18 Meaningful Tattoos to Inspire Creative and Powerful Self Expression


Meaningful tattoos are a deeply personal method of self-expression.

Tattoos have fascinated us for thousands of years, and often have great significance culturally, spiritually, or individually.

Standing The Test of Time

Personal art is permanent, but meanings and perceptions evolve over time, bringing new significance to your unique creation.

For truly rewarding body art, don’t make your choice lightly.

  • Choose the right area. You wouldn’t hang the Mona Lisa in the laundry room. Display your personal artwork to its best advantage in a way that harmonizes with your lifestyle, culture and personal preferences.

  • Consider your reasons. Are you commemorating a memory or person? Do you want to highlight an attribute, or seek a dazzling design? Your reason will guide your choice.

  • Tattooists can offer guidance. Ask questions and gather information. Discuss designs, meanings, placement and options with the experts.

  • Get inspired. Hunt through magazines and image compilations for your muse.

  • Your tattoo should satisfy one person in particular: you.


Many cultures have a rich history of symbolic meaning.

Symbolic tattoos can alter significance depending on placement, colour, and design, and there are fascinating symbols to suit every taste.

The Elephant

Elephants represent good fortune, loyalty, and strength. A baby elephant indicates innocence, creativity, and curiosity, while an elephant family showcases cherished family ties.

Decide if you want your elephant trunk up, trunk down, small, or large. Perhaps you’d prefer a Hindu or Buddhist elephant? Carefully pick the perfect elephant ink for you - after all, elephants never forget.

The Star

Star tattoos are deceptively simple and very appealing.

They’re associated with hope, intuition, guidance, ambition, and destiny fulfilled.

The Celtic Tattoo

Celtic artists of ancient times took inspiration from nature. The Celtic knot is a favoured symbol, representing the interlaced connection between two people, but there are many other equally striking Celtic symbols. Whether you’re of Scottish or Irish descent or seeking designs steeped in history and tradition, there are many choices to satisfy singular tastes.

From the Heart

The multifaceted heart is universally recognized as signifying love and devotion.

A heart design can be as simple or extravagant as you choose. It’s a personal, significant illustration of your own romantic, spiritual, religious, or family ideals. The heart speaks of passion, whatever your particular passion might be.

Good Luck and Success

Many designs are associated with good luck, protection, and success.

The Cross

A symbol of great significance to many.

The Christian Cross stands for hope and protection, and shows devotion to a person’s faith.

The Horseshoe

Horseshoes have been considered lucky for hundreds of years. Early Europeans believed the horseshoe iron to be lucky, and even the number of holes in a horseshoe – seven – is considered auspicious.

Angel Wings

Angel wings represent protection, hope, faith, and guidance.

They’re also often associated with spirituality, rebirth, and sometimes reincarnation.

Ladies’ Choice

Men and women often display their body art differently, so it makes sense that they sometimes prefer different designs. Popular female designs include:

The Butterfly

Butterflies symbolize rebirth, growth, and transformation. They are sometimes also associated with young love, new beginnings, and new freedoms.

The Lotus

In the Hindu belief, lotus flowers symbolize beauty, purity, and spiritual awakening.

They also represent faith, peace, and spirituality. The colour of a lotus tattoo can also affect its meaning, so choose wisely.

Many women also favour bird tattoos, symbolizing many different positive traits including joy, healing, and peace, as well as dragonflies, popular symbols of transformation, opportunity, and wisdom.

A Man of Taste

Men too have their own particular favourites, often preferring strong and powerful body art to reflect goals, desires, or traits they wish to manifest.

Animal Magnetism

A variety of animal tattoos represent forces of nature.

The Chinese Dragon implies power, good luck, protection, wisdom, and strength.

The Serpent Ouroboros is an ancient Egyptian symbol for the never-ending cycle of life, death, and renewal.

The Bear represents courage, protection, ferocity, and strength. In Native American lore, it is said to be a guardian.

The Wolf stands for loyalty, curiosity, family, protection, and perseverance.

Couples and the Anchor

Tattoos can be a couple’s activity, with some displaying their devotion on their skin with matching or complimentary art.

The anchor symbolizes stability, strength, faith, and hope, making it an ideal couple’s choice.

Another popular couple’s choice is the Swan. Swans are known to mate for life, making this symbol a show of loyalty, fidelity, and everlasting love.


Once you’ve chosen an ideal design, it’s time to carefully consider placement.

  • Placement affects healing time – a tattoo on a moving area such as your wrist takes longer to heal than other areas.

  • Some areas are more painful to be tattooed than others.

  • Some believe placement affects spiritual energies.

  • Placement can often affect meaning.

Placements Meanings

  • Back tattoos can indicate mystery, and sometimes symbolize something you wish to put behind you.

  • A wedding finger tattoo can replace or be in addition to a wedding ring.

  • Your neck can signify a risk-taking, bold nature.

  • A chest tattoo often donates love and affection.

  • A forearm represents strength and confidence.

  • A thigh tattoo usually has sentimental value.

  • Wrists represent a sensitive nature.

  • Shoulder tattoos signify strength and power.

A Matter of Size

You should carefully consider the size of your tattoo. Large designs can be dynamic and potent, but miniature designs can be subtle, yet compelling.

The Semicolon

A semicolon doesn’t end a sentence: it indicates there’s more to come. Project semicolon is a mental health endeavour which has saved millions of lives. Choosing this tattoo shows support for people experiencing mental illness, and for those who offer healing.

Tattoos can be powerful, compelling, and deeply meaningful, so it is important to search for distinctive, authentic artwork that speaks to you.

Reach out to one of our expert tattooists with any questions you might have about your new tattoo. We can help you every step of the way to make sure you leave with a tattoo that will be compelling, beautiful, and meaningful for many years to come.