Recent Posts

How To Design Your Own Tattoo: 10 Things To Consider To Create A Tattoo You’ll Love

Compass Tattoo @ng.ringvean

You’ve decided you want to get a tattoo. Not just that, you want to let your creativity free and create your own tattoo design. However, designing a tattoo isn’t just about putting a few elements together…

From the meaning of different tattoos and where on your body you want to place it, to your budget and the maintenance involved, there are a few things to consider to design a tattoo you’ll love when it’s on your body. 

Memorial Tattoo

Meaning And Significance

Tattoos don’t have to have a deep meaning…You can opt for a design that you simply just like!
If you do want a meaningful tattoo design, consider what you want your tattoo to represent. To figure this out, explore what has personal significance to you.

“If you’re feeling stumped, listen to an old song you love, read cards you’ve saved, or try thinking about specific sayings or mottos your friends and fam may have shared with you for inspiration,”

Small ‘Amar” Tattoo

Remember, getting a meaningful tattoo isn’t about choosing something trendy you like now – you’ve got to think ahead to the future and what’s going to make sense for you for years to come. 

A few common themes that stand the test of time include transformation, strength, remembrance, and spirituality.

Crescent Moon Tattoo @tattooist_giho_

Tattoo Placement

Think about where on your body you want your tattoo and how it will look in that area.

To test out a few areas, you can draw your design on a piece of paper and, using tape, stick it on different possible placements. This can give you an idea of how your design will wrap around certain body parts.

You’ve also got to think about your lifestyle and job. While many workplaces no longer frown upon body art, there are still some professions and corporate environments that want their employees to cover their ink.

If this describes your situation, focus on areas that are easy to cover up with clothing in a professional environment – think below the collarbone, the ankle, and the hips and thighs.

Dragon Hip Tattoo @polina_floyd

Tattoos hurt. While there isn’t really a way to get around this, there are ways you can lessen the pain. One strategy is choosing a placement on the lower end of the pain scale.

“People have different tolerance levels for pain. If you don’t have a high tolerance for pain you may want to consider getting your tattoo in less painful areas, such as the butt, shoulder, or thigh,”

Custom Tattoo Design

A good rule of thumb to follow is the closer the skin is to the bone – so, the less muscle and fat – the more painful getting a tattoo there will be. So, placements such as the ribs, wrist, and shin are known to be a challenge.

Small ‘Resilient’ Tattoo @_jose_g_p_

Tattoo Size

Consider how big or small you want the tattoo to be. This will have a big impact on the area of your body you choose for your design. Large tattoos need a large surface area, so these designs are often done on the back, chest, or stomach.

If you want a large design done on the forearm, know that the tattoo will wrap slightly distorting the design. Smaller tattoos can be done just about anywhere – this is one of the reasons why opting for a small design is a great choice for your first tattoo.

Bold Sleeve Tattoo @traditionalstattoos

The larger your tattoo, the longer it will take and more ink will need to be used, which will have a big impact on the price. 

How much detail you want in your design will also impact the size of your tattoo. Tat Ring explains,

“…if you want a lot of detail in your tattoo, you’ll want it to be bigger rather than smaller. Many people come in with intricate designs that they want to fit into a very small area, and the artist may turn them away unless they agree to make the tattoo bigger or remove a lot of the detail.”

Hourglass Old School Tattoo @jerryjames_tattoos

Tattoo Style

There are many different tattoo styles out there to explore. From old-school traditional American tattoos (think saturated colors and anchors) and traditional Japanese Tebori tattoos to the maximalist trash polka and minimalist, fine-line designs. Choose a style that fits your personality and the meaning of the tattoo.

If you’re new to the world of tattoos and body art, take your time to research different styles to see which one speaks to you. Self Tattoo has a ton of blogs to help guide you on this journey. 

Watercolor Fox And Moon Tattoo @regina_pochanina

Color Ink

Do you want a black and gray tattoo, or are you open to incorporating colors into your design? 

Color ink can help emphasize the meaning of a tattoo, and can be an amazing way to express more of your personality. 

Plus, certain tattoo styles often rely on color ink to fully express the style.

“There are a lot of tattoo styles that complement color; some of the styles include traditional Japanese, classic Americana, watercolor, old-school sailor tattoos, illustrative and new school tattoo styles,”

Saved Tattoo
Strawberry With Melted Gold Tattoo @jooa_tattoo

However, there are a few cons when opting for a colorful tattoo.

  • One, color tattoo ink tends to fade faster than black ink.
  • Two, you’ll need to go for frequent touch-ups to keep your design looking crisp.
  • Three, color doesn’t work well on small tattoo designs as the colors can easily mix together as the tattoo ages.
Flower Calf Tattoos @nolwenn.grignon

Tattoo Artist

Choose a professional and experienced tattoo artist who can bring your design to life. And remember, the tattoo industry is unregulated, so there are people who just buy a tattoo kit online and call themselves a tattooist.

Take your time to do your research – get recommendations from others and stalk artists’ social media profiles. 

A tattoo done by a professional tattoo artist is way more likely to last compared to one done by someone inexperienced. This is because an expert knows exactly where to place the ink to avoid blowout and fading.

Colorful Hummingbird Tattoo

“When [getting a] tattoo, it’s extremely important to find someone whose work inspires you, as well as meeting that person and getting a feel for their personality, process and preference. Like it or not, you will have an experience with this artist that you’ll remember for the rest of your life,”


Experienced tattoo artists can also give you great advice on your chosen design and your placement. They’ll be able to advise on what will work best, and the choices that probably aren’t good ideas. Have a long conversation with your chosen artist and ask all the questions you can think of.

Minimalist Eye Of Horus Tattoo @the.xx.ttt

Tattoo Aftercare And Maintenance

Walking out of the tattoo parkour with your fresh ink isn’t the end of the journey…Adhering to the aftercare process is essential if you want your tattoo to heal well. 

Looking after your fresh tattoo is important because:

1. It prevents infections. A new tattoo is basically an open wound, so it’s a breeding ground for bacteria.

2. It prevents scarring as washing and moisturizing the tattoo promotes the healing of the skin.

3. It enhances the appearance of your ink and helps the colors remain vibrant and the lines sharp.

4. It helps prevent skin irritation, itching, and discomfort.

Click below for our guide to looking after your fresh ink.

Fine Line Mini Hand Tattoos @paulobozotattoo

Then, there’s long-term tattoo care. If you want your ink to look its best for years to come, you’ve always got to be conscious of looking after your tattoo. 

Long-term tattoo aftercare includes:

1. Washing your tattoo daily with a gentle, fragrance-free soap.

2. Drinking plenty of water to keep your skin moisturized – tattoos age best on hydrated skin.

3. Wearing SPF or covering your tattoo with clothing when out so that the sun won’t fade your tattoo.

4. Avoiding scratchy fabrics or tight clothes over your tattoo as, over time, this can wear away the tattoo ink. 

Pick a tattoo design where the above won’t be a challenge for you. 

Rose Thigh Tattoo @thedansal

Tattoo Longevity

Consider if you want a tattoo that will last a lifetime or one that will fade over time. Tattoos don’t actually have to be a lifetime commitment. Henna tattoos fade over a few weeks, there are non-cheesy stick-on tattoos all over the internet, and there is even Ephemeral Tattoo a design space that tattoos with ink that’s made to fade. 

Getting a short-term tattoo is a great step to add to your tattoo journey. Once you think you’ve got the design you want, opt for semi-permanent ink. Over the next few weeks or months, you can see whether your design choice (and placement) is truly right for you. 

Then, once you’re 100% certain, you can make your tattoo appointment. 

Whale And Sword Tattoo @tattooist_jaeo

Some things that will affect the longevity of your tattoo include:

1. Quality of the ink and needles used (another reason to make sure you go to a professional tattoo studio). Check reviews of the place you’re considering to make sure most people have had a good experience there.

2. Proper aftercare. As discussed above, taking proper care of your healing ink – washing it regularly, moisturizing your skin, and keeping your new tattoo out of the sun – goes a long way in maintaining your tattoo.   

3. Tattoo placement. Where your tattoo is placed can impact how your tattoo fades. Areas exposed to the sun a lot, places that rub against clothes, and joints (because of the constant movement) lessen a tattoo’s longevity. 

4. Color. Colorful designs fade faster than black and gray tattoos. 

Hand Poked Sea Shell Hand Tattoo @averykiyo


Tattoos aren’t cheap. If someone offers you a suspiciously cheap tattoo, run! Remember, experience and quality comes at a price, and because a tattoo is something that’s going to be with you for many years, don’t skimp.  

Set a budget for your tattoo and make sure you can afford the cost of the design and the artist’s fee.

Many tattoo shops will have a basic minimum fee, which can run up to a couple of hundred dollars depending on where the tattoo studio is. Then, your chosen tattoo artist’s experience comes into play, as New Jersey-based tattoo artist, Nancy Rose McLaughlin, explained to Byrdie,

“It all really depends on the artist. The longer the artist has been tattooing and the more clientele they have, the more they can charge.”

Moon, Mountains, And Wave Tattoo @kameenstudio

The size, placement, and intricacy will all impact the final price of your tattoo design. The larger and more intricate, the more it will cost. Some tattoo artists will give you a price upfront, while others charge by the hour. Plus, be prepared to pay a deposit, especially if you want a larger, more expensive design. 

Often the most expensive tattoos are sleeves and full leg tattoos as those take a lot of ink, time, and energy. 

And, after your tattoo, you’ll need to tip your artist – budget between 15% and 30% for this.

Polynesian Tribal Tattoo @rick_coito_tattoos

Do Your Research

Research your design to ensure you are making an informed decision.

You may have stumbled upon a symbol on Pinterest you love, but do you know the history and cultural significance behind this design? 

Polynesian and Celtic symbols are huge genres in the tattoo world, and many people can get one of their cultural symbols tattooed without appreciating the meaning behind it. 

So, do your research to make sure you know exactly what you’re planning to get tattooed on your skin. 

Roses And Scissors Tattoo @start.your.line

A tattoo is a commitment you’re making to your future self. You’re promising future you that they will still love your chosen tattoo design for years to come. Make sure this is true by considering the above 10 factors carefully. 

Ink For Introverts: Tattoo Ideas For The Reserved And Deep Thinkers

Cup Of Coffee Tattoo

People often set up camp in one of two groups: Extroverts or introverts. While extroverts tend to gain energy while in the company of other people, introverts – on the other end of the spectrum – crave time alone. 

“An introvert is a person with qualities of a personality type known as introversion, which means that they feel more comfortable focusing on their inner thoughts and ideas, rather than what’s happening externally. They enjoy spending time with just one or two people, rather than large groups or crowds,”

Forest Forearm Tattoo @myhoneytattoo

Many introverts have turned to body art and tattoos to express their personalities and innermost thoughts. 

“While extroverts may gravitate toward large, colorful tattoos, introverts may find that a small, delicate tattoo can make a quieter statement more reflective of their personality,”


So, let’s dive into five small introvert tattoo ideas that still make an impact. 

“Self Love” Tattoo @surit.b_tattoo

Minimalist Quote Or Word Tattoos

Often words have the biggest impact on people compared to graphic images. A quote from a book or a movie can stay with you your whole life. 

For introverts, there are a plethora of quotes that relate to your personality type that can bring forth feelings of empowerment. For example,

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“You may think I’m small, but I have a universe inside my mind.”

Yoko Ono

“Quiet people have the loudest minds.”

Stephen Hawking

If you’d prefer something shorter, one-word tattoos can still act as powerful reminders as you go about your day-to-day life.

“Breathe” is a simple tattoo idea that can symbolize the importance of stepping back from the busyness just to be. “Daydream” can be an ode to your expansive imagination. “Freedom” is the perfect one-word tattoo for the introvert with wanderlust.

Space Inspired Bibliophile Tattoo

Bibliophile Tattoos For Book Lovers

A bibliophile is a person who loves books. If one of your favorite pieces in your home is your overflowing bookshelf, a book-inspired tattoo design could be perfect for you. 

You could opt for your favorite quote or an element from your favorite book (such as the lamp post from Narnia or a wand for Harry Potter). 

Can’t choose between your favorite novels? There are broader tattoo options that relate to a love of reading instead of a specific story.

Book And Flowers Tattoo @fie_vdg

A simple tattoo design of an open book with a cup of coffee can speak to cozy days spent reading. For a bit more details and even color, you could create a tattoo design of an open book with flowers spilling from the pages. 

For an even more minimalist and tiny tattoo idea, you could choose a punctuation mark, such as a quote sign, an exclamation mark, or a semicolon.

Pet Tattoo @zeeyo_tattoo

Pet Tattoo Ideas

Animal tattoos can be a way for an introvert to show off their personality or interests. A hyper-realistic tattoo of your pet does not have to be large – the hyperrealism tattoo style can be done on a small scale.

However, there are pros and cons to this. A highly detailed mini tattoo is easy to conceal and can fit onto small areas of the body. But, this type of tattoo can be more time-consuming to create, therefore more expensive. It may also fade faster due to the intense details.

You may choose an animal tattoo that represents your personality that many people may not see because of your introverted nature. A lion tattoo can symbolize courage; a wolf tattoo can mean integrity, loyalty, ferocity, strength, love, and strong determination; and a snake tattoo can represent transformation.

Geometric Willow Tree Tattoo @greemtattoo

Tree Tattoo Designs

If you’re looking for a symbol of strength in introversion, you can’t get better than a lone tree. 

“Trees represent longevity and endurance, as the flora is deeply rooted and constantly working to grow and thrive. They may also be a symbol of strength, as trees tend to stand resolute for dozens – and sometimes hundreds – of years,”


One tree that perfectly encapsulates the nature of an introvert is the willow tree. A willow tree tattoo represents inner peace, solitude, serenity, and longevity.

Homebody Tattoo @outsidersudine

Homebody Tattoos

Many introverts are also homebodies. Home is a safe space – a place where an introvert is really able to be themselves and recharge after social engagements. 

There are plenty of tattoo ideas for the homebody:

  • A fine-line house tattoo can be a literal representation of a home.
  • Cozy corners – such as a reading nook or fireplace – are great inspirations for homebody tattoos. 
  • A map of your hometown.
Simple Homebody Tattoo @libbyguytattoos

Placements For Introvert Tattoos

Your design isn’t the only thing that matters when deciding on a tattoo – your placement choice has a huge impact on the whole tattoo experience. 

Needing or wanting to cover up your ink, your pain tolerance, and your ability to take care of your healing tattoo all impact where your tattoo should go. 

Custom Tattoo Design suggests getting your design down on paper, cutting it out, and moving it to different areas of your body to get an idea of how it will look,

“Roll up some tape on the back of the paper and try sticking it in several places you may be considering. See how you like the placement in each of these areas.”

A few introverted ideas for small tattoo placement include “secret” areas. These are areas of the body that people don’t see often, leaving your tattoo a kind of secret you only share with a few.

Think of areas such as the behind the ear, the inner wrist, or the hip.

Bookworm Tattoo @kawkatattoo

There is power in introversion. Embracing your quiet nature instead of trying to fit in and be something you’re not is one of the best things that introverts can do.

Further, embrace and appreciate your introverted nature – while also allowing the outside world to gain a glimpse of your personality – with an introvert-inspired tattoo.

Tattoos For The Extroverted Soul: 5 Fun And Meaningful Tattoo Ideas

Travel Inspired Back Tattoo @tattoos_bylukas

When you need to describe yourself, does the word “outgoing” or “social” come up? Do your friends describe you as the life of the party? Chances are you identify as an extrovert!

Extroverts gain energy from interacting with other people and may become bored or restless when they’re alone for a while. Confident, enthusiastic, and talkative are often labels subscribed to these social butterflies. 

There are many meaningful tattoo ideas for people who love their extroverted ways. From simple quote tattoos to bold, colorful designs to represent an outgoing personality, keep reading for tattoo inspiration for your next piece of body art.  

“Make It Count” Quote Tattoo @darling_graphics

Quote Or Word Tattoo

There are so many quotes that can reflect your outgoing and sociable nature. Some examples include:

“Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Stephen King

“Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.”


“In order to write about life first you must live it.”

Ernest Hemingway

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”


Then there are simpler options, such as one or two word tattoos. Some examples include:

“Live loud”, “Passion”, and “Joy”. 

One of the most important things to consider when getting a word or quote tattoo (besides the actual words) is the script that you want your tattoo to be in. You could opt for typewriting font, cursive, block lettings, or even handwriting.

Take your time to explore different options to choose the one that most appeals to you and one that matches your chosen words.

Small Martini Tattoo @borneo_ink_tat2

Martini Glass Tattoo

One of the most defining attributes of extroverts is how social they are. They’re always up for a party. If you love going out with friends, a great mini tattoo idea for you could be a fine-line martini glass tattoo.

“Martini glass tattoo symbolizes those finer things of life like elegance, luxury, and happiness. And a martini glass tattoo adds a cool image to those who choose to wear it with its proverbial touch of elitism and beauty,”


Not a fan of martinis? No problem! There are other boozy tattoo options, such as a glass of wine, a beer, a cocktail shaker, or a cute pineapple drink. 

Red Wine Tattoo @roni.tattoos

This can be an ideal tattoo choice for extroverts who are still fans of minimalism and are looking for a small tattoo.

There are a number of reasons to opt for a tiny tattoo over a larger design. They are often less painful and less expensive, as they take less time, needle pricks, and ink.

Small tattoos are really easy to hide, especially when you get them on an easily covered area such as the ankle, shoulder, or back of the neck.

Tattoos that are on the smaller side also require less aftercare as they can heal quicker – so, less chance of an infection.

Cute Microphone Tattoo @pt78tattoo

Microphone Tattoo

Extroverts are often described as being loud and talkative. A great tattoo idea to symbolize this is a microphone.

“A microphone is a literal representation of being loud and clear. Having a microphone tattoo on hand can be an easy reminder for you to stand staunchly by your thoughts and express them freely,”

Inked and Faded

There are many ways to go about a microphone tattoo design. From an old-school microphone tattoo as an ode to a love of the vintage aesthetic and mini microphone tattoos with minimal details, to modern microphones and mics with other elements such as roses or musical notes. 

You can adapt your microphone tattoo with additions to suit your personality.

Palm Tree Tattoo @jesscink

Travel Tattoo

Are you an extrovert who loves to travel? A travel tattoo can represent a desire to explore and meet new people. There are lots of travel tattoo ideas to consider; here are three of the most popular:

A palm tree tattoo can conjure up images of tropical beaches and relaxing with a piña colada, but this tree’s meaning goes deeper than that,

“The palm tree tattoo is symbolic of regeneration and immortality. Having a palm tree tattoo can mean that you seek to live a long life or to have some sort of life after death. This tattoo can also mean that you have had a troubled life or you had a near-death experience and that you are grateful that you’re alive today,”

Tatt Mag
Single Line Airplane Tattoo @som__tattoo

Of course, you can’t think of travel without an airplane. This machine is powerful, so a tattoo of one can symbolize strength and determination, as well as travel. An airplane tattoo can also represent wanderlust, freedom, and overcoming obstacles. 

Another tattoo option that will resonate with those with wanderlust is a compass tattoo. From a Viking compass and star compass to an astronomical compass, there are a variety of ways to depict this theme.

Red Ink Butterfly Tattoo @tattooist_hoji

Butterfly Tattoo

A synonym for an extrovert is a social butterfly – a people person. 

So, it stands to reason that a perfect tattoo for someone who describes themselves as a social butterfly is a butterfly.

While a small butterfly tattoo can represent friendship and vibrancy, it can also mean freedom and transformation.

“…the butterfly is one of the only creatures that begins its life as one thing and transforms completely into something else, often considered to be even more beautiful and perfect than before,”

Custom Tattoo Design
Blue And Purple Butterfly Tattoo @_hony_tattoo

Butterfly tattoos can look amazing in black and gray, but this tattoo choice can be a great opportunity to go for colorful ink. Shades of color can give your tattoo design a whole new level of vibrancy. 

However, color tattoos can come with their own set of challenges. Colorful tattoo inks are more likely to fade faster than black and gray inks, especially if your tattoo is exposed to the damaging rays of the sun often.

So, you’ve got to be prepared to get touch-ups more often than black ink tattoos to keep the crispness of your ink. Colorful ink is also way harder to remove with laser tattoo removal compared to black ink.

Also, a color tattoo can be more difficult to do, so it’ll most likely be on the more expensive side and you should definitely find a tattoo artist who is well-versed in mixing and tattooing color tattoo inks. 

“Find Joy” Tattoo @_medusaink_

Extroverts have their own unique power. You’re able to bring in fresh enthusiasm, are able to enjoy yourself in many different social circles, and can be honest about your thoughts and feelings. Being able to make connections with different types of people and your sociable personality should be celebrated! 

There are so many amazing tattoo designs that can help you appreciate and celebrate your extroverted nature.

Tattoos Inspired By Stoicism

Marcus Aurelius Forearm Tattoo @browntattoo

Are you fascinated by the lives of the Stoics? Does the philosophy of bearing your burden without shaking your fist at the sky appeal to you?

The ideas and thoughts of Stoicism have surpassed their 300 B.C Athens origins, and are still as relevant – and some argue as needed – today as they were in Ancient Greece. This endearing philosophy with principles that have traversed geography and time is a powerful source of inspiration for tattoos.  

Let’s dive into the meaning of Stoicism, what it takes to be a Stoic, and the best Stoic tattoos to consider. 

‘Stoicism’ And Wave Tattoo @tattoo_maslo

What Is Stoicism? 

Stoicism was a branch of philosophy that gained traction in the Hellenistic period, the time of Alexander the Great and the forging of the Roman Empire. 

What was unique about Stoicism is that it was relevant for everyone – from teachers and manual laborers, to emperors and even slaves. The Stoic way of life was a school of thought that everyone could benefit from. 

Stoicism began with a tragedy that would have knocked most people down. In the third century B.C, a merchant named Zeno was shipwrecked on a trading voyage leaving him with almost nothing to his name. It was then that he was introduced to philosophy.

From there, he developed his own school of thought and gained a number disciples who would attend his discussions on Stoicism. 

According to Daily Stoic, Zeno joked,

“I made a prosperous voyage when I suffered shipwreck.”

This quote shows that, in true Stoic fashion, he was able to see the lesson – the positives – from a seemingly negative experience. 

‘Memento Mori’ Hand Tattoo @ebtattooer

What Are The Main Beliefs Of Stoicism

There are four main pillars that Stoicism’s principles fall under: Wisdom, justice, courage, and moderation. The Stoics believe that following these four virtues makes for a well-lived life.

“To approach life in this way involves a complete revolution in our thinking and attitudes. We must stop believing that happiness consists in things and realize instead that it consists alone in virtuous living,”

Daily Stoic

In Stoicism, emphasis is given to being able to handle the cards that Fate deals us without crumbling or asking, “Why me?” According to this philosophy, we all have what it takes to thrive beyond hardship. 

Marcus Aurelius And ‘Memento Mori’ Tattoo @sameastwick

Who Can Be A Stoic? 

As stated above, Stoicism is a club open to all, no matter what your perceived “station” is in life. 

Historically speaking, the ranks of Stoicism is chock-full of famous names. 

One of the most famous Roman Emperors, Marcus Aurelius, was also a Stoic philosopher. It was in large part due to his Stoic belief system that he was known to be such a great ruler – he was the last of the Five Good Emperors of Rome.

He documented his rule in a diary which we can still read today. Meditations is full of examples of Aurelius’ advice for life, such as:

“If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.”

“Discard your misperceptions. Stop being jerked like a puppet. Limit yourself to the present.”

“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”

Moving ahead in time and to the new world, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were men who often let Stoic beliefs guide them. Today, billionaires Like Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Cuban have been known to incorporate Stoic principles in their businesses and lives. 

4 Stoic Tattoo Ideas 

‘Memento Mori’ Tattoo @shauncey

Memento Mori 

This is Latin for “Remember, you will die.” This phrase – which dates back to Socrates, another famous Greek philosopher – has strong roots in Stoicism.  

It’s a reminder to think about your mortality and the fact that you won’t always be here. So, make the most of the present. Don’t wallow. Pick up your burden and carry it virtuously.

A “Memento Mori” word tattoo can be a powerful reminder to live life today and to stop being bogged down with the past or the future. 

Marcus Aurelius Tattoo @hami_shin

Marcus Aurelius Bust 

Emperor Marcus Aurelius is one of the most well-known Stoics. The fact that he allowed his reign to be led by Stoic principles and belief resulted in what is known as the Golden Age of the Roman Empire. 

“Marcus was forever proposing to himself unattainable goals of conduct, forever contemplating the triviality, brutishness, and transience of the physical world and of humanity in general and himself in particular; otherworldly, yet believing in no other world, he was therefore tied to duty and service with no hope, even of everlasting fame, to sustain him,”


While he could’ve seized ultimate control of the Empire, he instead shared the throne with his adoptive brother, living the Stoic virtues of justice and self-control.

Aurelius was no stranger to tragedy – he lost most of his children in his lifetime. Still, he did not let the losses turn him from being a great ruler. 

A Marcus Aurelius bust tattoo can be a call to live life like the philosopher king, letting the principles of Stoicism guide you instead of allowing the tragedies of life engulf you.

Hourglass And Roses Tattoo @migamtt

Hourglass Tattoo

This is another tattoo idea relating to the limited time we have here on earth. 

Each grain of sand that falls is a reminder of the fleeting nature of this life, and that death waits for no man. 

But, the focus on death isn’t to be afraid of the end. Instead, Stoicism is all about making the most of the time you have by living your life wisely, and that death is part of the natural order of things, and not something to fear.

Stoic Virtues Tattoo @newmantattoo

Main Pillars Of Stoicism Tattoo

The four simple virtues of Stoicism: Wisdom, justice, courage, and moderation. To be a Stoic, one must strive to incorporate these four things into daily life.

Are you furthering your knowledge and skills? Are you acting fairly towards others? Are you bravely standing up for what’s right? Do you have self-control?

These are guiding questions a Stoic can ask themselves as they attempt to travel the virtuous path. When it comes to symbols that represent these values, there are various options. Wisdom can be symbolized with a book, justice with scales, courage with a lion, and moderation with wine, for example.

‘Memento Mori’ And Skull Tattoo @jamesramostattoo

Stoicism has stood the test of time, with its school of thought still popular in the 21st century. In fact, Stoic books are still popular – Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is still sold today, and, the more recent, The Daily Stoic, is a Wall Street Journal number one best seller. 

The philosophy of Stoicism is a fantastic well in which to find inspiration for a tattoo that will always be relevant.

Your Guide To The Trash Polka Tattoo Style

Headphones Trash Polka Forearm Tattoo @mr__ink__tattoo

Is minimalism not your thing? Do you love bold tattoo designs with lots of detail that test the limits of creativity? The chaos of the trash polka tattoo style places contrasting elements center stage. Keep reading for eye-catching artistry to inspire your next tattoo design. 

What Is Trash Polka?

The trash polka style of tattooing burst onto the body art scene around two decades ago in Germany. Graphic designers, Simone Pfaff and Volko Merschky, combined their artistic styles and translated this onto the skin. 

Custom Tattoo Design says that Merschky describes his created tattoo style as,

“realism and trash; the nature and the abstract; technology and humanity; past, present, and future; opposites that they are trying to urge into a creative dance to harmony and rhythm in tune with the body”.

Skull And ‘Fearless’ Leg Tattoo @franckrudyy

Key Elements Of A Trash Polka Tattoo

One of the key elements of a trash polka tattoo design is the juxtaposition and clash of opposites. A design done in this style can be confusing and beautiful, expressing a multitude of different ideas and components. 

Realism is a popular element in trash polka,

“These pieces also focus on photo-realistic images or commonly portraits coming from cinema, fashion and horror movies. Next to them are graphic elements such as large black and red areas, brush strokes, paint stains, and geometric or abstract shapes,”

Tattoo Stylist
Grunge Theme Trash Polka Full Back Tattoo @tattoojimbo

For example, a realistic trash polka tattoo can have a hyper realistic wolf against a backdrop of things that don’t relate to the animal, such as geometric shapes and broad, chaotic brushstrokes.

While the rules of this style of tattooing may be limited to enhance the freedom of the tattoos, one of the key elements is the limited color palette used. By only using gray shading, red, and black ink, the contrast is prominent. 

Eagle Trash Polka Shoulder Tattoo @naturezatattoo

Meaning Of Trash Polka Tattoos

There is not really one set meaning behind trash polka tattoos, as there are so many options when it comes to the elements involved. However, there are a few key themes that are present in many, if not most, trash polka designs. 

One theme inherently in this tattoo style is contrast and opposing forces. Realism mixed with broad brushstrokes, and flowing lines and shades against geometric shapes. This speaks to the ancient Chinese symbol of Yin and Yang. Opposite sides push against each other and exist in harmony.

Spartan Solider Trash Polka Arm Tattoo @xukitattooart

First Class Tattoos says of the colors used in these designs,

“The word most associated with this art style is aggressiveness, which stems from the art depicted and the saturated red and black color palette.”

Of course, much of the meaning of a tattoo rests upon the images used as well as the personal relationship the tattooee has with them. 

Abstract Trash Polka Upper Arm Tattoo @artcollectortattoo

The Best Placement Ideas For A Trash Polka Tattoo

These tattoos are bold and feature many elements, often with realistic designs. Due to this, larger areas of the body are best for trash polka designs.

“​​To fit all the splashes, dots, lines (thick and thin), as well as portraits, and give them the space to heal well and keep their longevity, anything smaller than medium will add another layer of challenge to these already complex designs,”

Tattoo Stylist

So, the bicep or full arm, the shoulder or back, the thigh, and the chest are all great placement choices for a trash polka tattoo.

Lion Trash Polka Sleeve Tattoo @raiane.morini

If you try to squash many details and elements into a smaller design to fit on a small placement area, such as the ankle or wrist, it may not age well. The trouble with micro realistic tattoos is that the lines can fade into each other, blurring and distorting the image.

The best thing to do is have a conversation with your chosen tattoo artist. A professional tattooist will be able to advise you on where your tattoo design will look the best.

Dark Trash Polka Half Sleeve Tattoo @tofu.tattoos

How Do Trash Polka Tattoos Fade?

One of the best things you can do to make sure you get a trash polka tattoo design that lasts is to get tattooed by a professional tattooist. An experienced tattoo artist is way more likely to place the ink on the correct skin layer (dermis) than someone who is not a professional.

It is essential to insert the ink correctly, because if the ink is too shallow the tattoo will fade faster, and if the ink is inserted too deep the ink can blowout.

Once you walk out of a tattoo studio with your brand new trash polka tattoo, there are a few key things to do to ensure the longevity of your ink.

There are different stages of the tattoo healing process – it is essential to support this process by washing your fresh tattoo with fragrance-free soap, moisturizing your skin, staying hydrated, and keeping your ink out of the sun. 

Get your guide to the tattoo healing process and learn how to look after a new tattoo below.

Viking Theme Trash Polka Leg Tattoo @thesacredink_viareggio

Who Should Get A Trash Polka Tattoo? 

This style of tattooing is perfect for those who want to go bold and expressive with their tattoo design. With the strong colors and layered images, this is not a style for the tattoo minimalist. 

Due to the eye-catching and striking elements of this tattoo style, trash polka tattoos are ideal for extroverts who don’t mind being the center of attention and being asked about their body art. 

Samurai Trash Polka Arm Tattoo @luizpaulo_mancini

If the popularity of fine lines and minimalism in the tattoo culture of today are not your thing, embrace the chaos of the trash polka style. The juxtaposition of opposites and broad flashes of red provide an in-your-face tattoo that is hard to ignore.

12 Harry Potter Tattoo Ideas

Black Cat On Books With Wizard Hat Tattoo

The Harry Potter book series from the wildly creative mind of J.K Rowling is the highest selling book series of all time. Not only that, but the Wizarding World movies that came from her books is the fourth highest grossing movie franchise in the world.

There is no denying it: This story is well-loved by people around the world. So much so, that there is an entire genre of tattoos that pay tribute to the characters of Harry Potter and their adventures. 

If you are thinking about getting an inked ode to the Harry Potter franchise, here is your list of some of the most popular Harry Potter tattoos out there: 

Colorful Expecto Patronum Tattoo @littleutopiatattoo

Harry Potter Quote Tattoos

The Harry Potter books and movies are littered with quotes that strike the heart.

Professor Snape’s heartbreaking and romantic “Always” in the final book about why his Patronus takes the same shape of his long-lost love: Harry Potter’s mother, Lily. This is a simple one word tattoo that hits on everlasting love despite death.

If you are looking for a quote that inspires action, Professor Dumbledore has a great one from The Sorcerer’s Stone: “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

“Always” Harry Potter Tattoo @rianahopfinger

Another Dumbledore adage – this one from the third installment of the franchise, The Prisoner Of Azkaban – is about how joy really is present if we just decide to look: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Then there are the number of spells that are uttered across the Harry Potter universe. “Lumos” is a spell that can bring light to dark places, “Expecto Patronum” can make the evil that threatens you disappear, “Riddikulus” can reveal your fears to be actually quite silly, and “Alohomora” can unlock the unattainable.

Wand Expecto Patronum Tattoo @mood_bkk

Wand Tattoo

Wands were used to do a lot of good and a lot of bad in the Harry Potter series. One of the great things about this tattoo choice is that you can go small with a mini wand tattoo on your finger, or larger with a wand tattoo the length of your forearm. 

A wand tattoo can be seen as a symbol of power and can serve as a reminder to believe in your own magic. 

Deathly Hallows Symbol With Flowers Tattoo

Deathly Hallows Symbol Tattoo

The Deathly Hallows in the Harry Potter world are three objects: An invisibility cloak, the Elder Wand, and the Resurrection Stone. These items are from Death, and were given to three wizard brothers. 

When you have all three, you become the Master of Death. 

The symbol for these three powerful objects is a triangle (representing the cloak) encompassing a circle (representing the Resurrection Stone), with a straight line through the middle (representing the Elder Wand). 

Deathly Hallows Tattoo

In the final installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry realizes that he has to die in order for Voldemort to die. However, with the Deathly Hallows, Harry was able to be resurrected. 

This is a strong metaphor for self-sacrifice for the greater good. However, with the Deathly Hallows, one doesn’t have to actually die. 

A Deathly Hallows tattoo can represent the choice of sacrificing your time now for a better future. 

Phoenix And Deathly Hallows Symbol Tattoo @sheps_art_tattoos

Phoenix Tattoo

Professor Dumbledore’s loyal companion throughout the series is a phoenix named Fawkes. Not only that, it turned out that the phoenix feathers that created both Harry’s and Voldemort’s wands came from Fawkes. 

The phoenix is a mythical bird that has made appearances across multiple cultures in the world.

From the god-like Ancient Egyptian entity, Bennu, that was linked to the sun, creation, and rebirth, to the fiery Chinese bird of good fortune, Fenghuang, a symbol of Confucian values such as virtue, duty, ritual, and compassion.

Phoenix Shoulder Tattoo @joytattoo_

According to Custom Tattoo Design,

“This [phoenix] symbolizes rebirth, renewal and the never-ending circle of life. In this context, the phoenix is often seen as a metaphor for hope, as it rises from the ashes time and time again. It is also considered to be a sign of strength in the face of adversity.”

A phoenix tattoo can be an empowering design choice – it is a reminder that when life knocks you down, you are always able to rise from the ashes. 

Death Eater Symbol Tattoo @an.malygos

Death Eater Skull Tattoo

Tattoos are part of the Harry Potter universe, most notably in the form of the Death Eater symbol, known as the “dark mark”: A skull with a snake coming out of its mouth. 

This tattoo marked wizards and witches as death eaters, the cronies of Voldemort, and was used as a way to send up the death eater version of the Bat signal. 

Detailed Forearm Death Eater Tattoo @_mercurio_tattoo

This can be a surprising tattoo choice for some Potterheads, as it is a symbol of the “bad guys” of the franchise. However, as The Trend Spotter explains, it is not all bad,

“For some, it could be a way to show the balance between good and evil or could be inked to show you have overcome a challenge.”

Remember, some Death Eaters left the group and were integral parts of saving Harry’s life.

Not a fan of the skull? You could opt for a single snake. 

Snake Around Blue Gem Tattoo @tattooist_siia

Snake Tattoo

Snakes are weaved throughout the Harry Potter universe, from the symbol of the Hogwarts house, Slytherin, to the fact that Harry could speak parseltongue (the language of snakes) and the basilisk in the second installment of the book and movie. 

The snake has an interesting symbolism, and one that many cultures around the world have recognized. 

These reptiles go through a process of shedding their skin – this is because their skin doesn’t grow with their bodies. So, snakes have to shed their skin to enter the next stage of their lives. 

Realistic Snake Hip Tattoo @mauritziantetattoos

Of the symbolism of the snake, Saved Tattoo explains,

“In the Native American culture, snakes are seen as symbols of life and rebirth…The Hopi people, for example, perform an annual snake dance to celebrate the union of Snake Girl and Snake Youth, and to renew the fertility of Nature.”

If you’ve experienced the process of shedding your old life to embrace the new, a snake tattoo can be the perfect symbol for this transition.

Sorting Hat With Flowers Tattoo

Sorting Hat Tattoo

The Sorting Hat appears in the first installment of the Harry Potter franchise, The Philosopher’s Stone. 

This magical hat is placed on the heads of Hogwarts’ first years in an attempt to place them in the correct house according to personality, temperament, and, most importantly, desire. 

Potterheads will remember that the Sorting House wavered on placing Harry in Slytherin House. Harry – after hearing the negative takes on this Hogwarts House – begs not to be placed in the “evil” house. Instead, he’s placed in Gryffindor. 

Slytherin Sorting Hat Tattoo @dot.tattoostudio

The choice of getting a Sorting Hat tattoo can be as simple as,

“While it won’t be able to decide which house you belong to, a Sorting Hat tattoo will show your love and appreciation of a series that changed the world,”


However, it can also be a powerful symbol of the significance of your choices. You may be predisposed to certain things, but, at the end of the day what has the most impact are your decisions. 

Mini Bolt Of Lightning Hip Tattoo @_airakay.ink_

Lightning Bolt Tattoo

Harry’s fate was sealed the night Voldemort killed his family and, in an attempt to kill him, too, maimed Harry with his iconic lightning bolt scar. 

This lightning bolt is versatile – you can opt for a single line or an outline of a lightning bolt. 

A bolt of lightning has meaning beyond the Harry Potter franchise. Our Mindful Life explains,

“In Greek mythology, the lightning bolt is the weapon of Zeus. It represents a destructive force to reckon with. Because lightning strikes swiftly, it also symbolizes strength and determination.”

Golden Snitch Wrist Tattoo @brandgarcia_tattoo

Golden Snitch Tattoo

If you loved the magical quidditch games peppered into the Harry Potter books and movies, a tribute to the golden snitch may be the perfect tattoo choice for you. In the game of quidditch, the snitch is a tiny golden ball that the seeker attempts to catch to end and win the game. 

The snitch doesn’t want to be caught though… It weaves its way through the players to stay outside of the seeker’s reach. All while the other team’s players are trying to knock them off their brooms. 

This can be seen as a metaphor for life. Reaching for what you truly want isn’t an easy road. There are people and situations which are going to knock you off of your path. But, continuing to go after what you really want is totally worth it. 

Color Golden Snitch Tattoo @guccidayoff

As the name suggests, a golden snitch is gold. If you want this to be represented in your tattoo, you’ll have to include yellow shades. If you do decide to introduce light color to your design, proceed with caution.

“Yellow ink is generally the shade to fade first on a tattoo. If you have a yellow undertone, avoid using this color as it can look muddy on the skin. Avoid using these shades as anything but a highlight or additional touch,”

Saved Tattoo

A golden snitch tattoo can serve as a powerful reminder to keep going. 

Mini Sock Tattoo @evelyn.tatts

Sock Tattoo

This is a super cute Harry Potter tattoo option for those who love random, minimalist tattoo designs. 

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, one of the franchise’s most loved characters, the house elf, Dobby, was accidentally given a sock releasing him from his servitude to the Malfoys. 

One humble sock symbolized a new life for him and freedom. 

So, a mini tattoo of a sock can have deep meaning – it can represent autonomy and taking a new path in life; perfect for Harry Potter fans who are starting over. 

Stag Tattoo @lara_grebe_tattoo

Stag Tattoo

In the third Harry Potter book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry learn’s a new spell: Expecto Patronum. This is the most powerful defensive spell in this wizarding world, as it expels Dementors. 

This spell creates a form, and Harry’s was a stag, the same as his father’s. 

The stag is a significant symbol outside of the Harry Potter universe, and has roots in ancient Celtic beliefs.

“The stag, specifically the male, symbolizes the very forest itself. The antlers resemble tree branches and carry these like a crown. It also represents speed, agility, and sexual prowess. All these are integral to nature’s regenerative power, signified by how stags shed their antlers in autumn and regrow them in spring,”

Symbol Sage

Symbol Sage goes on to explain that different color stags have different meanings. White stags can represent newness and an adventurous spirit, while black stags can symbolize death and transformation

A stag patronus as a Harry Potter tattoo can represent safety, as well as your ability to face your demons and come out on top. 

Hogwarts Thigh Tattoo @laldeatattoo

Hogwarts Tattoo

If you are a Potterhead and want to get a Harry Potter inspired tattoo, chances are you used to wish that a letter would arrive asking you to attend Hogwarts. 

A super simple tattoo to commemorate this magical time of first diving into this series is an outline of the magical school. 

An outline tattoo works perfectly on the forearm or on the wrist, and can act as a reminder of the magic you love. 

If you are trying to find tattoo inspiration, books and movies that have had a profound effect on you are amazing places to look. So many important lessons can be found in the pages of books and in the adventures on screen.