The gentle giants of the animal kingdom are becoming more and more popular as a tattoo choice for their powerful symbolism. Plus, as one of the most recognizable animals on Earth, elephants can be adapted to suit many different tattoo art styles. Check out these powerful elephant tattoos to inspire your next inking.
Elephant Tattoo Meaning
Elephant tattoos are not only visually striking, but they are also rich in symbolic value. The majestic animal is often associated with wisdom, prosperity, and luck. It is also a fantastic option for someone who wants to honor their family or wants a piece associated with unity, loyalty, and patience. A matriarch always heads an elephant herd, which could be interpreted as a symbol of female power and strength.
1. Small Elephant Tattoo
While elephants are some of the largest animals on the planet, they look great in a small tattoo. That’s because their appearance is so recognizable. A small elephant tattoo can be placed almost anywhere on your body – from your wrist to your shoulder, back, or ribs – making it a versatile choice.
2. Simple Elephant Tattoo
Elephant tattoos are versatile – they can be as elaborate or as minimilist as you like. If you like a more simple tattoo design, or you prefer black-ink tattoos, an elephant design is a great option. Try a line drawing, silhouette, or cartoon elephant for a simplified take on an elephant inking.
3. Mandala Elephant Tattoo
Both elephants and mandalas have strong spiritual significance in Eastern cultures. In the Hindu religion, the god Ganesha is depicted with the head of an elephant and is associated with new beginnings, success, wisdom, and removing obstacles. Meanwhile, mandalas represent the universe and are used to focus the mind. As a result, a mandala tattoo is an ideal choice for a spiritual person with a love of learning.
4. Elephant Family Tattoo
Elephants are very family-oriented animals, just like humans. They live together with their babies for years, have unbreakable bonds, and even visit the ‘graves’ of family members who have passed away. Because of these qualities, an elephant family tattoo is particularly meaningful. Guys who are devoted to their family should consider this type of elephant inking.
5. Mom and Baby Elephant Tattoo
Mom-and-baby elephant tattoos are not only cute, but they are also meaningful. Every elephant herd is made up of mothers and their babies, so a mom-and-baby elephant tattoo makes perfect sense. It’s an excellent choice for new fathers who want to pay tribute to their partner and child.
6. Elephant Head Tattoo
An elephant head tattoo is one of the most popular versions of an elephant tattoo. The distinctive ears and trunk of an elephant make it instantly recognizable and help your tattoo stand out. Because your artist only needs to focus on one element – the head – you can opt for a more detailed design. Sketch-style, watercolor, or old school all make for unique elephant head tattoos
7. Tribal Elephant Tattoo
In tattoo terms, the tribal tattoo designs use blank ink, curved lines, and patterns to create striking and powerful designs. These designs can be abstract but are often inspired by the natural world. Animals – including elephants – are the perfect design to pair with a tribal-style tattoo because both reflect the human connection to the wild.
8. Elephant Outline Tattoo
One of the most popular forms of elephant tattoos is an outline tattoo design. Minimalist and modern, these tattoos are also very fast to apply as they don’t require shading. Elephant outline tattoos look fantastic, whether large or small, so they suit a variety of placements. You could have the design inked on your back, forearm, or even ankle.
9. Elephant Tattoo with Flowers
Far from being too feminine, meaningful flower tattoos such as the rose tattoo and cherry blossom tattoo have been popular with men for centuries. That is because these flowers not only look fantastic in tattoo form – and are equally striking in black or color ink – but also represent concepts like life, death, and love. To give your elephant tattoo an even deeper meaning, pair it with a bloom like a lotus – which represents spirituality – or almond-flower, which symbolizes new beginnings.
10. Indian Elephant Tattoo
Elephants are greatly respected in Indian culture, and the country is home to thousands of native Asian elephants. Traditionally, kings rode elephants that were brightly decorated with paint, jewels, and fabric. To give your elephant tattoo a unique look, take cues from Indian art by incorporating its decorative patterns and symbols.
11. African Elephant Tattoo
With Africa home to the majority of the world’s elephants, a fantastic tattoo option is to combine African elements with your elephant tattoo. A popular choice is an elephant profile following the shape of the African continent. Alternatively, you could add a savannah background complete with trees, grass, and a sunrise.
12. Watercolor Elephant Tattoo
Watercolor tattoos always attract attention for their vibrancy and eye-catching style. For guys who want all eyes on their elephant inking, a watercolor tattoo is a must. Choose bold hues like turquoise, magenta, yellow, and indigo, and place your tattoo where you can easily show it off – such as your forearm or shoulder.
13. Realistic Elephant Tattoo
Photorealistic tattoos have been growing in popularity recently. For those who want an elephant tattoo that’s as close to real-life as possible, it’s the best option. However, realistic tattoos are more difficult and technical to create than other types of tattoos, so ensure you choose an experienced artist – especially if you want a larger piece. It is also crucial to have a clear reference photo.
14. Geometric Elephant Tattoo
Adding geometric elements to tattoos has been a trend for several years, and its popularity isn’t slowing down. The angular shapes, lines, and symbols add a modern and futuristic touch to any design and look especially striking when paired with animals. There are several different types of geometric tattoos, but all give your inking and fresh and unique twist.
15. Elephant Arm Tattoo
Your arm is a fantastic placement for an elephant tattoo – especially a larger inking that you want to show off. Ask your artist to tailor the design so that it suits the vertical, curved shape of your forearm and won’t look stretched around your muscles. One option is a half-head elephant tattoo. Unique and intriguing, an elephant arm tattoo has an artistic look.
16. Elephant Hand Tattoo
Elephants are a popular choice for hand tattoos because the trunk can easily be extended down a finger. This trunk of the element gives the tattoo a fun life-like effect – and a touch of attitude, if it extends down the middle finger. Hand tattoos look badass and are a great choice for guys who love ink, as they are some of the most painful ones to get.
17. Elephant Thigh Tattoo
An elephant thigh tattoo is an excellent choice for guys who want a larger, more detailed piece that they can easily cover with clothes. The shape of your thigh makes it ideal for both a front-facing elephant head or side profile design. Plus, your thigh is one of the least painful places on your body to be tattooed.
18. Elephant Foot Tattoo
Elephants are associated with success and removing obstacles, so your feet are the ideal placement for an elephant foot tattoo. This inking reminds you to keep putting one foot in front of the other as you walk toward your goals and provides you with a clear path forward. You could also put an elephant family tattoo on your feet, as this symbolizes family being the foundation of your life
19. Elephant Back Tattoo
Because elephants are associated with strength, having an elephant tattoo on your back – where you carry your heaviest burdens – has become a popular back tattoo choice with many men. And when it comes to larger elephant tattoos, your back is an ideal placement. That is because it provides the artist with a wide and smooth canvas to create a stand-out piece with plenty of details. However, bear in mind that you won’t be able to see your tattoo without the aid of mirrors.
20. Elephant Skull Tattoo
One of the most badass options for an elephant tattoo is an elephant skull tattoo. Cool, intimidating, and masculine with its oversized curved tusks, this type of inking also has a mysterious quality. Like other skull tattoos, an elephant skull doesn’t necessarily represent death. Instead, it represents having no fear of mortality.
Elephant Tattoo FAQs
How much is a small elephant tattoo?
When deciding on a tattoo, if you opt for a simple and small design, you should not pay more than around $70 or $80. That said, your chosen studio and tattoo artist can significantly influence the price of your design.
Are elephant tattoos bad luck?
In many cultures, the elephant is a symbol of good luck. As a tattoo, this is often a deep and meaningful choice. That said, your interpretation of what this animal means is really up to you.
What are cool tattoos for guys?
Elephant tattoos are some of the coolest options for men because of the meaning associated with them and because the mighty animal makes an impressive statement, especially when inked in a hyper-realistic way. Other popular choices include the wolf, lion, skull, dragon, and phoenix. Those who want a piece that is close to their heart and unique to them may also consider inking the name of a loved one or times and dates that have impacted their lives.
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