Eye-Catching Tiger Tattoo Designs & Meanings
Looking for some tiger tattoo ideas? In today’s guide, we showcase the best examples of tiger body art that we’ve ever seen.
Tattoo patterns and fashions come and go, but one thing remains constant: there is still common tiger body art.
We will discuss the different concepts behind tiger art in this post, consider some of the best ideas for tiger tattoo design, and find out more about the species itself and its cultural significance.
Tiger tattoo meaning
We all know it looks amazing, so what is the significance of a tiger tattoo?
Behind them, there are just as many significations as there are stripes on an individual tiger.
Throughout human history and across so many cultures, the tiger has become such a strong image that it almost has its own legend in a way.
The tiger’s main symbolic significance lies in the areas of strength, ferocity, courage, and protection.
Tigers, meaning that they are at the top of the food chain, are apex predators. Simply put, tigers eat nothing.
For this reason, they are often described as the ‘kings of the forest’ or ‘kings of the jungle’ and represent power, strength, and superiority.
A tiger’s tattoo may also be a nod to dominance and the notion of being at the top.
Tigers are also seen as symbolic of wisdom and serenity because of their silent power, knowledge of stalking the prey, and apparently ‘thoughtful’ actions.
A big cat tattoo may suggest unassuming strength (being dominant without being arrogant), experience, and the value of considering before acting.
They are unbelievably vicious as tigers strike. This represents their dominance again, but has also also led them to be considered objects of vengeance.
Unfortunately, we’ve almost hunted these creatures to extinction. The only danger to tigers is humans.
Tigers, sold as vanity pieces or superstitious charms, have been hunted by humans for their hair and fangs.
Contrary to what many people say, it is rare for a tiger to be shot only in self-defense by a person: although they are highly aggressive creatures, they typically avoid human settlements and do not prey on humans under normal circumstances.
Tiger tattoos are often often representative of environmental protection campaigns with this in mind.
Tigers are the poster-animals of several organisations and programs for wilderness protection.
A tiger tattoo may be a sign of the love and devotion of the person to the cause of wildlife protection.
Chinese tiger tattoos
In the cultural sense of China, a tiger represents, among other virtues, bravery, strength, security, honor, and happiness.
The tiger is the embodiment of the benevolent ‘yang’ spirit and is connected to fire, summer and the sun.
In Chinese culture, tigers are extremely important. For generations, Chinese people have shared their land with these creatures, contributing to the creation of a variety of tiger stories, legends, and beliefs.
The tiger is a sign of security in China against supernatural dangers such as evil spirits, as well as more pragmatic risks such as fire and robbery.
The species is seen as the guardian of the deceased in some cultures. As such, photos of the organisms exist on graves. To the souls of the departed, this is meant to guarantee calm.
Tigers are often representative of power, in addition to reflecting the conventional virtues of resilience, ferocity, and bravery. The God of Riches is often portrayed perched on a tiger in Asian art.
The tiger is regarded as the king of the beasts in Chinese culture. Interestingly, the Chinese emblem is synonymous with the pattern of stripes that occur on the forehead of a tiger, indicating ‘the king’.
The Five Tigers
Nothing underlines the importance of tigers as strongly as the myth of the five tigers in Chinese society.
These creatures are responsible for preserving equilibrium in the cosmos and maintaining the balance of celestial powers, according to the story.
Each of the five tigers has a season and a set of elements ascribed to it:
- The White Tiger – Fall season, metal elements
- The Black Tiger – Winter season, water elements
- The Blue Tiger – Spring season, earth elements
- The Red Tiger – Summer season, fire elements
- The Yellow Tiger – symbolic of the Sun, ruler of all seasons and elements
When listing ideas for your tiger tattoo, you could take this myth into account and adapt the design to reflect the elements and seasons you’d like to reference.
The significance of the white tiger tattoo is one of the most asked questions on the subject of tiger designs.
This myth offers a partial answer: the king of Fall and metal elements is the Asian White Tiger of myth.
Korean tiger tattoos
Tigers are an inseparable aspect of traditional Korean culture and mythology, so much so that the ‘Nation of Tigers’ was once called Korea.
In Korea, there are so many myths and stories surrounding tigers that it is hard to limit the significance of the species down to a few words. Tigers in Korea, generally speaking, represent dominance, power, and defense.
Tigers have been one of the most popular themes for the arts in Korea over the centuries. From these traditional folk paintings, we can draw inspiration for tattoo work influenced by the Korean tiger.
In particular, the way that the face of the tiger is typically depicted in this style of painting is extremely distinctive, so it is advised to pay attention to this field when designing a design.
Tigers are most frequently portrayed in the company of a magpie in Korean art, so incorporating the bird to the tattoo concept makes it an unmistakable nod to Korean folk rituals.
Her display on the Korean Tiger has been made freely accessible by the National Museum of Korea.
Examples of traditional Korean tiger art can be seen here to inspire your genuine Korean tiger tattoo design.
Popular tiger tattoo designs
Tigers are such flexible icons that there are nearly infinite options for tattoo designs.
Here, we have assembled a list of the most famous designs and types of tiger body art to direct and inspire you.
Traditional tiger tattoos
A black outline filled with mainly strong colors requires the conventional form of tattooing.
There is no coloring, and the goal is not so practical as to suit the traditional, vintage tattoo style.
These tattoos in the traditional style will usually be placed on the shoulder, arm, or back. For women, the thigh is also a common placement.
3D tiger tattoos
The 3D style strives for maximum realism, unlike the conventional tattoos mentioned above.
In order to produce a hyper-realistic image, artists use careful coloring, gentle outlines, and perspective.
Photographs are generally taken as a guide, and the tattoo must be as similar as possible to the image.
Good tattoos are made in both color and black-and-gray choices. The appearance of a tiger, especially the element of the stripes, is so distinctive that the animal can be readily identifiable even in black ink.
It’s crucial to select an artist experienced in this style when choosing to have a 3D tattoo. It is famously difficult to tattoo in 3D, and even minor errors can be enough to distort the perspective and totally skip the desired result.
Find an artist with a broad 3D portfolio, ideally with skills in animal tattooing.
In terms of 3D tattoos, another point to bear in mind is that the size would need to be reasonably big for a tiger. It takes space to establish depth and perspective, particularly for subjects with lots of small details, like the tiger.
The tattoo doesn’t need to take up the whole back, but don’t expect a well-rendered 3D tattoo to fit into a tiny area like your wrist.
Watercolor tiger tattoo
The watercolor style, which is increasingly common among women, attempts to mimic the appearance of a watercolor painting. The entire tattoo can be made in this manner in this format, or black outlines can be inserted for further definition.
There is a definite movement towards semi-abstract designs for watercolor tiger tattoos, using colors that do not naturally exist on a tiger.
The use of abstract colors that mix together brings a supernatural, celestial look to the design, either as a filling for the tiger’s outline or as a backdrop.
This makes the tattoo look even more distinctive and unusual, as well as underlining the design’s personal symbolic meanings.
White tiger tattoo
In connection with the Chinese myth of the Five Tigers and their components, where the white tiger rules over fall and metal elements, we’ve already listed white tigers.
White tigers are not only legendary creatures: they live in nature, or, to be more specific, mainly in captivity, although they are exceedingly rare.
There are Bengal tigers who don’t have orange pigmentation in their fur because of a gene mutation. Their stripes vary from dark brown to almost white in colour, and typically their eyes are blue or amber.
White tigers symbolically represent the exceptional, the rare, and the unusual, regardless of their rarity. Their significance, other than this extra overlay of context, is the same as that of orange tigers.
In a tattoo style, a white tiger may look indistinguishable from a ‘natural’ grayscale tiger. It is important to pay attention to how it is made clear that the tiger in the picture is actually white when creating a white tiger tattoo.
One option is to make a focal point for the tiger’s paws, with only white tigers possessing blue eyes. Another approach entails applying color to certain background objects (realistic or abstract) to provide a comparison to the tiger’s white fur.
Tiger with crown tattoo
You’ll find plenty of illustrations of designs involving a tiger’s head with a crown on it by clicking at our gallery below.
This image is a reference to the definition of the tiger as the ‘jungle king’-the apex predator, reigning over the kingdom of the animals and surviving without fear of attack.
The crown is an apparent token of rank, signifying wealth, legitimacy, and belonging to the top of the hierarchy.
For this style among men, the chest is a typical placement where it makes for an amazing object. For a broad rendition of the tiger, the chest makes.
This part of the body is often related to the ideas of pride and self-expression, so it is symbolically a suitable match.
Tiger back tattoo
The idea of a tiger tattoo automatically brings traditional Japanese full-back tattoos to mind for many individuals. There is a strong explanation for that: this branch of tattooing is a popular topic for tigers.
The tiger will typically be surrounded by other elements when made on the full back in Japanese form. The inclusion of several subjects is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Japanese tattoos. These appear to come from nature, which.
Tigers, such as tigers, lions, and dragons, are also paired with other species or supernatural beings. In Japanese tattoo art, waves are also a common feature, as are flowers and other plants. Normally, the tattoos are done in full color.
However, the tiger back tattoo doesn’t actually have to suit this theme or cover the whole back.
Such styles of attoos (top left or top right back quadrant) put on the shoulder are a common option.
This space is wide enough to allow a 3D image, particularly if the design includes only the head of the animal.
Black tiger tattoos
Consider a tiger picture done in black ink and made mostly of outlines for a more modern feel and a more delicate look.
The lack of shading and filling makes the tattoo a bit less eye-catching, but it also gives it a sleek appearance and makes it easy to blend with other (future or existing) tattoos.
One of the most common placements for contemporary black outline tiger tattoos is the side of the chest (along the ribs). The back and arm are most frequently picked as the position for this model.
One thing is for sure: tiger-inspired tattoo work is here to remain, whether you’re attracted to tiger body art because of their sense of power and dominance, an admiration for the breed, or simply because you love the way they look.
For decades, they have not gone out of fashion, except for millennia, in the case of Japanese body art, and they will not do so anytime soon.
Below, to direct and inspire you when you select your own style, you will find a large gallery of tiger designs. In the comments, do not hesitate to let us know your favorites.