104 Most Popular Tattoo Designs And Their Meanings – 2024

Get some cues from these amazing designs and understand what they tell you.

Reviewed by Jingxi Gu, Licensed Tattoo Artist
Written by Nisha Baghadia, MA (Mass Communication)
Edited by Madhumati Chowdhury, MA (English Literature)
Fact-checked by Joyce Joyson, MA (Mass Communication & Journalism)  • 

Tattoos have always been a symbol of personal expression, allowing individuals to show off their identity, significance, and personality through body art. Tattoos can be a way to share your sense of adventure and wanderlust, or commemorate a journey of self-discovery and exploration. Whether it’s a small portrait or a full sleeve, each design holds its unique significance.

Choosing a tattoo amidst all the options can be difficult as your tattoo will stay with you forever, and you will have to connect with the motif for the rest of your life. But do not worry, for we are here to make your job easier. Here is a list of top tattoo ideas with meanings worth trying. So, scroll down and check out the best tattoo designs. It is time to rock some cool tattoo ideas!

protip_icon Fun Fact
The word ‘tattoo’ is believed to have derived from the Samoan word ‘tatau,’ which means ‘to strike.

Best Tattoo Designs For Women And What They Mean

1. Tribal Tattoos

Tribal tattoo design idea for women
Image: Instagram @sincerelyzez

Tribal tattoos are generally based on ancient tribal art. These tattoos originated from the artworks of ancient tribes, such as the tribes of Celtic, the Borneo, the Haida, and the Maori. The modern form of these tribal artworks is called New Tribalism. Some styles also originated in India, Hawaii, Aztec, Samoa, and Polynesia and spread to the rest of the world.

Tattoos in these communities were used to depict the social status of a person, rites of passage, and family status. They were sometimes even used for medicinal purposes. Every culture has its own designs and techniques, but most of the tribal tattoos are done in black. Licensed Tattoo Artist, Jingxi Gu, says, “Tribal tattoos done the right way are some of my favorite tattoos as they are designed to naturally fit the client’s body shape and structure”

Tribal tattoos feature bold line motifs, repetitive patterned designs, elements, bold black lines, and spiritual and mythical symbolism. The most popular tribal tattoos are the Hawaiian flower, Indian motifs, letters, and rose tattoos.

2. Traditional Tattoos

Image: Instagram @edo_sent_owt

Traditional or old-school tattoos are based on the traditional American or the Wild Western tattoo style. Traditional tattoos are possibly the oldest among all the other tattoo forms. They have been used mostly by sailors around the world to set themselves apart from others.

They generally feature bold, black outlines and have a limited color palette, featuring red, green, yellow, and black. Later on, purple was also added to the palate.

Some popular traditional tattoo designs include sparrow tattoos, eagle tattoos, pin-up tattoos, native American tattoos, heart tattoos, anchor tattoos, mermaid tattoos, navy and army symbols, dagger tattoos, rose tattoos, and gypsy design tattoos.

3. Realism Tattoos

Image: Instagram @the.wolves.den

Realism tattoos look like photographs or actual 3D objects. In the tattoo world, the term realism refers to designs that are detailed, precise, and exact representations of real-life images. They generally focus on faces, scenery, animals, and everyday objects.

This style of tattoo requires a lot of patience and a great eye for detail. Realism tattoos have many colors and layers. Depth is used to maximize the contrast and 3D effect of the tattoos.The most beautiful realism tattoos have perfect depictions of the eyes, with the Safety Precautions When Getting a Tattoo

4. Watercolor Tattoos

Image: Instagram

Watercolor tattoos have become insanely popular because of their ethereal style, fluid forms, and vivid hues. They are inked the same way normal tattoos are done. The only difference is the techniques of coloring and shading.

Watercolor tattoos generally have no bold outlines. The designs are mostly splashes of colors with a few bold lines in between for shape – and sometimes not even that.

5. New School Tattoos

Image: Instagram @annabelle_tattooist

The new school tattoo style includes elements from many tattoo styles, such as old school, irezumi, and folk art. This style of tattooing uses the heavy outline style of old-school tattoos. But contrary to using a limited color contrast as in old school, new school tattoos use a range of bright colors.

They do not use realism as all the details in the tattoo are exaggerated and represent graffiti style. New school tattoos feature fantastical subjects and allow artists to do a lot of customization.

6. Neo-Traditional Tattoos

Image: Instagram @rb.tattoo

The neo-traditional tattoo designs are a modern version of traditional American tattoos or old-school designs. Neo-traditional artists try to make things more contemporary by adding thick, bold lines to the symbols and using realistic tattoo images and designs.

However, some people say that there is no real difference between traditional American tattoos and neo-traditional tattoos, but that is not true.

7. Japanese Tattoos With Meanings

Image: Instagram @luckydragontattoo

Japanese tattoos are called irezumi. They are also known as motifs. The unique thing about these tattoos is that every image that is inked has a specific meaning and purpose.

Japanese tattoos may depict a person’s character traits, personal beliefs, and aspirations, or even declarations of gang associations. They are also sometimes based on myths and famous stories.

8. Blackwork Tattoos

Image: Instagram @bali_bagustattoo

Blackwork tattoos, also called neo-tribal tattoos, are created using solid black ink. These tattoos use linework and dotwork to a large extent and have large areas of black tint, black shading, distinctive motifs, graphic art, and symmetrical and complex geometrical patterns.

These tattoos are made up of minimalist images and symbols. They are heavily influenced by Polynesian artwork and tattoos. All-black tattoos were done by the ancient Polynesian tribes to flaunt their identities, lineage, and social standing, and their ideas of warfare or religious beliefs.

9. Illustrative Tattoos

Image: Instagram

Illustrative tattoos can be recognized easily because of their style and line quality. They look so real that they are often mistaken as marker drawings on the skin. The Illustrative tattooing style involves numerous different techniques – such as dotwork, linework, parallel hatching, small dashes, stippling, and cross-hatching.

The methods of applying the ink differ for getting a particular texture or look. The style of geometric tattoos is often used in Illustrative tattoos because they have similar origins and techniques.

10. Chicano Style Tattoos

Image: Instagram @champster42

The Chicano tattoo style is comprised of inspiring and eye-catching imagery. It is rich in cultural, political, and historical connotations. Every tattoo design is meaningful and has a background story, generally directly related to the Chicanx culture. This form of tattooing can be used to influence the preservation of heritage.

The Chicano-style tattoo came from the Pachuco gang culture. It was done to identify the gang members and show loyalty and respect to the gang. The Chicano style of tattooing is based on classic themes like skulls, flowers, lush roses, praying hands, pretty girls with shining tears, women, and religious figures, such as the Virgin Mary.

11. Polynesian Tattoos

Image: Instagram

Polynesian tattoos are an ancient form of tattoo art. In Polynesian culture, tattoos are a form of expression. Interestingly, there were no writings in Polynesia – only tattoos. They were an indication of people’s status, identities, genealogy, personalities, and even their rank in society.

Tattoos were more than just an art form – they were spiritualistic. People could not simply choose the designs of their tattoos. Their ‘master’ would make the decision depending on their social status.

12. Phases Of The Moon Tattoos

Image: Instagram

The phases of the moon tattoo stands for purity, dreams, magic, mystery, eternity, and shadows. It is similar to celestial and coffin tattoos as far as meanings are concerned. This tattoo lets people associate with their past, present, and future.

One of the most appealing meanings behind the phases of the moon is its representation of karma. This style also refers to the eternity of the moon. This lets women relate to their cycles even more.

13. Henna Tattoos

Image: Instagram

The tradition of applying henna tattoos can be traced back to Ancient Egypt. It is believed that Cleopatra used to apply henna to adorn her body. Egyptians would use henna to paint the nails of mummies before burial. Henna tattooing is traditionally done to celebrate a happy occasion or acknowledge rites of passage. These are the most common tattoos.

Hindus don henna tattoos on their weddings to symbolize purity, joy, beauty, happiness, and spiritual awakening. Moroccans paint their doors with henna as they believe that it brings prosperity to the household and eliminates evil.

14. Filipino Tattoos

Image: Instagram @kurtistattoos

Filipino tribal tattoos are often based on the beauty of nature, such as mountains and rivers. The original tattoos often featured scenes and symbols of the area where the artists grew up in.

Filipino tattoos were believed to offer protection to men during battles. They also represented bravery or tribal status. These tattoos often used repetitive, meticulous patterns, as well as detailed, photo-realistic images.

15. Arabic Tattoos

Image: Instagram @arabicc_tattooo

Arabic tattoos are mesmerizing, graceful, and exquisite. A lot of people get captivated by the Arabic language and the font for creative writing. The cursive way of writing the letters is truly beautiful. Even though some Islamists believe that tattoos are against their religion, many Arabs flaunt beautiful tattoos.

Arabic tattoos have multiple quotes and designs. These tattoos can be theological, a person’s name, or even spiritual phrases or quotes.

16. Dolphin Tattoos

Image: Instagram @song.e_tattoo

Dolphin tattoos represent friendship, a sense of belonging to a community, and harmony. A lot of besties and couples get matching dolphin tattoos. Dolphins are extremely intelligent. Ancient Greeks considered the dolphins god-like.

Here are a few symbolic meanings of dolphin tattoos – love, happiness, friendship, playfulness, freedom, intelligence, connection, protection, and sensitivity. When two dolphin tattoos are inked together, it represents the sun and the moon. It also represents duality, cooperation, partnership, and balance.

17. Dragon Tattoos

Image: Instagram @magic_forest_tattoo

Dragon tattoos are associated with courage, strength, protection, power, wisdom, and independence. These mythological creatures are one of the most legendary beings in the history of folklore and mythology.

Dragons form a large part of the fiction and pop culture of China, Vietnam, and Japan – among many other countries. Most Eastern civilizations consider dragons as noble creatures, whereas European civilizations associate dragons with darkness and evil.

18. Butterfly Tattoos

Image: Instagram @ale.tatt2

Butterflies are a common theme of tattoos among females. They are sometimes inked just as a pretty skin decoration. But at other times, they may have a deeper meaning.

Butterfly tattoo designs and meanings symbolize beauty, liberty, confidence, freedom, and change. They represent transformation, freedom from the emotional burden, forgiveness, or spiritual growth. Butterfly tattoos are a symbol of female sensuality, feminine beauty, and sexuality.

19. Wings Tattoos

Image: Instagram @carvel_tattoo

Wing tattoos are associated with spiritual symbolism. These tattoos represent speed, freedom, elevation, and aspiration. These tattoos can be of different sizes, designs, and colors.

Wing tattoos are sometimes done in all-black tribal style. These tattoos symbolize warriors in battle, are a symbol of honoring someone who has passed away, to establish your faith, or to appreciate your ability to overcome obstacles, fear, and whatever hurdles life throws at you.

20. Om Tattoo

Image: Instagram @camila_pilque

The word ‘Om’ comes from the Vedanta, a Hindu scripture. Therefore, Om is familiar to many Eastern religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. It is a sacred mantra, chant, and icon. It has suddenly become popular in Western countries.

The Om tattoo symbolizes silence, oneness, totality, sacred trinity, creation, evolution, indestructibility, truth, sustainability, manifestation, perpetuation, and divine expression. People get the Om tattoo inked to celebrate sacred and timeless awareness.

21. Star Tattoos

Image: Instagram

Star tattoos symbolize the accomplishment of a goal. They can be very personal, but there are some general meanings associated with them.

They can represent hope, religious faith, transformation, ambition, finding the way home, success or accomplishment, an amazing moment in your life, an interest in astronomy, a challenge to conquer, your vocation as a fisherman or sailor, stardom, a desire to achieve bigger goals, member of the Navy Seal or Coast Guard, uniqueness or individuality, and the birth of your baby.

22. Heart Tattoos

Image: Instagram @tintanocturna

Heart is the universal symbol of love. Heart tattoos also stand for adoration and passion for a special someone. However, they are not just meant to be for your lovers but are also used as a symbol of love for other family members.

The general meanings associated with the heart tattoo are love, heartache, femininity, heartbreak, marriage or relationship, sisterhood, friendship, stability, life, cultural heritage, homage to a loved one, memory of a pet, patriotism, spirituality, military service, hope, Christian or Catholic faith, Judaism or Jewish faith, passion, adoration, perseverance, key to one’s heart, medicine or healing, being trapped, suffering, unity, artistic nature, love of cooking, trust, past, present, and future, love for family members, and power.

23. Skull Tattoos

Image: Instagram @gemhawktattoos

Skull tattoos are popular among badasses. The skull tattoo has been around for decades and remains a classic design choice. However, the innovation and creativity of tattoo artists continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with this design. Many people associate a skull tattoo with those large, black eye sockets with death, but that is not always the case. The biker crowd that generally gets these tattoos do so to show that they don’t fear death. Therefore, skull tattoos could symbolize that a person has accepted their mortality, making it a perfect statement for those who want to show off their edge.

These tattoos could also be a reminder that everyone will die one day and should live life to the fullest. In this way, it has a positive association.

Skull tattoos are not necessarily masculine. There are also feminine skull tattoos, which are hugely popular among women. Some couples also get matching skull tattoos inked on their bodies. The most popular skull tattoos for women are done in pink and purple colors and have bows as well.

Many people choose to add some decorations to their skull tattoos, such as hearts, stars, flowers, ribbons with names, special dates, mottos and quotes, military symbols, pinup girls, or wings.

24. Cherry Blossom Tattoos

Image: Instagram @tattooist_dal

Cherry blossom tattoos have several different meanings associated with them. Many people get the soft pink flowers tattooed on them as an ode to spring.

Some cultures, like the Japanese, believe that cherry blossoms, also known as sakura, symbolize the fragility of life and beauty. The Japanese cherry blossom is tattooed by many to celebrate life after a serious illness or to honor someone you have loved and lost.

25. Flower Tattoos

Image: Instagram @olavotattoo

Different flower tattoos symbolize different things. Red flowers represent burning passion, violet roses stand for shyness, yellow flowers represent jealousy and possessiveness, and white flowers symbolize purity.

There are literally thousands of different flower tattoo ideas available in different designs and colors. There are many kinds of flowers that you can go for – the rose, lily, lotus, and jasmine are the most popular ones.

26. Angel Tattoos

Image: Instagram @janmarietattoo

Angel tattoos are done in honor of one’s spirituality. However, they can also stand for romantic love, doubt, and wrath.

  • Angel wings symbolize protection, freedom, and the presence of God.
  • Broken or tattered angel wings represent the struggle with acceptance of one’s faith.
  • Archangels for those who want spiritual tattoo designs.
  • Angel of Death represents fear and death.
  • Celtic Angels symbolize a connection to the Catholic church as well as Celtic roots.
  • Cupid represents romantic love and innocence.
  • Fallen Angels represent the loss of paradise.
  • Flying Angels are symbols of resurrection and rebirth.
  • Guardian Angels symbolize the protection of mankind, guidance, and protection.
  • Praying Angels symbolize protection, the requirement to connect with the God Almighty, guidance, and divine intervention.

27. Maori Tattoo

Image: Instagram @jerome_titeca_tattoo

Maori arts, also known as moko, are traditionally inked on the face and nearby parts since the head is held sacred by this tribe. These tattoos have great aesthetic value and are extremely alluring.

Traditionally, these tattoos represented the heritage, ancestry, and status of the person in the tribe. Nowadays, these tattoos can mean a whole lot of different things, such as family, travel, prosperity, strength, career, and so on.

Manawa, which means “heart” in Maori, represents one’s life journey and the time spent on this planet. Main Korus represents people and groups of people, and Korus means new life and new beginnings.

28. Haida Tattoo

Image: Instagram @cramer_tattoo

Haida tattoos symbolize the spiritual elements of animals. The tattoos have a design crest as well as an animal that basically states something meaningful about the one wearing it.

Though the meanings of most symbols have changed over time, the animal part of it has remained constant. Those looking to get a Haida tattoo done often go for the thunderbird.

29. Dreamcatcher Designs With Birds, Feathers, Or Beads

Image: Instagram @artemtat2

Dreamcatchers (willow hoops with strings that are woven into nets or webs. Also incorporate other items like beads, feathers, or birds) are an extremely popular tattoo choice.

It is believed to have originated from the Anishinabe, also known as the Chippewa and Ojibwa. They believed dreamcatchers had mystical powers. They believed dreamcatchers had mystical powers. They associate them with the legend of Spider Woman. People believe that a dreamcatcher tattoo offer protection from bad dreams.

30. Fairy Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @polillatattoo

Fairy tattoos are very popular among women. Popular variations of these fantasy tattoos include anime fairy tattoos, butterfly fairy tattoos, gothic fairy tattoos, evil fairy tattoos, sexy fairy tattoos, tribal fairy tattoos, crying fairy tattoos, Celtic fairy tattoos, sitting fairy tattoos, Tinkerbell tattoos, flower fairy tattoos, dragon fairy tattoos, and pixie fairy tattoos. They stand for femininity, innocence, naughtiness, and protection.

31. Swallow Birds Tattoo

Image: Instagram @eunyutattoo

The swallow tattoo was originally inked by sailors to flaunt their sailing experience. But with time, the meaning of the swallow has changed to include a host of other things.

The swallow tattoo represents travel, change, and you and your loved one taking a journey together. It also represents community love as this tattoo is associated with swallow birds traveling together as a flock.

32. Sun Tattoo

Image: Instagram

Sun tattoos are very popular because the sun is considered an icon and a deity. Here are some popular sun tattoo designs and their meanings:

  • Rising sun tattoos symbolize a new life or beginning
  • Sun devil tattoos represent one’s devilish fun side
  • Sunfish tattoos are a symbol of tribute to the very mysterious ocean fish Mola
  • Tribal sun tattoos symbolize strength, new life, and power
  • Cloud and sun tattoos are a tribute to Pearl Jam
  • Three stars and sun tattoos symbolize a spiritual event.

33. Simple Moon Tattoo

Image: Instagram

The simple moon tattoo is associated with power, fertility, secret wisdom, hidden powers, and witchcraft. Women get this tattoo inked to represent their lunar energy, intuition, divine light, sensuality, and overall femininity.

The moon tattoo is linked to the following meanings: feminine mystique, cyclical nature, Wiccan beliefs, mischief, the release of negative energy, insanity, magic, creativity, astrology, darkness, the memory of loved ones, rarity, and growth.

34. Celtic Tattoos

Image: Instagram

Celtic tattoo symbols are mostly a mixture of German and Pagan cultures. They used to tattoo animals on men as they are very symbolic among the Celts.

The tattoos generally symbolized protection, ferocity, and courage. Some of the Celtic symbols also represent respect for organic energy, such as nature, motion, wind, and time.

35. Kanji Tattoo

Image: Instagram @beagarcia.tattoo

Japanese kanji are symbols or characters of Chinese origin. They are simplified Chinese characters. Kanji tattoos are popular in the US and Europe. They are simple, compact, understated, and impactful, as well as elegant.

There are around 50,000 kanji symbols. People can get their names or the name of their loved ones inked on them using the Kanji characters.

36. Crown Tattoo

Image: Instagram

Crown tattoos represent power, wealth, and supremacy. If you consider yourself a queen or king, a crown tattoo is the best choice for you.

A crown tattoo has many meanings, but here are a few general ones associated with it: royal power, leadership, authority, control over emotions, ideas, and actions, self-control, power and pride, responsibility, God-like, nobility, and greatness, as well as true love and loyalty. Crown tattoos are often inked as matching tattoos by couples.

37. Sword Tattoos

Image: Instagram @ilkaydemirtattooer

Sword tattoos are longtime symbols of knights, warriors, samurai, and ninjas. They are linked to many meanings – justice, strength, bravery, courage, honor, valor, power, knowledge, nobility, danger, liberty, and freedom.

The popular sword through the heart tattoo means betrayal, a broken heart, or lost love. It is also popular among Christians.

38. Chinese Tattoo Designs With Meaning

Image: Instagram @jerrywangart

Chinese tattoos are high in demand because of their exotic patterns. These are minimalistic tattoo patterns and can look very classy, subtle, and elegant. Chinese characters are one of the most opted forms of tattoo designs. If you want to have a mysterious tattoo that can’t be read by most, Chinese tattoos are the one for you.

39. Musical Tattoo Designs And Their Meaning

Image: Instagram

Music tattoos are popular among both music fans and musicians. They symbolize one’s love and passion for music. Here are a few musical tattoos and their meanings:

  • Drums – represent Mother Earth’s heartbeat as well as the love for beats.
  • Heart-shaped bass and treble clef – symbolize one’s love for playing music.
  • Gramophone – a symbol to respect the history and transformation of music through time.
  • Guitar – a homage to a guitarist or musician.
  • Microphone – symbolizes self-expression or empowerment.
  • Piano keys – represent love for the piano.
  • Playback buttons – symbolize love for music.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you are more of a ukulele fan, you can also go for colorful and tiny ukulele tattoos. They look great on the forearm.

40. Traditional Egyptian Tattoos

Egyptian tattoo design for women
Image: Instagram @sailingwilly

Egyptians are well known for their structures, paintings, and tattoos. Here are a few popular Egyptian tattoo designs and their meanings:

  • Ankh – Life, love, and eternity.
  • Anubis – The better side of death and eternal peace, protection, and respect.
  • Eye of Horus – The gift of life.
  • Eye of Ra – Protection
  • Goddess Isis – Fertility, nature, and motherhood.
  • King Tut – Power, hedonism, and royalty.
  • Mummy – Power, and life after death.
  • Pharaoh – Supreme power and leadership.
  • Pyramid – Strength, endurance, and eternity.
  • Queen Nefertiti – Feminine power, prosperity, and progress.
  • Scarab Beetle – Industry and creation.

41. Tiger Tattoos And Their Meaning

Image: Instagram @lalunarojatatuajes

Tiger designs are sought after in fashion, art, and tattoos. Here are a few meanings associated with tiger tattoos: endangered and rare, deadly, predatory, fierceness, bravery, maternal and protective, beauty, love for nature, dangerous, loyalty, and leadership.

42. Lion Tattoos

Image: Instagram @tattoo_blunth

Lion tattoos are beautiful and symbolize the following characteristics: strength, courage, love, balance, family, transformation, guardianship, wisdom, hope, and power. In some ancient civilizations, kings and royalty would own lions, which was a symbol of power.

Roman mythology associates lions with love. Egyptians considered the lion to represent balance. This tattoo is also a popular symbol among Christians. The Chinese consider lion tattoos as symbols of guardianship, good luck, and power.

43. Fish Tattoo

Image: Instagram

Fish tattoos are very popular nowadays, especially Koi fish tattoos. These tattoos symbolize determination, strength, and adversity.

Here are a few meanings associated with fish tattoos: creation, transformation, and fertility; renewal and healing; abundance and wealth; patience, persistence, ambition, power, strength, regeneration and healing; wisdom, luck, and prosperity.

44. Romantic Tree Tattoos

Image: Instagram @andres_sunrise84

The tree is very symbolic, and when inked as a tattoo, it can symbolize various things at once. Some of the common meanings associated with trees are love, regeneration, rejuvenation, and life, the circle of life, social rank or social grouping, nobility, sacredness, and love for nature and the environment.

45. Rose Tattoo

Image: Instagram @devegasink

Rose tattoos are associated with delicate beauty and love, balance, promise, and hope. rose tattoo meaning: new beginnings.

  • Red roses mean immortal love that withstands time, even death, as well as passionate love.
  • Roses with thorns symbolize defense, loss, and thoughtlessness.
  • Yellow rose symbolizes protection against jealous lovers, joy, friendship, and mature love.
  • White rose symbolizes mysticism, purity, and a secret admirer.
  • Pink roses stand for first love, healing, and innocence.
  • Blue roses stand for something that is impossible to get or unattainable.
  • Black roses represent death and farewell.

46. Eagle Tattoo

Image: Instagram

Eagle tattoos represent power, wisdom, and spirituality. In ancient Greece, it was used to symbolize masculine strength and virility. These tattoos can be used as a symbol of purity, beauty, and a mighty force. Here are a few common eagle tattoos and their meanings:

  • Perched eagle tattoo – Symbolizes health, energy, and provision.
  • Fighting eagle tattoo – RepresentS power, courage, and determination
  • Tribal eagle tattoo – Symbolizes supremacy and authority
  • Egyptian eagle tattoo – Represents authority and protection
  • Eagle head tattoo – Symbolizes focus and high vision
  • Eagle feather tattoo – Stands for focus and high determination.

47. Phoenix Tattoos

Image: Instagram @newskintattoocopparo

The phoenix is a mythical bird that has different symbolism in different cultures. It’s always in trend as it perfectly represents rebirth, grace, virtue, and immortality.

Here are some common meanings associated with these tattoos: fire, rebirth, immortality; renewal, rebirth, and the start of a new life; conquering difficult times; winner; kindness, duty, goodness, reliability, and prosperity; and grace and kindness.

48. Aries Tattoos

Image: Instagram @tromack

The Aries tattoo has several meanings. People born with this sunshine get this inked. Here are a few meanings associated with these tattoos: independent, uncomplicated, spontaneous, courageous, outgoing, intense, resourceful, idealistic, inspirational, fun-loving and passionate, kindness and generosity, and selflessness.

49. Cross Tattoos

Image: Instagram @art_by_doncheco

The cross design represents the ‘axis mundi,’ or ‘the center of the universe’. Cross tattoos also represent Christ’s crucifixion. Here are a few popular cross tattoos and their meanings:

  • Anchor Cross – Hope and grounding faith.
  • Ankh – Life
  • Celtic Cross – Connection between the spiritual and the physical.
  • Christian Cross – A symbol of religious faith.
  • Greek Cross – The heavens.
  • Iron Cross – Bravery and rebellion.
  • Maltese Cross – Sacrifice and courage.
  • Tau Cross – Eternal life

50. Taurus Tattoos

Image: Instagram

Taurus tattoos are inked by those who are born in May with this sun sign. These tattoos are linked to the following meanings: patience, passionate ethical, loyalty, trust, free-spiritedness, hardworking, stubbornness, reliability, determined, and warm-hearted. Taurus tattoos are generally depicted by a bull symbol.

51. Artistic Gemini Tattoos

Image: Instagram @v.niki_nails

Gemini tattoos represent mutable dual nature. They are symbolized by twins. They symbolize dualism – mature and childish, introverted and extroverted. They also symbolize fertility and can be inked by women when they want to have children.

52. Cancer Tattoos

Image: Instagram

Cancer tattoos are represented by a crab. They are chosen by people who are born under this sun sign. They are represented by a sideways 69. Cancer tattoos can mean moodiness, artistic nature, sincerity, vulnerability, loyalty, and love.

53. Leo Tattoo Designs

Leo tattoos are associated with the following meanings: ambition, generosity, stubbornness, strength, confidence, loyalty, and pride. They can also be sported by those who have these characteristics in their personality.

54. Virgo Tattoos

Image: Instagram @catsushii_tatttoo

Virgo tattoos are associated with virginity, harvest, purity, prosperity, and innocence. They can also mean independence, determination, smart, systematic, sympathetic, pragmatic, perfection, meticulousness, and analytical minded.

55. Libra Tattoos

Image: Instagram @marinalatre

Libra tattoos represent positivity, romanticism, idealism, diplomacy, and peace. They are generally represented by scales as they also symbolize justice.

56. Scorpio Tattoos

Image: Instagram @cornwall_tattoo

Scorpion tattoos are forbidden and even considered offensive in some cultures. They symbolize immortality, invincibility, and fatal power. They can also mean danger, mystery, and poisonous natured.

57. Aquarius Tattoos

Image: Instagram @artistasunny

Aquarius tattoos are very beautiful. They are associated with the following meanings: sincerity, love, beauty, absent-mindedness, free-spiritedness, and positivity.

58. Ankle Tattoos

Image: Instagram @joseph.ridgeon

Ankle tattoos may have different meanings. Tribal ankle designs that feature Celtic tattoos are generally associated with the traditions, beliefs, and cultural practices of that particular tribe. Women who have ankle tattoos are considered independent, elegant, confident, self-assured, and secretive. They are assumed to have subtle personalities and strong convictions.

59. Owl Tattoos

Image: Instagram

Owl tattoos are very popular among both men and women. They have a rich symbolic value. Owl tattoos represent knowledge, wisdom, patience, tranquility, death, and transition. Owls are considered to be guardians of sacred knowledge.

60. Waist Tattoos

Waist tattoos are not just personal and funky but also super sexy. They don’t have any particular meaning associated with them. The meaning depends on the choice of tattoo. However, some people consider them too bold to be flaunted in public.

61. Arrow Tattoos

Image: Instagram @charlgreenwoodtattoos

Arrow tattoos have several powerful, positive meanings associated with them. Some of them are as follows:

  • Arrow on a bow – Tension, conflict, or life struggle.
  • Arrow released from a bow – A positive transition in one’s life.
  • Broken arrow – Peace offering.
  • Bundle of arrows – Strength and unity.
  • Compass arrow – New direction or a new relationship.
  • Crossed arrows – Friendship
  • Cupid arrow – Love or romance.
  • Diamond arrow – Courage
  • Downward arrow – Peace
  • Feather arrow – Triumph, liberty, and independence.

62. Horse Tattoos

Horse tattoos look amazing! Here are a few popular horse tattoos and their meanings:

  • Celtic horse – Sacredness
  • Flaming horse – Wild strength and free will.
  • Horseshoe – A symbol of a desire for a positive change financially as well as good luck.
  • Race horse – Success and elegance.
  • Tribal horse – Represents a connection to spirituality as well as symbolizes power and strength.
  • Winged horse – Creativity and freedom of thought.

63. Positive Quotes Tattoos

Image: Instagram @mitchtaylor_616

People get inspirational tattoo designs inked to feel motivated every single day. These are timeless tattoos as the quotes won’t ever go out of fashion and will always be relevant. Choose a quote that means something to you and has affected your life. This way, you will value your tattoo even more.

64. Elephant Tattoos

Image: Instagram @krystallefrasier

Elephant tattoos are beautiful, majestic, and traditional. They symbolize memory, empathy, fidelity, loyalty, and compassion. White elephant tattoos symbolize wisdom and fertility. They are chosen by women wanting to start a family and have children. Elephant tattoos are often opted for as matching tattoos by couples.

65. Mandala Tattoos

Image: Instagram

Mandala tattoos are considered sacred symbols and spiritual. They represent the sun, the stars, and the universe. Mandala tattoos represent wholeness, eternity, balance, and perfection. They are considered to be symbols of body and mind balance.

66. Funny Tattoos

Image: Instagram @stefan.laurentiu.art

Funny tattoos don’t have a defined meaning. Many people opt for funny tattoos so that they have a little something to smile about whenever they look at their tattoos. Also, they are a tribute to a person’s humorous nature.

67. Small Back Lotus Tattoos

Image: Instagram

Small lotus tattoos have various meanings. Here are a few lotus tattoo designs for your back, and their meanings:

  • Lotus flower in water – Symbolizes purity in spite of difficulties.
  • Twin lotus tattoos – Symbolize harmony and mutual trust.
  • Tribal lotus tattoos – Represent love, femininity, and beauty.

68. Small Nature Tree Tattoos

Image: Instagram @ch.tattoo.ahn

Small tree tattoos are majestic, strong, and beautiful. They are symbolic and say a lot of about life and nature. These tattoos are associated with love, peace, loyalty, concern, and strength. If you love nature, you can get a small nature tree tattoo inked.

69. Henna Tattoo Designs On Foot

Image: Instagram @nirvanahennabali

These tattoos do not have a specific meaning associated with them. They are opted for mostly by brides as they are considered very auspicious. They are temporary tattoos and stay on for a couple of weeks at most.

70. 3D Floral Sleeve Tattoos

Image: Instagram

3D tattoos give the illusion of being within the skin or above it. These tattoos have two dimensions – height and width. The depth can also be considered as distance. The theme of a 3D tattoo has the same meaning as it would have if it was depicted in 2D.

71. Intricate Tattoos For Neck

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An intricate tattoo on the neck generally means that the wearer is a badass who likes to take risks and is daring enough to make bold choices. Here are a few popular symbols for neck tattoos: hearts, flowers, the name of a loved one, choker necklace design, and initials.

72. Cute Dog Paw Tattoos

Image: Instagram @thelifeofjoy_

Though simple, dog paw tattoos are very personal to the wearer because they symbolize the unconditional love of a pet. People also get them as a memorial of their pets. The paw print of a dog can also represent certain characteristics the wearer may have, like loyalty, love, friendship, and trust.

73. Thai Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @thailand_wat

Sak Yant tattoos or Thai tattoos can mean a lot of things, depending on what tattoo you opt for. They generally symbolize good luck, strength, protection, and success. These tattoos always include “The Bones of the Yant,” which is the umbilical cord of Buddha, and Unalome, which symbolizes Nirvana or enlightenment.

74. Love Tattoos

Image: Instagram @black.dahlia.tattoo

Love tattoo symbols represent trust, passion, faith, hope, friendship, devotion, and inspiration. You can get them for your life partner, mom, dad, nature, best friend, and even God. Here are some popular love tattoos: heart, roses, dove, key and heart lock, and cupid.

75. Travel Tattoos

Image: Instagram @spiral_spirit_tattoo

Travel tattoos are generally selected by those who have traveled and consider it to be one of the most important parts of their life. However, they can represent any kind of journey – emotional, spiritual, or physical. The general travel tattoo symbols that people opt for are airplanes, paper planes, boats, and ship outlines. Some also get the world map tattooed.

76. Full-Sleeve Tattoos

Image: Instagram

Full-sleeve tattoos are different from arm tattoos. Arm tattoos could be random, but sleeve tattoos have a unified theme. These themes are chosen by people based on what they want to portray. They don’t have specific meanings attached to them as each one is unique.

77. Finger Tattoos

Image: Instagram @keithjk_tattoo__

Finger tattoos do not have a particular symbolic meaning. However, you can get a design that means something specific to you tattooed on your finger. Common finger tattoos are the skull, the anchor, angel wings, feathers, animals, and dragons.

78. Geometric Tattoo

Image: Instagram

Geometric tattoo designs have been associated with the following meanings:

  • Cube symbolizes stability.
  • Fractal Shells symbolize the harmony between order and chaos.
  • Gordian Knot is a symbol for a knot that cannot be untied.
  • Icosahedron is a symbol for water, also means “going with the current” or change.
  • Mandala represents balance, harmony, and unity.
  • Metatron Cube represents the fruit of life.
  • Octahedron symbolizes healing and compassion.
  • Ouroborus represents yin and yang, the circle of life, and volatility.
  • Tetrahedron symbolizes the connection between the spiritual and the physical.

79. Native American Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @vagoslobos

Native American tattoos were used for the identification of tribes and regions. They represented strength, whether physical or mental, and supernatural power. Animals were also an important part of this tattoo style. Tattoos symbolized hunting and rites of passage, coming of age, initiations, ranking in society, mystery, and protective charms.

80. Eye Tattoo Designs

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In general, the following meanings are associated with the eye tattoo: life, religion, focus, clear thinking, vision, the inner being, intuition, smartness, protection, protector, foretelling the future, sorrow, and care.

81. Feathers Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @ha_tattooist

Feather tattoos have several symbolic meanings. Here are a few generic meanings of this tattoo:

  • Generic feather – Freedom
  • Dove feather – Spirituality and faith.
  • Peacock feather – Beauty and elegance.
  • Phoenix feather – Resurrection and immortality.
  • Owl or raven feather – Wisdom and knowledge.
  • Eagle feather – Strength, bravery, and fearlessness.
  • Ostrich feather – Justice and truth.
  • Turkey feather – Fertility and wealth.

82. Warrior Tattoo Designs

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Warrior tattoo designs have numerous meanings. The most common ones represent inner strength, power, cultural heritage, protection, feminism, and virility.

Here are a few more popular warrior tattoo designs, and their meanings:

  • Roman Warrior – Represents unlimited power, strength, and coordination.
  • Celtic Warrior – Represents virility, fearlessness, and power.
  • Female Warrior – Represents respect for feminine strength.
  • Tribal Warrior – Symbolizes a connection to family and honor.
  • Ancient Warrior – Represents fearlessness, primal power, and strength.
  • Hawaiian Warrior – Symbolizes strength and beauty of culture.
  • Samurai Warrior – Represents the ancient warrior culture.

83. Wolf Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram

Wolf tattoos represent the traits and attributes of the mighty wolf. They are popular among both men and women. The general meanings behind a wolf tattoo meaning: instinct, survival, strength, puberty, generosity, freedom, wildness, ferociousness, power, family, and protection. They are also considered to be the symbols of a warrior.

84. Snake Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @cecita_v

When it comes to snake tattoos and their meanings, there are many, both positive and negative. Some of them are authority, intelligence, evil, hell, devil, temptation, death, rebirth, protection, medicine, change, the cycle of life, knowledge, wisdom, darkness, power, awareness, patience, balance, healing, grace, and organization.

85. Pixie Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram

Pixie tattoos are very popular among females, especially young adults. Here are the meanings of the most popular pixie tattoos:

  • Butterfly Pixie represents nature, rebirth, and transformation.
  • Dancing Pixie stands for freedom, youth, and mischief.
  • Celtic Pixie symbolizes a connection to one’s ancestry.
  • Gothic Pixie represents anger and defiance.
  • Evil Pixie represents mischief and playfulness.
  • Flower Pixie represents the willingness to grow and a connection to nature.
  • Star Pixie symbolizes magic, freedom, and fulfillment of desires.

86. Hawaiian Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram

Hawaiian tattoos are very popular. Here are some tattoos and their meanings:

  • Gecko: an animal with supernatural powers.
  • Sharks: A symbol of protection.
  • Tiki: The mythical ancestor of humans.
  • Shells: A symbol of prosperity and wealth.
  • Sea turtle: Symbolizes long life and fertility.
  • Tropical flowers: Represent free-spiritedness, hospitality, kindness, friendship, and mystery.
  • Hula dancers: A part of Hawaii’s heritage.
  • Leis: The garlands are often given to visitors.
  • Volcanoes: Symbolize Hawaiian elements.

87. Hindu Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @ilbe.ink

Here are the meanings of popular Hindu tattoos:

  • Lord Ganesh – Symbolizes the overcoming of obstacles.
  • Kali – A Hindu goddess, symbolizing creation, destruction, and power.
  • Krishna – Represents wisdom and truth.
  • Lakshmi – Symbolizes wealth and good fortune.
  • Lord Vishnu – Represents protection and security.
  • Lotus, which symbolizes beauty, purity, and enlightenment;
  • Nandi – Represents happiness, joy, and good fortune.
  • Om – A mantra that captures the essence of the universe.
  • Rama – A symbol of virtue and good governance. Represents compassion, bravery, and devotion;
  • Saraswati – Symbolizes passion for arts, learning, and music.

88. Lotus Flower Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @blackroseink_

The lotus flower has many meanings:

  • White lotus symbolizes mental and spiritual enlightenment, purity, perfection, and pacification.
  • Blue lotus represents wisdom, knowledge, and intelligence.
  • Purple lotus symbolizes an homage to Buddhist deities and a mystic view of religion and spirituality.
  • Pink lotus represents the Buddha himself.
  • Red lotus symbolizes the original state of the heart, love, compassion, and passion.

89. Bee Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram

Bee tattoos are not common. They represent loyalty, honor, duty, consistency, disciplined and structured life, protection and defense, and sacrifice. A bee tattoo can also symbolize the soul and sweetness (because bees make honey).

90. Floral Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @misskwan

Flowers symbolize God’s contentment in ancient cultures. Here is a list of common flower tattoo meanings:

  • Daffodil represents honesty, truth, faith, and forgiveness.
  • Daisy is associated with modesty and simplicity.
  • Lily is a classic symbol of femininity and purity.
  • Lotus symbolizes mind over matter or spirituality.
  • Orchid is a symbol of bravery, prosperity, and fertility.
  • Poppy symbolizes peaceful, eternal sleep.
  • Rose represents love, friendship, modesty, and sympathy.
  • Sunflower is a symbol of warmth, happiness, and creation.
  • Tulip symbolizes prosperity and guilty pleasures.

91. Moon Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @klimat_pracownia

Moon tattoos are great for anyone who has a whimsical side, trusts in the influence of celestial powers, or likes astronomy. Some of the most common meanings of moon tattoos are feminine mystique, the value of astrology, cyclical nature, insanity or lunacy, magic, the expulsion of negative energy, darkness, the dark side of a person, Wiccan beliefs, fertility, creativity, growth, rarity, the memory of loved ones, and mischief.

92. Bear Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @winktheinkcream

Bears tattoo designs can mean the following things:

  • Black bear represents warrior spirits.
  • Bear claw stands for power, good luck, and mobility.
  • Bear paw symbolizes maternity, gentle spiritedness, and strength.
  • California bear stands for freedom, self-discovery, and independence.
  • Grizzly bear represents strength and hunting skills.
  • Panda bear is a symbol of good luck.
  • Polar bears symbolize amazing hunting skills and protection.
  • Teddy bears are a symbol of love, innocence, and affection. It is often done by parents as a memorial for their lost children.

93. Compass Tattoo Designs And Their Meanings

Image: Instagram @kandystripestattoo

Compass tattoo can mean several things:

Anchor compass – Represents religious guidance among Christians.
Celtic compass – Stands for one’s pride in his or her ancestry.
Heart compass – Represents your wish to let your heart guide your actions.
Map compass – Represents love for traveling, discovering, and exploring.
Nautical compass – Represents peace and harmony.
Star compass – Represents resilience, patience, fidelity, stability, and level-headedness.
Vintage compass – For lovers of history.
Rose compass – Symbolizes one’s search for love.

94. Turtle Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @a_ron.tattoo

Turtle tattoos symbolize wisdom, resilience, level-headedness, patience, fidelity, stability, calmness, patience, and firmness. They are also considered a symbol of protection and safety, because of the hard shell turtles have.

It means different things in different cultures. In Japan, turtles stand for longevity, help, and luck. In Africa, it was considered to symbolize femininity, caution, cunning, stolidity, and the capacity to defend.

In ancient Greece and Rome, these tattoos stand for harvest and fruitfulness. In China, it represents the balance between Yin and Yang. Hindus consider turtle tattoos as a symbol of spiritual strength and concentration.

95. Mayan Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @tattedbrehm

Mayans were famous for their art. Here are some common Mayan tattoos and the meaning behind these designs:

  • Bat – Represents humanity’s light and dark qualities.
  • Calendar – A tribute to the intelligent Mayan culture.
  • Eagle – Symbolizes wisdom.
  • Ouroboros – Depicts regeneration and rebirth.
  • Earth – Represents nature and growth.
  • Hunab Ku – Means universal unity, peace, and balance.
  • Jaguar – Symbolizes life, the underworld, and fertility.
  • Serpent – Represents mystery, agility, and potency.
  • The sun – Mayans considered the sun a God.

96. Mythological Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @tattoocps

Mythological tattoos are nothing but an artistic way of representing an idea that humans find personally meaningful. Here are some mythological tattoo designs and what they mean:

  • Bigfoot – Represents one’s love for exploring trails, hiking, and camping.
  • Dragons – Represent the forces of nature – earth, fire, wind, and water.
  • Eye of Horus – Honoring Horus, the Egyptian Sun God, and his ‘all-seeing eye.’
  • Fairies – Symbolize a connection to nature, beauty, youth, and freedom.
  • Mermaids – Symbolize femininity, intuition, sensuality, and temptation.
  • Loch Ness Monster – Represents love for the Scottish Highlands.
  • Unicorns – Symbolize purity and charity.
  • Phoenix – Represents rebirth, renewal, and the start of a new life.

97. Greek Tattoohttps

Image: Instagram @ami_blackfish

Greek gods have become very popular tattoo design ideas in recent times. These God tattoos express the story of humans, representing love, bravery, fear, and beauty. Some Gods that are featured in ancient Greek tattoos are Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Athena, Hera, Poseidon, and Zeus.

98. Fox Tattoo Designs

Image: Instagram @liviatsang

Fox tattoos have been used as a symbol of sexual energy, intelligence, and wittiness in human society. They are being used to represent a variety of human traits, such as adaptability and sharp survival instincts, intelligence and cunning, sexuality and fertility, wisdom, femininity, deception and trickery, communication (as a Messenger of the Gods), wealth and good fortune, and sorcery and the Devil (as per Christian belief).

99. Lettering Tattoos

Image: Instagram

Letter tattoos are simple but can have deep meanings for the wearer. Initial tattoos are subtle, yet they can express deep love and strong emotions. This is why many lovers and couples opt to get their partners’ initials tattooed instead of getting matching tattoos. Also, they are small tattoos, so they can be easily hidden as well.

100. Family Tattoos

Image: Instagram @cansuolga

A family tattoo is all about your folks, so you can get anything inked that best represents your fam. People get these tattoos for this very obvious reason – love for family, whether it is the one you have made or the one you have come from. It simply represents people’s affection and attachment to their family members.

101. Shoulder Tattoos

Image: Instagram @ludivine.riot

Shoulders are great spots for tattoos because they cover a rather large area, so big tattoos fit properly. Also, the shoulder could be easily covered or exposed, depending on what you want. Shoulder tattoos are generally placed on the front of the shoulder, right above the round shoulder joint and the chest, the shoulder blade, or along the top of the shoulder, the line that goes from the round shoulder joint to the neck. These latest tattoo designs are very popular for the shoulder blade – angels, wings, flames, crosses, sun, and moon.

102. Sports Tattoos

Sports tattoo
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These tattoos are a popular choice for those who love sports. You can ink a favorite team’s logo, a player’s number, or a sports-related image on your body. It symbolizes passion, dedication, and loyalty.

103. Bulldog Tattoo

Bulldog tattoo on the upper arm
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The bulldog often symbolizes courage, determination, and resilience. Bulldogs are also known for their tenacity and strength, signifying a fighting spirit. This tattoo might reflect traits like loyalty, protection, and a fearless attitude, or it can also reflect the wearer’s fondness for their pet. The wearer might also get this tattoo in memory of their pet.

104. Candles Tattoo

Candle tattoo on the inside of the forearm
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The candle signifies light in times of darkness, wisdom, and enlightenment. For some, it represents faith or a spiritual journey. Additionally, candles are associated with life celebrations, memorials, and honoring loved ones’ memories. By getting this tattoo the wearer might want to express their enduring nature and their hope to overcome adversity and emerge as their brighter self.

Infographic: Dos and Don’ts Before Getting a Tattoo

It is exciting and overwhelming for a beginner to get their first tattoo. There is a blend of joy and pain during the process, depending on the tattoo size and the body part you have chosen. While there are hundreds of popular designs with deep meanings, it is important to take care of your skin and health before booking an appointment. Check out the infographic below to learn about the essential dos and don’ts to follow before getting a tattoo.

dos and donts before getting a tattoo (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Getting a tattoo is a fun and creative way to express yourself. Tattoos are permanent, so keep in mind whatever design you get inked is meaningful to you. You can get an intricately designed tattoo, such as a tribal tattoo, to beautify a part of your body. However, if you choose a specific tribal tattoo, take the time to research and understand what it represents. These new tattoo designs with meanings can be a good place to start if you are looking for some options to consider. However, there are some precautionary measures you should take before and after getting a tattoo to keep it from getting inflamed and infected.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular symbolic tattoo?

The most popular symbolic tattoos may include semicolon tattoos, ampersand tattoos, and anchor tattoo designs.

How painful is the tattoo procedure?

Tattoos for first-timers may be painful. Usually, you may experience pricking or stinging sensations.

What’s the most painful place to get a tattoo?

The rib cage, hips, and lips are some of the most painful areas for tattoos.

What are the tattoo symbols for strength?

Tattoos that symbolize strength may include the eagle, dragon, lightning bolt, and circle.

What is the most popular tattoo style?

Blackwork is among the most popular tattoo styles. It is usually done only with black ink.

What does the Medusa tattoo mean?

The Medusa tattoo symbolizes protection from evil. It is also considered a symbol of the victims.

Key Takeaways

  • Tattoos are a popular form of body art that allows individuals to creatively express their identity and beliefs.
  • Those looking for designs that perfectly capture or replicate real life can opt for realism tattoos.
  • Polynesian and Japanese tattoos are ideal for those who want to honor their ancestors and culture.
  • Ensure you book a professional tattoo artist with years of experience and avoid drinking alcohol 24 hours before your appointment.

Looking for some tattoo inspiration? Check out this video that lists various tattoo ideas with deep meanings that will make you want to get inked.
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