Tattoo Ideas

I’m sure I’m not the only one on Nameberry who is considering getting some ink right now. I thought this would be a good place to discuss our ideas for design and placement.

Here are my top five ideas, though I probably won’t actually be getting five tattoos (immortal last words, I know!):

  1. A [name_u]Van[/name_u] Gogh iris on my shoulder with the stem above my collarbone, with the word “rêve” on the side of the stem, so that the circumflex kind of looks like the leaf of the iris.

I would get this tattoo because [name_u]Van[/name_u] Gogh painted the Irises when he was in an asylum, and it would remind me that even when my own mental health is a struggle, I still have the capacity to create and witness beautiful things. “Rêve” is [name_m]French[/name_m] for “dream,” like a daydream.

  1. A blackwork lamppost from [name_f]Narnia[/name_f] on my back, where the children find their way back to the real world.

I would get this tattoo because the “[name_f]Narnia[/name_f]” books were always my favorite growing up. They reminded me that there are escapes to be found from every bad situation, if only you believe.

  1. A navy-colored circle with a blue whale inside of it, among the waves of the sea. This would be on the back of my leg.

I would get this tattoo because whales are my favorite animal, with blue whales being the closest to my heart. They are mysterious and majestic, and having one on my body would remind me of the beauty in this planet.

  1. Another blackwork piece, this time on my thigh, of a prairie scene full of prairie grass and a little ranch house in the distance.

I would get this tattoo because it is my dream to own a farm someday, and having this picturesque image of a calming day on the fields would encourage me to keep working towards that goal in any way possible.

  1. A triangular celestial scene on my upper arm, with a black silhouette of a little girl standing amongst the stars.

I would get this tattoo because it is all about stepping into the unknown, and finding magic there. I too often resist change.

What tattoos are you thinking of getting? Where and why? And what do you think of my ideas?

All of your ideas sound amazing!! I love how meaningful they are and the [name_u]Van[/name_u] Gogh and the whale one sound stunning

I’d love either one or two on my lower arms, inspired by the sea in some way . I currently like the idea of circular tattoos, maybe one of waves and the other of a shore line - possibly of a particular shore line that I’ve visited since I was a kid. I’d choose something sea inspired because the sea, the waves and the beach have been a constant source of calm throughout my life and the shore is probably the one place I feel hopeful?

I’m also contemplating whether I get the line ‘-then on the shore of the wide world’ from [name_u]Keats[/name_u]’ poem ‘When I have Fears’ maybe around the shore tattoo or on the inside of my arm. It’s a poem that speaks to me in lots of ways and it’s my favourite line

I love talking tattoos! I already have 2 and I’m one impulse decision away from getting another. I’d be shocked if I didn’t get a third by the end of this year, if not by the end of the summer.

@jonquils, your ideas are much more elaborate and planned out than mine! I like to describe my tattoo style as “tiny symbols tucked away in corners of my body”. I love the idea of big tattoos though, I’m just not sure I could sit still for that long lol! I’m in love with the idea of the [name_f]Narnia[/name_f] lamppost, that’s absolutely brilliant.

@greyblue, I think lower arms is a great place to start! I have one on the pinky-side of my left wrist and it was so much fun to get. I’m thinking about getting one in the same place on my right wrist if that tells you how much I liked it! I love the quote you’ve chosen, it’s so beautiful and inspiring.

I have a note on my phone of all my tattoo ideas and here’s what I have so far:

  1. The quote “ad astra per aspera”. I’m thinking about having it down my ankle and curving onto my foot a bit, ending right underneath the little knob above my heel. It’s Latin and is a very basic and common phrase (“through hardships to the stars”) but I think it’s pretty. It’s also the motto for the state of Kansas, which seems very fitting because my family is moving away from Kansas, which has been our home for the last 9 years.

  2. The letters “SPQR”, probably on my left wrist, just underneath my thumb. This would partly be because I just like the idea (not super deep, I know) but also because of the [name_u]Percy[/name_u] [name_m]Jackson[/name_m] books. They were, and continue to be, some of my favorite books and inspire my own writing.

  3. A lightning bolt, possibly underneath “SPQR”, almost like an underline. This would also be for PJO but one of my best friends also wants to get a lightning bolt tattoo (hers would be the [name_m]David[/name_m] [name_m]Bowie[/name_m] lightning bolt) and we plan to get them together for her 21st birthday. I also love thunderstorms, and this could also be a nod to Kansas because I firmly believe we have the best thunderstorms.

  4. Avengers tattoo (if you google “avengers tattoo”, it’s the first image that comes up. Looks like a half-star with a spiral around it) on my ankle. I have a tattoo on the inside of my left ankle, so I might get this one on the inside of my right. I love [name_f]Marvel[/name_f] movies, and I think this is a subtle and aesthetically nice way to honor that.

  5. The quote “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all” on my upper arm, maybe wrapping around it or just in a little chunk. This is from Mulan, which is my favorite movie of all time, and this is my favorite quote from the movie. I’m planning to get little flowers dotted around the quote, each with its own meaning: sunflower (for Kansas), lily of the valley (the birth flower for [name_f]May[/name_f], my birth month), and Viscaria (“invitation to dance”, I’ve been a dancer for 15 years).

  6. For the future… the Zodiac symbols of my kids down my right wrist, underneath my thumb. Kids can change their names or their favorite colors but they can never change their birthday :). I also have the constellation of my own zodiac sign ([name_m]Taurus[/name_m]) on my left wrist so it’s a sweet connection.

@greyblue, there is something entirely peaceful about the ocean. That would be such a beautiful thing to make a part of your body, especially with a piece of the poem. You have a very wonderful idea!

@sparkleninja18, my rule is that the tattoos have to be able to be covered up for work, where I wear a short sleeved shirt and long pants. So a little bit bigger is okay for me, as long as they are hide-able when they need to be. I love the idea of small tattoos, and that’s what I initially planned on getting, but my ideas ended up being bigger, so what can you do! I adore all of your ideas. I love that they all incorporate stories and times that have been meaningful to you.

@jonquils, that’s a good rule to have! Both of mine are small enough that they can be covered up with a bandaid, although I haven’t been in a position where I’ve needed to. I just figure that none of my tattoos are obscene or inappropriate (besides the constellation on my wrist, I have a little sunset symbol on my ankle) so if anyone has an issue with them, it’s their business and not mine. I’ll likely keep with my small-enough-to-be-covered-by-a-bandaid theme on visible tattoos and just keep an eye on the dress code for future jobs. I believe it’s becoming more accepted to have large, visible tattoos though! I’ve had several college professors with sleeves. My mom is also a doctor and she has a small tattoo on her ankle.

I forgot one idea I had: a minimalist drawing of a purple [name_m]Martin[/name_m] on my shoulder. They’re one of my favorite birds and I also think they’re gorgeous. I’d probably get a female because they’re the ones I see most often. I think it’s so cool that they travel to Kansas (and other places in the US) all the way from [name_f]Argentina[/name_f]!

I already have three tattoos now, but I’m thinking of getting these:

  1. a deer with flowers as antlers, for my son Hjörtur. His name means deer. A friend of mine made the design, and I love it, but of course I won’t be getting a new tattoo while I’m pregnant, so I’ll have it done when this baby is born. I’m not sure where I want it, but probably on my right shoulder.

  2. The Hebrew word/sign for life (chai) on my left wrist.

  3. Lupine flowers on my left lower arm, because they remind me of my home country Iceland, and I always loved them as a child, they’re so stunning.

  4. I want a Radiohead tattoo, probably the two men shaking hands as used in the artwork for OK Computer. Their music has helped me get through so much ever since I was a teenager, it still helps me.

  5. A sunflower in the style of [name_u]Van[/name_u] Gogh. He’s my favorite painter, I find his works and his life story fascinating. It speaks to me in so many ways.

Oh! I’ve also been toying with the idea of a blackwork fox surrounded by the nighttime starry sky.

  1. I would get a small yellow and black sunflower on my wrist to symbolize my first novel, ‘The Sunflower On My Wrist’.

  2. I would get a black quote in typewriter font reading, ‘so…who’s the monster now?’, as a reminder of my first emotional piece.

  3. I would get 9/9/18 on my shoulder because that was the most meaningful day of my life.

  4. I would get a pair of arrows on my lower arm to symbolize somebody who helped me and didn’t even know it.

Ooh, I love your ideas OP, especially your first one! I have the word “sisu” on my ankle, which is a matching tattoo with my mom (Finnish word that doesn’t directly translate to English, but kinda means courage in the face of adversity) but I would consider getting…

  1. A hummingbird! This is the only one I know I really want right now. Probably on my thigh, smallish, in color. They’re just such good luck symbols in my mind, and they make me crazy happy, so I would love to have one with me always.

  2. A [name_f]Cicely[/name_f] [name_f]Mary[/name_f] [name_m]Barker[/name_m] fairy. There are pictures of me “reading” a flower fairy book when I was a baby, so it’s technically the first book I strongly associate with. I also adore fairies. The harebell fairy was my favorite, so probably her. I don’t know where I’d get her though, maybe my other thigh?

  3. This is a recent idea, and very contingent on me having kids, lmao. But my favorite names for a while have been [name_u]James[/name_u] [name_m]Arthur[/name_m] and [name_f]Aoife[/name_f] [name_f]Rosemary[/name_f], and even if first names change, those middle names are family names that will probably be used. [name_m]Arthur[/name_m] means bear, so I thought a bear with rosemary surrounding it (like a wreath) or a bear holding rosemary would be excellent. Not sure if I’d want blackwork or color, and probably on my other ankle or my ribs.

@eleven: I’ve always loved the term sisu, such a great idea to get this tattoo together with your mother.

I already have three tattoos, Yggdrasil from norse mythology, the stars from [name_m]Peter[/name_m] pan I got with 6 of my oldest friends, and a bee I got with my mum. I will hopefully get another one this year (saturn, with definitely my best friend and possibly the rest of the group that got the [name_m]Peter[/name_m] pan one), but I want so many more.

  1. [name_u]Loki[/name_u], as he is depicted in norse mythology. He is my favourite character from anything ever, and has been since I was a child.
  2. Canis major, possibly in the background of the saturn tattoo I want or around my peter pan stars. A subtle nod to [name_m]Harry[/name_m] [name_m]Potter[/name_m] and my favourite character from that ([name_m]Sirius[/name_m] [name_m]Black[/name_m]), and my love ve of astronomy.
  3. A cherry tree in full bloom. My grandparents had a cherry tree outside there house until I was about 18, and I still think of my grandma whenever I see one in full bloom.
  4. A golden heart with a mistletoe arrow going through it, another norse mythology thing.
  5. Something from [name_f]Alice[/name_f] in wonderland, though I’m not 100% what. I though getting a cabbage with a crown on would be cute, but I don’t want people to think it’s a brussels sprout haha.

I would really love to have “[name_f]Fear[/name_f] is gone. And hope is sure.” on the inside of my left wrist in typewriting font. It’s a line from one of my favourite worship songs, but it has multiple layers of meaning to me. It’s not just about my faith, but also about my past. I got away from a toxic relationship that had me scared all the time and feeling like my life was totally up to someone else. I am free now to hope in my future and no longer have to fear that person and their judgements. As for the font, I’m a designer and have always had an affinity for typewriter lettering… don’t exactly know why. I want it on my left wrist, because it’s the hand I wear my wedding rings on and my hubby was a big part in getting me away from my past and helping me heal. :two_hearts::two_hearts:

I know this is old, but I love talking tattoos! I love all your ideas, especially the space and [name_f]Narnia[/name_f] ones! I’d probably consider getting something [name_f]Narnia[/name_f] related if I ever got my [name_m]Caspian[/name_m] haha.

Once quarantine is over, I’m planning to get an illustrative/watercolour forget-me-not on my inner right ankle, and an African violet in the same place on my left ankle. Forget-me-nots are my favourite flower, and linked to my online identity. I’ll probably get it in a darker blue, because deep blue and yellow are amongst my favourite colours/colour schemes. Whilst I was at uni, I realised I’m very much attracted to women, and as violets are as symbol of sapphic love, I’d like to mark that and the end of my time at my current uni with my favourite type of violet.

And some ideas I’m thinking about for the future:

  1. I love sci-fi, so I’d love to get something spacey! I like the idea of a watercolour galaxy with lots of purples and blues, down my left upper arm, and/or a blackwork UFO with a rainbow beam on the back of my leg.
  2. A black cat! [name_f]Cat[/name_f]’s are my favourite animal, and I’ve always wanted to get a black cat. I’d probably get an actual cat before the tattoo though.
  3. A blackwork arrow down a forearm, maybe with a watercolour background. I did a lot of archery in school, and I’d really love to take it up again.

I really like the idea of miniature tattoos so:
String can:
Me an my best friend are waiting till we are old enough to get a tiny can on a string, probably arm, to say that we can still talk even if we are apart
Speech marks:
As an aspiring writer id love to get the " " somewhere, me and my friend may split it and have one of us have the 66 part and the other the 99 part. Probably middle finger lol
[name_f]Tiny[/name_f] sun:
Its a thing in my book, all the characters have them like birthmarks, and it would remind me that I don’t have to be in this world and I can be in the one inside my head. Id have it on the bottom of my left shoulder blade, because that’s where my protagonist (who is basically me) has hers.
Me and my friend love Disney and have always said as soon as I turn 18 (im a few months younger) we’ll go to Disneyland. Like by always said it we decided when we were 11. We’d like to get the [name_f]Cinderella[/name_f]’s castle silhouette, really small, like smaller than a 2pence piece somewhere.
Id like to get tiny flowers somewhere as well, maybe collarbone, If not flowers then
Space/Planets or
a [name_f]Butterfly[/name_f]
I also really love the concept of this because it reminds me of family [name_u]Christmas[/name_u] and just family in general.
[name_m]Alas[/name_m], my family are always going on about how they hate tattoos so if I got a few theyd have to be tiny and concealable. Ill probably end up getting none but :woman_shrugging: its nice to think about anyway