compared to people with darker skin tones. Colours like red, pink and orange suit pale skins quite well. Fair skins can bear all colours well. You should better avoid yellow though, as it often looks bad. It will not be visible enough anyway, so feel free to go for another colour.
Dark skin tones are the hardest to reproduce good work on. The skin tan affects the colour of the ink. Darker skins look well with black, red, purple and green tattoos. Light colours will disappear and blue might tint to green.
How to choose the tattoo palette?
So, we’ve reached the hardest part. To choose the best palette first consider the design you’re getting. The colours depend on many details like shading, gradients and the tattoo style itself. The best option is to use pure, unmixed colours, thus avoiding your tattoo age as much as possible. You can choose your colour according to its symbolic meaning or psychological effect.
Insects have the fame of evoking disgust and even fear but insect tattoos will fascinate many tattoo fans with their amazing detail and vivid colours.
These beautiful creatures deserve our appreciation, because they are an integral part of the environment. They are also a crucial element of the food chain, as reptiles, birds and many other animal species hunt use them for food.
Insects are of a huge importance to the ecologic balance on the Earth. They contribute to the formation of the top soil layers, they pollinate blossoms and serve as natural pest controllers.
In tattoo art insects are transformed into allegorical tattoo pieces or artistic illustrations. If you’re an insect lover the designs you’re about see will surely impress you. We selected various impressive designs to convince you how beautiful insects actually are.
No matter if we are talking about blackwork tattoos, bright-colored neo-traditional pieces or textural dotwork designs, insect tattoos will truly fascinate you. Let’s explore some of the currently trending insect tattoos.
Moth insect tattoos
Moths are an inspiration for those who strive for positivity and believe in their very own abilities. Moths speak of faith and intuition because of their constant search for light. In tattoos you will most often find the Death’s head Hawkmoth – a species whose body resembles a skull.
It is one of the biggest insects known to men and when disturbed it produces a loud squeaking sound. Perhaps that’s why people associate it with evil and supernatural powers.
Grasshopper tattoos carry a positive message. They stand for intuition and strong sensitivity. The grasshopper also brings good luck to your home. It will serve as a reminder to stay determined and creative.
The scarab is an ancient and meaningful symbol. It’s a sacred animal and an Egyptian amulet. We still perceive it as a generator of positive energy. It’s also a symbol of life and rebirth.
The scarab is an artistic motif used in Egyptian art and jewelry.
The dragonfly tattoos are favorite to many women. These animals always look gentle and fragile – especially when tattooed. Dragonflies are creatures of both water and air.
They speak of peace and harmony. Allegorically speaking, dragonflies are connected to higher levels of consciousness.
Spider insect tattoos
Spiders are controversial creatures causing polar reactions. For some people spiders symbolise death and danger. For others they can be a sign of protection, wisdom and ingenuity. We often see spiders in tattoos and they can have hundreds of meanings.
Whether they mean luck, patience or they are weavers of faith, spiders are excellent ideas for an insect tattoos.