Going through images of intricate tattoos is like viewing pieces of art in a gallery. It’s so easy to get lost in the incredible designs, especially if they’re larger pieces — like full back tattoos. While big tats may seem super daunting (and look really painful, if I’m being honest), they often end up looking crazy cool, and give the wearer an opportunity to express themselves to others without having to say a word. Of course, the stories behind them are usually fascinating, too.
The plus side of getting a full back tattoo has to be the large amount of space you're working with on which to ink whatever you so desire. Think of your back as a canvas that can collect even your wildest dreams (shout out to Steve-O, who got his entire face tattooed on his back). And, because the skin is generally taut on your back, the ink should hold up even in your older years.
With a full back piece, you can also show off the super cool designs with a backless top or dress. Is there anything edgier than that? Whether you’re opting for flora and fauna, a tribute to someone important to you, meaningful quotes, or simple designs that you love, a full back piece will totally up your badass points. Let’s take a trip down tattoo lane and check out 21 inspiring starting points.
1. Incredible Line Work
You can't deny that this one's mesmerizing.
2. A Full Scene
One that clearly tells a story.
3. Pretty Wings
And a cool sword, too.
I'm obsessed with the stippling on this one.
5. In A Wedding Dress
The ultimate wedding day accessory.
6. Color Galore
Pinks, purples, yellows: You name it, they're all beautiful.
8. Like A Coloring Book
I want to take my colored pencils to this one!
9. Inked Corset
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10. Bold And Bright
I've never seen a tattoo like this before.
And their evolution.
12. Ink Eye Candy
I'm literally floored by this one.
13. Pretty Lace
The symmetry in this one is on point.
14. Cherry Blossoms
'Tis the season, after all.
If you're a lover of romance....
16. Pattern Galore
If you happen to be into more than one pattern.
17. Line Wonderland
Talk about serious line work...
18. The Phoenix
A gorgeous tribute to a breathtaking bird.
These are wonderfully feminine.
With such a big canvas like your back, remember to choose wisely. With the right inspiration, you’ll definitely find an idea that you love.
Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images