I love tattoos and have been writing about the topic for several years.
Bats are always fascinating to tattoo lovers because of their connection with horror and darkness in the Western world. This attracts those who love Goth art and fashion. Interestingly, in the East, bats have a much more positive connotation. They are associated with health, wealth, peace, and longevity.
But we're going to look at these fierce little critters through Western eyes, focusing on those with Gothic influence: sharper lines, darker imagery, and a sense of foreboding.
While this bat tattoo on the finger isn't what I would normally think of as Gothic, it was just too cool to pass up. Placing a bat in this small an area and still being able to see the full body isn't that easy to do, even with limited detail.
There's a lot to like about this wrist tattoo. First, it looks like it is just unfolding before it leaves its home. What is the best though is the way the designer didn't fill in the arms and legs, along with parts of the outer wings. Good job!
Tribal tattoos work with almost any chosen theme, and this one of a bat on the upper back is no exception to that rule. I like the way the swirling lines and the pointed ends flow together.
With this shoulder bat tattoo, we see a real abandonment of prior design styles. Here, the Gothic element is the subject matter itself and less a design factor. I'm not a fan of color and tattoos, so the red is a bit of a turn-off for me, but the attempt to make what appears to be the devil in bat form does make sense.
Here we have an amazing and creative bat tattoo that really embraces the Gothic look. Everything about it drips with creativity in my opinion. The wings look great, with sharp points and great shadowing. The illusion that the bat is going through the skin is very well done and makes it appear that the skin is rising under the bat. Unusually for me, I like the way the combination of black and reddish or purple color complement one another here and create a better design.
AkaiMiko on January 31, 2012:
I personally love bats for environmental reasons. They fly around at night all the time in the suburbs where I live. They get the worst rap, but they are adorable and, you're right, very cool critters.