Butterfly Tattoo Meanings and Design Ideas
The butterfly tattoo is a mainstream choice and one of the most popular tattoos in the world. However, it does not have to be cliche. It can be colorful, beautiful, meaningful, and extremely unique if you take the time to make it yours.
In this article, we will discuss butterfly tattoo designs, what they mean symbolically and historically, and you will have the opportunity to view many photos. In the end, we hope that you find inspiration for your next tattoo.
Butterfly Tattoo Design Options
- The butterfly tattoo can be solid ink, two-toned, or multi-color.
- It looks good as a single, standalone tattoo, but most have trail ink or wind tails or other images, such as stars or flowers, incorporated.
- It is often mixed with flowers and plants. Incorporating any nature motifs works well with this design.
- Juxtaposing the butterfly's beauty with something that's not considered beautiful—a skull, bleeding heart, or dagger, for example—can make it more unique and meaningful.
- Color choice is key with this design. You really want to have the perfect mixture of colors and hues. The outline is usually done in black to add definition.
- For some, this design is chosen merely for its beauty. For others, it's chosen for its symbolism.
- It converts well to both a photo-realistic, geometric, abstract, watercolor, or cartoon design. A Celtic or Japanese style works well, too.
- Incorporating names, dates, or lines of text also works well with this design and adds to its meaning.
- The most difficult and important choice for butterfly tattoos would probably be the color decision. If you are planning to just use one color, make sure you use different shades of that color. If you are going with multi colors, make sure you don't over-use one color. You want to make sure it is the perfect mixture. Most tattoo artists already know this, but don't leave it up to chance. If you are choosing your own colors, make sure they mesh well.
What Does a Butterfly Tattoo Symbolize?
- A lot of people who get the butterfly tattoo really don't care about its overall meaning. For many, it doesn't hold any symbolic meaning at all, and it's just chosen for its beauty. For some, though, the symbolism is extremely important.
- The butterfly stands for transformation in many cultures. Its metamorphosis represents the journey from childhood to adulthood, a transformation from immaturity to wisdom. It represents the path we take as we mature.
- It is also a symbol of beauty and diversity among many cultures, as well.
- In Western culture and in Japan, one butterfly stands for womanhood and two stand for marital bliss.
- The Aztecs and ancient cultures of Mexico and South America, they believed that butterflies stood for the souls of the dead and for women who died giving birth.
- Overall, the butterfly has many meanings in many different cultures, but transformation seems to be a shared interpretation.
Before You Tattoo
- Always go to a tattoo artist that you completely trust. Shop around for an artist, read their reviews, and carefully look at their work.
- Ask if you can see images of different color schemes for the design beforehand.
- Don't rush into a tattoo, by all means. This is something you will wear for the rest of your life. You want to take the time to do your research. Make sure you are 100% sure before you ink.
© 2011 Richard Ricky Hale