Great Tattoo Ideas and Meanings

Ask someone their self-expression way, and be sure to hear TATTOOS! At least once. We’re here to make sure you never run out of unique tattoo ideas again.

Tattoos come in different shapes and sizes. It might be overwhelming at first when you look at the multiple tattoo ideas available to you to ink on your body, but with a little research and help, this can be decided easily.

Inspiration can strike from anywhere; the same applies to tattoo inspiration, ideas, and designs. So, we have a huge list of tattoo ideas for you. And we are quite sure you will find something for yourself.

Tattooing has a huge influence on our lives. They say tattoos are a great way to express yourself, celebrate a special occasion, and look great. Whether you want to ink on your paper or not, we have many great suggestions for inspiration.

The best choice for tattoo art is not right or wrong. Some things will simplify this process for you. However, you can start with the following steps:

1. Think About Your Life:

What is the most important part of your life? Dig deeper to discover what matters to you the most and what you want to make eternal through body art.

There is usually a debate about what counts as a meaningful tattoo, whether it is important enough to get tattooed to retain its memory or whether tattoos need to be meaningful.

I’m not here to give an opinion on that but what I can certainly help with is recalling some important milestones or memories that you may have been saving for a later time.

2. Choose the Right Tattoo Artist:

When the time comes for you to get under the gun, it’s time to get an expert tattooist to do it for you. You can’t come back from something this permanent, so take your time.

Talk well, visit tattoo studios, examine different portfolios, and talk with artists. It’s okay to be picky and choosy as it is a matter of getting yourself inked permanently (hopefully, if it turns out the way you want it to!).

3. How Can You Come Up With a Unique Tattoo Idea?

How can you find inspiration from tattoos? Take a look at other people’s tattoos and its significance. Have some opinions on styles, sizes, positions, and colors. Find some ideas online or ask your friends and family for suggestions.

While tattoos are different in meaning for different people, the majority choose to find the significance that is related to their own story and personality.

4. Best Tattoo Placements

How can a person get tattooed? Your placement will likely depend upon the size or shape of your tattoo. Tattoos usually appear on men’s forearms, chests, backs, and calves.

Similarly, it has become increasingly popular for women to have their sleeves done. Half-sleeve and full-sleeve tattoos are making a bold statement. During the decision you make, consult an experienced tattoo artist. Consider your tattoo exposures and tolerance.

Let’s divide this into sections based on tattoo types, within which we can talk about positions and sizes.


We will start with animal tattoos based on our title (and probably why you clicked on this article). It’s a tradition that humans and animals are linked spiritually. So, whatever your tattoos are, animals are very popular options.


An intricate butterfly tattoo is the most elegant thing. Butterflies are cute, little, and very versatile. Though commonly worn by women, men can adorn butterfly tattoos.

Due to its versatile nature, a butterfly tattoo can be customized and mixed up with other elements like petals and flowers, dragonflies, and fairies to mean something symbolic to your preference.

You can even portray the journey from a caterpillar to a butterfly in a transition tattoo to symbolize your new beginnings or a personal struggle you overcame.

butterfly tattoo on arm
Photo by Lisa Fotios: Pexels

It is for this reason that a butterfly tattoo can be placed anywhere on your body. We would recommend a butterfly ankle tattoo for an even more distinctive value. Even with an ankle tattoo, there are several placement options possible like above it below the ankle, or a continuous line starting at the ankle and moving upwards on the leg.

Fun fact: Butterflies are among the most favored tattoos in the United States. Approximately 175,000 searches yearly, rose tattoos rank second, with flower tattoos ranked third, and 100,000 searches for bird tattoos.

A butterfly signifies strength, beauty, and stability. Heard about the butterfly effect right? This highly sought-after tattoo is a good ankle tattoo option for those working individuals who need to cover up tattoos to work. You won’t need to use make-up as ankle tattoos are the easiest to cover up and flaunt. Your butterfly ankle tattoo is sure to get you compliments!


Nothing screams bold like a lion tattoo. A bold lion tattoo will suit you well if you are a Leo (or even if you aren’t). Lions signify chivalry, leadership skills, courage, bravery, and fearlessness.

Cultural texts, sacred texts, and many literary and fictional texts feature lions as wise, brave figurines whom people look up to.

lion tattoo arm street scene
Image by Di Pratt from Pixabay

A sleeve tattoo is the optimal choice to show off your roaring lion tattoo. Many people also get their biceps or forearms tattooed. A lion tattoo on the forearm, just below the shoulder, or the inner forearm right above the elbow are great selections.

Fun fact: Chinese lion tattoos are also known as foo dog tattoos in the West. These are guardian lions, not dogs, despite their common name. They stand for security, sturdiness, good fortune, and masculinity.

The lion is the king of the jungle which makes it no surprise that the lion tattoo is a famously popular choice amongst tattoo lovers and also for the fact that they look extremely cool.

The lion stands for greatness and all things big, so a sizable tattoo to honor this majestic animal should be a no-brainer. However, if you want to keep it small, a knuckle or palm tattoo or tattoo or a finger tattoo of a lion’s face on one of your digits also works well.

However, it must be noted that knuckle tattoos and finger tattoos hurt a considerable amount, so take note of your pain tolerance.

Finger taints hurt incredibly fast! There is less weight and muscle mass to help support the tattoo needle. Similarly, their nerve ends are stronger than in other body areas too. Best finger tattoo designs are therefore small and simple. This can be especially striking when matched with ring designs.

holding hands tattoo affection 1280
Image by Tú Anh from Pixabay


Animal tattoos are a classic choice. They can either be animals that stand for certain virtues, or they can be tattoos based on your pets and furry friends.

freedom concept bird cage tattoos
Image by Kris from Pixabay

You can opt for a dragon tattoo, a snake tattoo to celebrate your favorite Harry Potter house, a snail tattoo to signify taking things slow and one at a time, an infinity symbol tattoo, a fish tattoo for good luck, strength, and determination, a bird tattoo for freedom or your pet bird and last but not the least a wolf tattoo for loyalty and perseverance.

There are no rules as to what should be placed where. You can choose to get yourself inked based on your liking.


Quote tattoos are highly personalizable. From a full sentence to a few words, a single word to an acronym, anything goes. Some people even get the initials of their partners’ names tattooed on their ring fingers.

You can go one step further and get matching tattoos of your and your friend’s initials on your inner wrist area.

You can even get quotes tattooed from your favorite books. It does not have to stop at words! Some important dates and milestones can also be elegant, small-sized tattoos sitting on your collarbone or chest area.

You can have your tattoo artist play around with different tattoo styles and fonts to write these out for you. They can also be in another language or Roman numerals instead of regular numbers.

A quote tattoo can be even more personalized by having your loved one write something. A tattoo of your loved one’s handwriting adds the personal touch your tattoo might be missing. Additionally, you can also have your favorite celebrity’s signature tattooed on you


Zodiac tattoos do not need to be boring. If you believe in horoscopes, are influenced by astrology, or are interested in constellations and stars, you can spice up a zodiac sign tattoo with a combination of your sun or moon sign.

You can even add your spirit animal, an animal you can relate with on a personal level, etc. Traditional tattoos like the moon tattoo or the sun tattoo can be mixed with a yin-yang sign illustrating both sides.

pexels brianna swank 2478956
Photo by Brianna Swank: Pexels

An arrow tattoo design is highly customizable and is the ideal tattoo design for anyone who struggles with anxiety. It is a reminder to keep moving forward and symbolizes strength.

The drawings can either be drawn in one line and scaled to extend a leg or arm piece. Arrows symbolize an ancient Native American heritage. Two crossed arrows can represent strength and alliances, while one arrow half-split symbolizes peace.

A crown tattoo, praying hands, or a cross tattoo on your wrist area can be cute small-sized self-explanatory tattoos if you want a religious tattoo. On the other hand, a skull or cross tattoo also leaves its mark on people.

Skull tattoos and cross tattoos are equally versatile and are more commonly seen as chest tattoos on famous rappers and singers.

Tattoo Ideas
Image by Marcelo Bragion from Pixabay

Fun tattoo ideas can be created simply by adding a touch of color to the tattoo ink and making traditional black-and-white tattoos into colorful masterpieces. This also gives your tattoo a funky look with minimal effort.

Intricate designs can be created inside bigger, traditional tattoos to give them a pen-sketched look or to cover up tattoos that no longer hold the same deep meaning to you.

For example: a crescent moon tattoo can be filled in with delicate designs, diverse patterns, symmetrical or asymmetrical compositions, etc. Cherry blossoms, plants, or flowers provide good options if you want something smaller and intricately tattooed. In addition, you can also find small tattoo designs like one word, a memorable quote, and even your zodiac sign.

Symbols don’t always need to have a deeper meaning. Sometimes, it can just be the logo of your favorite sporting team.


I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ‘Less is more.’ The same can be applied to choosing a tattoo design, a tattoo style, or tattoo inspiration.

A simple dot tattoo, a semicolon, or a running line across your forearm or your thigh area, abdomen, or torso area can have a bigger impact in showcasing your new beginnings or paying homage to a particular person.

4.4.1 Line drawing tattoo-

Like simplicity? A simple tattoo with lines will inspire. Tattoos have been designed to be simple or complex, depending on your tastes and preferences, and can easily fit into many shapes. It requires the help of an experienced tattoo artist to make a single stretched line look professional and carefully drawn in a straight, continuous line.

4.4.2 Wave Tattoo-

A wave tattoo symbolizes strength and perseverance towards a final goal. Waves also make very cool tattoos if you like surfing and adventure. Is it time to get some waves tattooed on your wrist?

4.4.3 Compass Tattoo-

Early sailors believed compass-inkling was the most important tool for their successful journey and would be used for safe return from work. Similar vein compass designs are great tattoo ideas suited specifically for people who enjoy traveling.

This inking points North so you can stay on your path no matter where you go. You can also throw in a map design or an airplane.

4.4.4 Geometric Tattoo-

Geometric-shaped tattoos are in, and no, it’s not math-related. It uses a thin needle to make articulate, exact lines in symmetry to create a chic, elegant tattoo. Common examples that use geometric designs are animal tattoos, half done in a regular style and half in a geometric design.

4.4.5 Inner Wrist Tattoo-

Soft and sensitive tattoos on inner wrists are painful but this is not the most painful placement compared to the rib or shins. While time exposure to the elements can diminish your tattooing, tattoos on your wrist are attractive and functional and can be easily hidden when required.


We know that the regular tattoo placement choices are either on the arms, shoulders, or wrists, but it is not only limited to that.

If you want to be experimental you can opt in for neck and face tattoos as well, though they may not be for everybody.

Other unconventional placement ideas are tattoos on your foot or toes (yes, people do that). Back tattoos and glute tattoos are also great choices.


Pain tolerance for everyone is different. However, tattoos can hurt the most on your hips, feet, ankles, ribs, or elbows. The fleshier parts of the body will hurt the least. Tattoos on your wrist or forearm tend to be pretty easy places to start with.

The pinch test is A good test to determine where your pain tolerance is moderate. Pinch yourself to check which areas feel more sensitive than others and accordingly make your next tattoo and placement choices. You can also talk to your tattoo artist as a professional opinion is a reliable source.


The likelihood of infection or scarring can be decreased with the right tattoo aftercare. You should be aware of infectious symptoms at all times.

The healing time depends on the size and complexity of a particular tattoo.  Because larger tattoos cause more harm to your skin, they will remain red and swollen for longer. Smaller tattoos usually heal quicker.

Regardless of the size, tattoo aftercare is very important and should not be taken lightly.


Self-expression, body art, and inking do not need to have any rules. You do you. Though we have just mentioned a few fun tattoo ideas here, feel free to explore new styles and forms yourself, and don’t hold back on creativity.

A tattoo is more than just a piece of art and a way to assert yourself and your style.

Last Updated on by Sathi Chakraborty, MSc Biology


Sathi Chakraborty, MSc Biology
  1. Fantastic article! This is ideal for tattoo lovers or people in search of tattoo ideas but are uncertain about the designs. I was also planning to get myself inked but was afraid because of the pain. But now I know where to get myself inked.

  2. I really appreciated it, and I found the article informative and truthful about the process. It’s important for everyone to consult with a professional before making a decision about getting a tattoo. The article gives choices in the preciseness and clarity of the information, which is helpful in making my own decision.

  3. I always wanted to get a tattoo but wasn’t sure what kind should I get. After reading this article, I think getting a tattoo related to my zodiac sign will be a good choice.

  4. The article talks about different tattoos and what they symbolize. It helps me understand how tattoos can have special meanings. I now appreciate the creativity and skill in expressing feelings through tattoos. It’s really cool and makes me think about getting one myself someday

  5. I have always been fasinated by tattoos and the beauty it represents but honestly I am never going to get it because I am hella scared of the process but going through all these ideas was really fun.

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