Whenever we see angel wings tattoo, we often think about its Catholic roots. It is more popularly known as a way of communing with God since angels are popular heavenly beings. However, this tattoo design is now more than just a symbol of Christian faith. It now has a variety of meanings that is perfect even for non-believers.
There are the usual angel wings tattoo designs such as the monochrome one. However with the birth of more tattoo styles these days, anyone can get a more unique design. It is also usually placed at the back but now, you can choose a different placement especially if you want a smaller ink.
Brief History of Angels
The origins of angels are quite hard to trace back. This is because angels have appeared in more than one culture and belief system. They may have been called different names around the world. However, these heavenly beings are pretty much everywhere.
Nonetheless, if we were to go to its most popular appearance, the Christian belief, angels have been around since the beginning of time. They were God’s soldiers and workers who helped him run heaven. They were also said to have gone down on Earth several times doing God’s bidding.
Angels are said to have powers. Although they may not be as powerful as God, they are able to do a lot of amazing things. They often use these powers to fight evil and demons. However, they have also used their powers to help human beings, so long as it was an instruction from God.
That being said, many believe that angels are just like any other creature with powers and magic: a myth. While Christians and Catholics believe their existence, some see them as a figment of human’s imagination. No matter what their belief is, though, angels have become a great symbol.
Symbolism of Angels and Angel Wings Tattoo
Angels quite literally mean “messenger” and so it is no surprise that one of the most popular meaning for angel wings tattoo is related to that.
People believe that angel wings are a symbol of angels. Even a single feather from their wings is enough to generate power to heal the sick and to purify the surrounding. As tattoos, angels or angel wings are said to create a connection to God. They are known as messengers and having one as your tattoo could mean you are reaching out to the heavens.
Apart from that, angels and angel wings tattoo designs have long been deemed as symbols of protection. As said, angels were known to battle demons. Many believe that having an angel can help protect you from the devil and from anything bad. It also comes from guardian angels which are special angels tasked to guard and guide humans.
But angels and angel wings does not necessarily connect to Christian faith and belief. They can also be a way to give dedication to lost loved ones. There are also beliefs that when a white feather falls in front of you, a dead loved one is trying to reach out to you. These symbols can be added to that person’s name as a way to keep them with you always.
Wings and Freedom
In the tattoo industry, wings are most likely to represent freedom than any other subject or theme. This is probably since birds or anything that flies has the freedom to go wherever they want. Angel wings are no exception. Angel wings tattoos are also known as symbols of freedom.
One very common design of angel wings tattoos is at the ankles, at the back part. This is a great design if you want your body art to signify your freedom. It’s also great if you are a traveler since it could be a symbol of your freedom to travel and go wherever you want.
While most wing tattoo designs that represents freedom are bird wings, you can definitely turn your angel wings into something more generic than specific to religion.
Angels of Death
Angels were not always the white-clad beings with glorious white wings. Sometimes, they are also dressed in black with black wings. That is usually the depiction of Angels of Death. Just like guardian angels, Angels of Death have long existed and are closely link to humans.
Angels of Death, as the name pretty much suggests, are the ones that are said to appear when a human dies. They guide the souls to heaven, hell, or purgatory, depending on how they have lived their lives. Just like with angels, Angels of Death have different names in different cultures. Suffice to say, they are more like Grim Reapers.
Angels of Death are also popular tattoo designs, yet with a more dark undertone. They are often used for Gothic designs. Angel wings tattoo from these Angels are often created with black ink and with harder edges. These normally give off a feeling of fear.
As a design, these angel wings tattoo can be a symbol of fear and acceptance of death.
Angel Wings Tattoo Styles and Designs
Angel wings can be draw alone as your tattoo or you can add it to another subject. Doing the latter usually improves not just its appearance but also its meaning. For example, you can add some angel wings to a pet you have tattooed on you. This could be your way of reminding yourself that they are now in a much better place.
Apart from pets and family members, you can also add angel wings on various other subjects. Probably the most common is a heart. Hearts are known as symbols of love and passion. If you add some angel wings to a heart, it could mean that you love your religion and you have a firm belief in God and angels. Or, it could also mean you are free to love anyone. This would be a great symbol for the LGBTQ community. Adding some rainbow and an equal sign would also strengthen the design and its meaning.
As mentioned earlier, angels are more likely added with a name. Just as with the idea for your lost pet, angel wings tattoos are also a way to remind yourself that someone has traveled to a better place.
Nonetheless, the most popular angel wings tattoo of all time is a simple pair on your back. The idea is that the wings are placed right where a pair should be. A simple pair of angel wings can have a variety of meanings. Therefore, its meaning could depend on the person who wears it.
3D Angel Wings Tattoo Back Designs
If you search for designs relating to angel wings tattoo, you’d likely come across back tattoos. These are big 3D tattoos of wings on the wearer’s back, either folded or spread out. The former takes up half or even the whole back while the latter usually extends to the shoulders or the arms. When the viewer looks at the design, it’s as if the wearer has a pair of angel wings.
Most of the time, this tattoo design is in 3D or created to look real. It can be tough since making 3-dimensional tattoos require mastery of certain techniques in tattooing. If you want to have one, you’d need to find a good tattoo artist with some experience creating 3D tattoo designs.
As for the design itself, you can either choose a simpler version, with just a black and white 3D tattoo. However, some add a few details to make it more unique. Some add drops of blood around the area where the wings started. The blood makes it look like the wings just sprouted.
Another great design is a white angel wing on the left and a black angel wing on the right. This could symbolize your good and bad sides and how you should live with them without biases.
You can even add some other symbol to your tattoo design. If you associate your angel wings tattoo more on Christianity and faith, an anchor or a cross would be a great addition. The anchor is often used to symbolize faith, just like the cross.
Variations of Angel Wings Tattoos
Apart from a pair of angel wings on your back, here are some other designs that can inspire your next ink:
- Flowy angel wings – Most designs have stiff feathers much similar to that of a bird. However, you can make your design more feminine by making it flowy, created with soft feathers. It’s as if the wings are fluttering through the air.
- Minimalist wings – This design is perfect for minimalist lovers and for those who want to get a smaller tattoo. You can have it on your wrist or your ankles. It usually does not have any details or has lighter color palette.
- Side wings – Instead of creating a pair of angel wings, you can just create one wing spread out. You can make it simple or in 3D. You can even add other elements. This is a great choice if you want to have your tattoo on other places such as the hips or the ribs.
- White ink angel wings tattoo – Angel wings are often depicted as white. To make it even more unique and closer to angel wings, you can have it tatted on you with white ink. However, it will not be as visible as with black or colored ink. It may also look more of a scar, especially if your artist does not have much experience with white ink. Still, it is one of the most beautiful and unique designs.
- Luminous wings – If you want your tattoo to look and feel more glorious, you can even use blacklight ink. This is pretty much known as “invisible” ink. It’s more invisible than a white ink. It only turns visible with a blacklight and creates a glow in the dark effect. However, it will turn yellowish or brown in the future.
Angels and Angel Wings Tattoo Designs
Since it is entirely possible to add other elements to angel wings tattoos, why not add an angel itself? The design should focus more on the wings though but you can definitely turn a person into your personal angel.
Angels and angel wings can stand for the person you’ve always treated as your guardian angel. So, why not create a portrait of them and turn them into an angel with a pair of glorious wings? The best place to have this tattoo is on your chest, right above your heart, or the back so you can emphasize on the wings.
Perhaps, you can recreate a famous painting or statue of an angel and focus more on the wings. This is perfect for art lovers. It could show their passion for painting and sculpture.
Finding a Tattoo Artist
While your design matters, you would not be able to have the best angel wings tattoo without a great artist.
There are plenty of tattoo artists and shops around. However, each of them likely have a specialty. For example, one tattoo artist is best known for his portraits while the other is best at realistic and surrealistic styles. The best thing to do is to find a tattoo artist that suits your preferences. If you want to have a 3D angel wings tattoo, then you have to find an expert on 3D tattoos. It is much better if they actually had experience creating wing tattoos.
Ask for their portfolio. Most of the time, they will have a folio filled with their past works. This would help you get an idea of whether they are the perfect choice or you need to find another. And of course, communication is always the key. Talk to them about your design and be open for their suggestions. Sometimes, they will have to say no to various designs and suggestions you might have. If that happens, you can always ask why they are disagreeing. You can also ask them what they could suggest instead. This will likely help you create your next design.