Of all the different types of tattoos you can get, flower tattoo designs are pretty common. From being incorporated by many tattoo artists into larger designs or tattoo frames to the tattoos that focus solely on flowers, seeing florals on an inked person is standard, from my experiences. The flower design — particularly the rose — is part of traditional tattoo artistry. In tattoo culture, different flowers can mean different things, but as tattoos become more popular, most people seem to be assigning their own meanings to their floral designs.
I currently have seven flowers tattooed on my body — two large, lilac, and baby blue roses in their own design, and five smaller roses as part of a larger forearm tattoo of a magpie. I never really thought of myself as a particularly floral person, but I've learned that a lot of inspiration and strength can come from these designs.
These floral tattoo designs range from the traditional to the experimental, but every one of them is absolutely beautiful in its own right. Each tattoo might have a deep, personal meaning to the owner, or they could just be there because they look pretty. Either way, these flower tattoos prove that inked flowers can be just as gorgeous as real life ones.
1. The Cherry Blossom
I love the almost watercolor effect used on this cherry blossom tattoo, as well as the choice of cherry blossom itself. The flowers are truly beautiful, even though they might not be the first to come to mind when thinking about possible floral choices. I also adore how this person's freckles look both in and next to their ink.
2. The Hand Tattoo
I often hear people express that hand tattoos are a rather masculine choice, but the use of a flower definitely helps detract from the stigma that often surrounds this kind of ink.
3. The Cartoon
What I love about this tattoo is that it's so much more than just a flower tattoo. This Beauty And The Beast design is an instantly recognizable part of pop culture with a deep, Disney moral attached to it.
4. The Traditional
As a keen appreciator of tattoo culture and artistry, I believe the original, old school way of tattooing roses can be just as pretty as a dainty watercolor piece.
5. The Cover Up
I can't even begin to believe that this tattoo isn't just an amazing piece of art, but rather a cover up of an older tattoo that's lost its original effect or meaning. Although tattoo removal might be getting easier, a cover up is a much more traditional way to reinvent a tattoo you might not like anymore. When the result is as pretty as this, it's a much better option IMO.
6. The Hand Drawn
This deceptively simple and stunning lavender tattoo was hand drawn — meaning that it was drawn straight onto the skin, rather than stenciled out beforehand and then placed on. A hand drawn piece often affords more freedom and fluidity, leading to gorgeous pieces.
7. A Darker Tone
I love this piece because it steps away from the light, bright, and pastel tones often associated with flower tattoos. The depth of the red is absolutely beautiful.
8. The Experimental
This is the kind of tattoo that you could stare at for hours, as the artist has taken the traditional rose and added their own artistic flair. The delicate watercolor against the strict lines of the rose outline works wonderfully.
9. The Lily
After the rose, I think the lily is one of the most well-known flowers. From Lily Potter to their Victorian association with death to being my mom's favorite flower, lilies have been a part of popular culture and imagery for a long time. And who can blame us for our fascination? They're beautiful, and beautifully depicted here too.
10. The Cutie
How sweet is this silly little daisy design? I love its little face, which works perfectly for covering scar tissue better than a complicated piece might.
11. The Feminine
These elegant, delicate designs are a hallmark of Seoul-based parlor Sol Tattoo, and the removal of black from its pieces makes the floral designs seem more like paintings than tats. I also adore the placement of this one!
12. The Lilac
I feel like capturing the complexity of lilac in a tattoo is potentially very hard, but it's executed perfectly in this piece. It's not too complicated, but expertly depicts the lilac flower so that it's instantly recognizable. This kind of simplicity is equally as pretty as the other less traditional flower tattoos on this list.
13. The Reclamation
This breast cancer survivor has opted for a breast tattoo over reconstruction. I especially love this flower tattoo since it even incorporates the breast cancer ribbon.
14. The Simple
Sometimes the simplest of designs make the biggest statement and this barely-there, all line work tattoo is one of the prettiest yet.
15. The Proud Statement
The daffodil is the national flower of Wales. Personally, I think getting the national flower of your home country is a subtle but beautiful way of celebrating your heritage. I also didn't think I'd ever see a daffodil's beauty translate into a pretty tattoo, but this piece totally proves me wrong.
Just by their nature, flower tattoos are kind of guaranteed to be pretty. That's sort of the entire point of flowers, right? I love these pieces in particular because they project their own personal kinds of prettiness, despite being starkly different from one another.
Want more tattoo tips? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more inspo!
Image: Micael Faccio/Flickr