Tattoo Boulevard

DEMYSTIFYING TATTOOS II

Tattoos & Their Meanings

Tattoo designs are almost as endless as the stars, and in fact, the creative possibilities of a design is only limited by the artist themselves. If someone can think it and draw it, then it can be tattooed. Countless tattoos are born of deep personal meanings based on such ideals as family and heritage, but many designs have a more traditional meaning or historical value to them based on decades, and sometimes even centuries, of use. Knowing the symbolic meaning of a tattoo design is essential when planning to get inked. You don’t want to regret your decision when you find the true meaning of your tattoo is not what you thought it was or meant it to be.

Tribal Designs

Tribal designs are by far the most common type of tattoo design. Tribal tattoos can be based on Polynesian, Aboriginal, or Native American designs. You may also find some based on Maori or Haida culture as well. There are so many historical tribe designs to be discovered that being creative is certainly encouraged.

Angel, Wing, Fairy & Butterfly Designs

Angel, fairy and butterfly tattoo designs all have one thing in common – wings. Angel or wing tattoos typically signify devotion or spirituality but can also stand for guidance and protection if your faith is not what spurred the idea of an angel or wing tattoo. Fairies are traditionally used to express magic, folklore and childlike innocence. Many fairy tattoos are whimsical and fun. Mostly a feminine favorite, butterfly tattoos are used to express colorful freedom, and a oneness with nature.

Lion Designs

Lions are strong, powerful, formidable creatures, and a tattoo of one symbolizes many, if not all, of the same qualities. Lions are popular in Far Eastern mythology and as Chinese and Japanese tattoo designs have increased in popularity in the West, so has the popularity in lion tattoos. Lion designs are also used to represent the Leo, one of the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Rose & Lotus Designs

The rose tattoos in the West and the lotus tattoos in the East have almost identical symbolic meanings of pure love. Rose and lotus tattoos are very popular choices for both men and women, although women’s rose or lotus tattoos tend to be softer with more muted colors.

Heart Designs

Heart tattoo designs seem to have always been a popular choice for both men and women. World War II saw a boom of heart designs that were meant to be a reminder of the loved ones they had left behind at home. With a heart tattoo you can signify love of family, friends, or even that special someone. Heart tattoos are one of the most popular, but are now mostly used as an element of larger or more complicated pieces.

Tiger Designs

Tigers can symbolize everything from passion and sensuality to cruelty and wrath. A tattoo design of a tiger usually takes on the meaning that the wearer associates with it. Many Japanese style tigers are popular today and are popular now all over the world.

Flower Designs

Roses are a flower all their own, but tattoo designs of any other flower take on the meaning that that flower has when given to someone. For example, a pink carnation stands for gratitude and a daisy for innocence. Make sure you know the meaning of the flower you are using as a tattoo before you get it done so that you can tell people what it means when they ask, and you are okay with the flower’s symbolic meaning.

Krysha Mayer

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Posted in Uncategorized by tattoo on June 9th, 2010 at 2:20 am.

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6 Replies

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  4. How much is too much tattooing. I used to drive a cab and tourists would comment on how nice people are and how many tats they had. I hadn’t thought about it until then but, Portlander’s do seem to get tats just to have them. I guess more ink = more better. Personally I don’t think should get a tattoo of a turtle just because they went to Cancun on vacation. I think the tat should have more meaning. It is, however, good for business. Anyone have a differing idea. I’d be glad to hear it.

  5. I will use your advice from now on. Jaap

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