7 Creative Tattoo Ideas For The Already-Inked

As a proud owner of six tattoos, I'd consider myself a fairly well-inked person. But when it comes to getting new tats, I feel like creative tattoo ideas are hard to come by; at least ones that I'd actually want for myself. I'm a bit of an impulsive tattoo-getter, and often those impromptu tattoos are the ones that I love the most. For instance, three months after my ex broke up with me, I got roses on my arm just to change myself from the person I was when I was with him. The roses might not be the most original tattoo design, but they're one of the designs that means the most to me.

Of course, seeing as these designs are going to be on your skin for life, being so blasé with your decisions might not be for everyone. However, that doesn't mean that you have to spend years agonizing over getting something completely original and unique to you. Tattoos are over 5,000 years old, after all, so no matter what you come up with, you're likely never going to be the first to get it.

That being said, you can still appreciate creativity in its many forms. Just because someone else has something similar etched onto their skin doesn't make your design any less creative. Here are seven creative ink ideas for someone who already has a bunch of tats.

1. Traditional Tattoos

By getting a tattoo that's traditional in ink culture, you're showing that you understand and appreciate the history of the art. These designs can often be adapted to suit your own style, while staying true to the art of tattooing.

2. Something Personal

When thinking of tattoo ideas, most people want something that means something special to them. This often means a design that symbolizes an idea, rather than the literal thing itself. By getting a bit more specific and original — your pets, for example, or a family member's handwriting — the tattoo is going to be completely personal to you. This little cat is a drawing that my grandma used to put on letters to me when I was a kid. It was my first tattoo and the one that means the most.

3. A Quote

A design built around your favorite quote, lyric, or phrase can be a gateway into a new tattoo design. Even just getting the quote on its own can make for a beautiful tattoo. This half of my tattoo — the full piece reads "muscles better nerves more" — is taken from an E.E. Cumming's poem that turned me into a lover of poetry and represents my completely hopeless romantic life view.

4. A Little Filler

If you just want a tattoo for the sake of getting a tattoo (it is addictive, so I feel you) you might want to consider filling up the space between your original tattoos instead of starting on a new, big project. You can get completely creative and silly with these little pieces, as they're there to fill up space rather than possess some deep emotional meaning.

5. Something Silly

Creativity doesn't solely come in serious forms, so just getting something a little bit silly can fulfill all your creative tattoo needs. Think of your favorite food, favorite lipstick, favorite anything, because you can definitely get a cute tattoo to represent your love of it.

6. A Hand Tattoo

Sometimes the creative aspect of a tattoo isn't just about the design, but the placement. Creative tattoo placements can go from your hands to your feet to your face.

7. Pop Culture Related

Thinking up your own creative ideas can get tiring, so it's perfectly fine to borrow from somebody else. My best friend has a Lisa Simpson tattoo and it's a conversation starter for almost every person she meets. By putting something from pop culture on your body, you can show just how cultured you are and make instant connections with humans who love the same stuff as you.

Tattooing is a totally personal, creative process. My idea of creativity and my views on tattooing in general might completely differ to the next person, but that's part of what makes this such a fun and interesting art form.

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