Mittwoch, 28. Dezember 2016

Sparrow Tattoo

Sparrow Tattoo

Sparrow Tattoo

These lovely birds populate the world with their cute chirps and songs. Their ubiquity lends them a large amount of myths, legends, symbols, and spiritual meaning. The sparrow remains one of the most traditional tattoos in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s a common copy-and-paste design. Rather, the sparrow represents something that anyone can find dear. In today’s article, let’s talk all about the deep meaning behind the sparrow, and show off a huge sparrow tattoo gallery!


What Does a Sparrow Symbolize?

In ancient times, a lone sparrow represented loneliness and solitude. You can see this is old stories, including the Old Testament. Undying love, loyalty, and friendship encompass the feather design of a sparrow tattoo. As we spread out across the world, we realized that sparrows are everywhere—and once we knew that, they gained a new meaning. Freedom.


Sailors would see migrating sparrows in the rafters of their ship and know they were close to land. On top of that, the company of a sparrow gave them comfort. After all, that sparrow could land wherever it pleased—but it chose their ship. Sailors who traveled more than 5,000 nautical miles would get a tattoo of a sparrow to show their accomplishment.


Sparrow Tattoo Position Meaning

The position of a sparrow adds to its meaning. Pairs of sparrows represent a completed journey, or perhaps love found. Two sparrows on the chest of a sailor represent a great accomplishment during their journeys, and two sparrows on the wrist of a sailor meant they were the saltiest sailors around. In England and Russia, a sparrow on the back of your hand is a reminder to stay on the right track. Most commonly, those exiting jail would get a sparrow tattoo there. More than one sparrow tattoo on your hands means that you have trouble staying out of the slammer.


Small Sparrow Tattoo

Now that we have sparrow tattoo meaning out of the way, let’s check out the application of these designs! Sparrow tattoo designs fall into four categories: realistic, traditional, neo traditional, and abstract. Realistic sparrows capture the beauty of the bird, and they usually mean love and loyalty, rather than referencing a journey. Neo traditional tattoos create a cartoony look for the birds and add some unnatural, but beautiful, colors. Abstract sparrow tattoo designs use watercolor ink techniques to create a colorful design that resembles painted-on art.


Traditional Sparrow Tattoo

Traditional tattoos of sparrows get a little more complicated. Also called a Sailor Jerry tattoo, sailors have used this tattoo style since WWII. The style uses red, black, and yellow ink to paint a picture of a sparrow. The outlines are bold and toony, with the sparrow’s eyes sometimes appearing as a curled line, rather than an actual eye. If you’re interested in a traditional tattoo, seek out artists with experience in the art. Artists use special rules for traditional tattoos that they pass down through apprenticeships.


Ultimately, these tiny birds offer a lot of meaning to us. Though common, they represent the highest form of freedom. They live wherever they please, fly across the entire world, and travel in large flocks. They are even freer to travel than we humans are! Sparrows remind us that no matter how small or trivial we may be in this world, we still live our lives with freedom. We all travel, we all love, and we all sing in our own ways. Perhaps a sparrow tattoo is the first step to finding the freedom of the sparrows.



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Freitag, 23. Dezember 2016

Hummingbird Tattoo

Hummingbird Tattoo

Hummingbird Tattoo

Hummingbirds flit between flowers like bumble bees, hovering where it suits them, and sticking their head in neck-deep to get at the sweet nectar. These birds make up the tiniest family of avians, at least as far as size is concerned. They appear so rarely that legends call them messengers of the heavens, and seeing one means good things lay in store for you. But the symbolism of the hummingbird goes much deeper than that, and combining them with a 2D art form like tattooing adds an extra layer of meaning. If you’re interested in hummingbird tattoos, look no further! Today’s gallery contains tons of information about these flighty birds and over a dozen gallery images to browse through!


Hummingbird Tattoo Meaning

What does a hummingbird symbolize? While these creatures might seem peppy, death always lurks nearby. They have to eat the calorie equivalent of 1,300 bird-sized hamburgers every day just to survive. All those calories go towards their amazing flight skills, and some of these birds even use their strength to migrate vast distances! Because of this, the hummingbird represents perseverance, joy, and liveliness. Even in the face of death, they live life to the fullest.


Some South American cultures take this even further and associate the bird with resurrection. During the night and cold snaps, hummingbirds enter a torpor, which is sort of like a light hibernation, and can appear dead to onlookers. As soon as the sun comes out, they snap back to life! On top of that, many myths say that hummingbirds bring news from heaven to the living. In Hopi legends, the hummingbird sent a message from earth to heaven asking for rain, and the gods obliged. In Cherokee tales, the hummingbird even brought humans tobacco!


This clever, beautiful bird represents life and all of its positives. A hummingbird tattoo reminds us that we must also live day to day, never knowing what the future has in store for us. At the same time, the hummingbird tattoo tells us to stop and look at our past. This bird is one of the few that can fly backwards, so some tales say it can control time! In any case, we must also be careful with the time we have and live life to its fullest.


Realistic Hummingbird Tattoos

Realistic hummingbird tattoos are a bit hit-and-miss. Hummingbirds look so distinct from every other type of bird that artists must have lost of experience drawing them in order to make them look realistic. On top of that, even if your artist inks the bird perfectly, the image will lack the hummingbird’s iridescent feathers. The only type of iridescent tattoo ink out there is either incredibly toxic or incredibly short-lived, so the sheen so characteristic of hummingbird feathers will be missing from a tattoo.


3D Hummingbird Tattoos

If you can look past the limitations of colored ink and find an excellent artist for your tattoo, then a realistic, 3D hummingbird tattoo would look amazing! Because of the small size of hummingbirds, they lend themselves well to a 3D style. A small halo of black ink makes the bird pop, while a concentration of ink where a shadow would naturally fall makes the small hummingbird tattoo look like a bird really is floating just above your skin!


Hummingbird Watercolor Tattoo

If you’re not up for the challenge of finding the perfect realistic hummingbird tattoo—or if you’re just worried about how it will turn out—there’s always stylized hummingbird tattoos. Watercolor hummingbird tattoos look especially good because they don’t require as much detail to capture the form of the bird. Just like tattoo lines can be implied from the shape of the watercolors, the missing iridescent colors can also be overlooked. Hummingbirds pair nicely with another popular watercolor tattoo design—the flower. A small watercolor hummingbird tattoo on the wrist, heart, or ankle makes the area pop with life.


Despite the strength of these amazing birds, they are so fragile that a single sip of an energy drink could send them into a fatal heart attack. One moment they could be rustling their wings to warm up, and the next moment they could drop dead from overheating. This fine line of life and death that hummingbirds navigate around reminds us that we must not take life for granted. A hummingbird tattoo tells us that life must be taken one step at a time, and while hoping for good times is nice, creating good times through sheer will power is even better. You control the life you lead, so you must work hard, just like the hummingbird!


If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out the rest of InkDoneRight! We have tons of tattoo galleries, tattoo history features, how-to’s, and more! We even have t-shirts if you want to show off the inked side of you a little more. As always, thanks for reading!



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Freitag, 16. Dezember 2016

Phoenix Tattoo

Phoenix Tattoo

From the fearsome, fire-wielding pheasants of Japan to the cute Harry Potter phoenix, our depictions of this mythological bird seem to know no bounds as far as creativity is concerned. In cultures across the world, rejuvenation through fire remains a prominent theme in folktales and legends, and phoenix tattoos only grow in popularity as time goes on. What’s the deal with these feathery icons? How can so many people relate to them? Today, we’ll talk all about phoenix tattoos for guys and girls, discuss the meaning behind these symbols of rebirth, and show off the best phoenix tattoo designs in the world!


Phoenix Tattoo Meaning

So, what does a phoenix symbolize? It’s time for some phoenix bird facts! The phoenix meaning in English is very direct. When this fiery bird dies, it rises from its ashes as a chick. In this way, the phoenix is immortal, despite living many lives. The origin of the phoenix lies far away from England, though. The English learned about the phoenix from the Romans, and the Romans learned about it from the Greeks. When the Greeks first speak of the phoenix, they talk of an Egyptian bird, rather than a bird of their own mythology. Egypt described it as an Arabian bird, and who knows where it originated before that!


The oldest tales talk of a bird about the size of an eagle that lived to 500 years of age. Whenever it died, one of its chicks would cover it in a myrrh sphere and return it to a temple of the Sun, located in Egypt. From there, it would hatch anew. From this story, it’s easy to see a parallel between the phoenix and the sun. The sun is extinguished by the night, just as a phoenix is extinguished by death, but in the morning it rises again with the same life. A phoenix tattoo invokes this sense of a fresh renewal.


Japanese Phoenix Tattoo

As cool as the fiery version sounds, you might find yourself looking for a different style of phoenix tattoo. Japanese phoenixes look very different from the Western symbol, instead appearing as a beautiful pheasant with a long tail of multi-colored feathers. Its appearance marks good luck and the dawn of a good era, while its disappearance represents chaos. Unlike the western phoenix, this bird does not light itself on fire, but it is still very long-lived.


A phoenix tattoo combined with a dragon tattoo represents a balance of peace and chaos. They represent love, passion, and marriage. They make an ideal couple tattoo for newlyweds! When put together, the dragon is considered masculine and gives off ‘yang’ energy, while the phoenix represents ‘yin’ and femininity.


Phoenix Tattoo Sleeve

A tattoo of a phoenix rising from the ashes strikes awe into anyone who sees it. Consult with your artist to talk about just what you want your sleeve to look like. The body and feathers may not fit neatly together on your particular body build, so your artist must take extra care to make sure it looks good from every angle. Thankfully, there are many references out there to use. A phoenix is a traditional subject for sleeves and half sleeves thanks to its association with good luck.



I find that the best phoenix tattoo sleeves make good use of black and white outlines. While red and orange ink is a given for colored tattoos of a phoenix, the color isn’t actually what makes the bird recognizable! The intricate plumage, interesting anatomy, and the presence of fire all make phoenix tattoo outlines shine even before color gets added. Artists also use a wide variety of styles to draw birds and flames, so a tattoo that focuses on the outline will always be unique.


Phoenix Tattoo Watercolor

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should avoid color! The phoenix actually received its name from a special kind of color dye. Known as Phoenician Purple, this dye was made from crushed clams and cost an incredible amount. As a bird of royalty that came from the Middle East, it was only fitting to name it after this royal color, and some old stories of the bird had it with luxurious purple feathers instead of the red and orange we know today! As with all watercolor tattoos, ensure you’re committed to the design. The colors will need touch ups every few years to stay vivid.



Simple Phoenix Tattoo

Of course, a rising phoenix tattoo doesn’t have to take up your entire arm or show off the latest advances in ink formula. Sometimes, a simple phoenix tattoo will do. Phoenix bird tattoos fit in small areas perfectly and make for great tribal designs. The tongues of flame translate well into the geometric patterns of Polynesian tattoos, and the silhouette of a phoenix is easily distinguished from a regular bird.


When just the image won’t do, try looking for some phoenix bird quotes. Quotes and legends of this firebird go back for millennia, and the bird even gets its own verse in the Old Testament—albeit a depressing one. Quotes dealing with rebirth, renewal, sunlight, fire, strength, love, and passion all match the beautiful image of the phoenix.


So, is a phoenix tattoo right for you? A rising phoenix tattoo doesn’t just represent a new personality or a new outlook on life. It represents survival. It shows everyone that when you went through life’s trials, you came out of the flames unscathed. You determine your own path in this world and the symbol of a phoenix shows that to everyone. Even if you’re not interested in getting a tattoo of this bird’s beautiful plumage, you have to admit it’s a symbol that commands respect!



If you liked this article, be sure to check out the rest of InkDoneRight! We have hundreds of tattoo images to browse through and glean inspiration from! Explore the inked world with us and learn more about the symbolism and history behind your favorite tattoos. You join our email list for monthly updates, or follow us on Twitter for updates as they happen. As always, thanks for reading!



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