Many consider tattoos as a form of self-expression. Others get one to improve their looks. Perhaps one of the tattoos that cater more to the latter are spine tattoos. While some of these tattoos have deeper meanings, many tend to get it because of its ability to improve someone’s look.
While the back area is usually covered with clothing, it’s one of those tattoos that a little sneak peek makes a huge difference. It can be pretty sexy so both men and women can have one.
Spine Tattoos and Pain
If you want to get a spine tattoo, one of the things you might be asking is whether it is painful. The truth is getting a tattoo, no matter where it is, is painful. However, some places are much more painful than other places.
Basically, you can feel less pain on places with more fat and skin. That being said, places with no or less fat, taut skin, and bony areas will be the most painful spaces. Since the spine is pretty much on the latter’s category, you can expect great pain.
When your design also has more shading and coloring, you’d definitely feel even more pain. The line work can be irritating, but the shading can cause stinging and burning pain seeing as the tattoo gun goes back and forth on the same places.
If you are someone who isn’t really a big fan of pain, try other places first. You can get accustomed to the pain first before you try other more painful areas.
Most Popular Spine Tattoo Designs
Even though spine tattoos are painful, they are extremely popular. There are some tattoo styles and designs that are the most sought after.
Quotes are perhaps on the top of the list for spine tattoos. This is the perfect spine tattoo design given its length. These quotes are tatted along the spine. Quotes can tell what kind of person you are; witty quotes are often made by funny people; inspiring people also have inspiring quotes; sultry people often have those naughty lines.
You can get quotes from books and from movies. Some choose their motto and mantra. Some create their own quotes while some choose infamous words from famous people.
Another popular design is the spine. Yes, some people decide to get a tattoo of a spinal cord on their spine. It’s either in 3D or they add another element such as wings. This can be a great design for all who love bad-ass tattoos. But it can also mean something depending on the wearer.
For some, a spinal cord tattoo could represent inner strength. They are able to stand strong even with the challenges they face.
One more sought after design are mandalas. They often create a mandala on the base of the neck and then an arrow or geometric pattern going down the spine. These spine tattoos could either be just halfway down or all the way through.
Mandalas represent wholeness, balance, perfection, and eternity.
Spine Tattoos Ideas
Spine tattoos aren’t normally exposed but thinking of a design that could really surprise anyone who sees it is the goal. As much as possible, you’d want to try and get a more unique design. That is why we have a some designs that can inspire yours.
Monochrome spines – Monochrome spines are basically a much simpler backbone design. It doesn’t have much detail except for the little gaps between each spine and its shape.
Name tattoos – You can put the names of the people close to your heart and makes you strong. They could be your parents and grandparents, kids, significant other, or your best friends.
Celestial bodies – This is such an amazing design that perfectly fits astrology lovers. You can make a tattoo of the solar system from Mercury to Pluto. Some also have the phases of the moon tatted on them, from new moon to full moon. The stages of a solar eclipse is another perfect design for those who love these natural phenomenons.
Wanderlust – If you love to travel, an arrow and a compass is a perfect design for you. The arrow can go along your spine and the compass could be anywhere you want. These elements are also meaningful. Arrows are often a symbol of movement, a perfect symbol for travelers. On the other hand, a compass represents guidance.
Book lover – Book lovers could either have a tattoo of their favorite line from their favorite book or get a tattoo of a stacks of book. You can even include the titles of your favorite books or some references that will point to them.
Geometric patterns and shapes – You can never get wrong with geometric patterns and shapes. You can create your own unique style and something that resembles a tribal tattoo. You can even do some crop circles which is a great design for believers. Apart from that, you can be as unique as you want to with your design.
Quotes and Fonts
Quotes are pretty much the best design for spine tattoos given its length. It’s a common design for women given it’s delicate look.
When it comes to choosing a quote, you should stick with the line or lines that gives you inspiration or best speak about you.
If you are a Christian and you have strong Christian faith, quotes from the Bible are perfect. Followers of other religion such as Islams could also get a quote from the Quran.
When it comes to the font, scripts are the common choices. It can make for a delicate and sensual look, which is a best suit for the placement. Nonetheless, you have to choose one that can be legible. Since you are inking lines along your spine, it would likely be smaller in font.
Some also choose Arabic, Sanskrit, Japanese, and other languages for their quote spine tattoos.
Of course, you also have to be extra careful with your grammar and your spelling. You wouldn’t want to regret having a beautiful tattoo but filled with mistakes.
More and more tattoo enthusiasts are getting tattoos of Chinese characters. Each character has a different translation and most people get Chinese characters for love, peace, power, strength, and more. Some even have their names translated. This is also a great spine tattoo design.
However, you have to be extra careful with these characters. Some have been reported to get these characters only to know that they didn’t translate to what they were supposed to. On wrong line could make a difference with Chinese characters. Small and unintentional mistakes can transform your Chinese character to a translation of other words – maybe chicken, dumb, fool, umbrella or any other.
If you want a Chinese character tattoo, you have to do research. Make sure that the character is indeed a translation of the word or phrase you want. You also have to find a tattoo artist that knows how to do these properly.
Meaningful Tattoo Designs
Apart from the most common designs that have grown popular over the years, here are some more meaningful tattoo designs.
- Flower tattoos – Flowers can have varying meaning depending on the type of flower you have inked on you. Most common is the rose which is a symbol of love and passion. Sunflowers are also gaining popularity these days. This means joviality and happiness. Lotus have varying meanings but a general meaning is purity and resilience. Lilies are beautiful and delicate and is a wonderful symbol for humility and devotion.
- Butterflies spine tattoos – Butterflies are also among the top tattoo design for women. This can also be a great element for spine tattoos with various butterflies along your spine. Generally, butterflies mean transformation and faith.
- Birds – Birds, especially flying ones, are one of the most inspirational tattoos. They mean freedom. Both men and women can get this tattoo.
- Feathers – These are simple designs that could stand alone or could go with another element. Nonetheless, you can have one feather along your spine and it would look absolutely delicate. This is also another design that have various meaning, depending on which bird it was from. But its general meaning is truth, courage, bravery, and freedom.
Different tattoo elements can have a different meaning based on the wearer. These meanings can be different from its general meaning.
Most spine tattoos are carefully made to look stunning and delicate. The watercolor style could simply enhance that. With its soft strokes and pastel colors, it is hard to go wrong with a watercolor tattoo.
However, you really should find a good tattoo artist who has experience dealing with watercolor style tattoos.
Designs could also vary. You can just have a drop-like watercolor that drips down your spine. Or you can also use it as a coloring method or a small background. This can work on solar systems and flowers.
3D Spine Tattoos
The 3D or realistic technique is a modern tattoo style. It is all the rage now and is perhaps one of the hardest and grueling design styles. Doing this tattoo can take a while since artists have to work slowly on the tattoo to build up the illusion of being 3 dimensional.
Along with having it on your spine, this style can be really painful since it requires hard shading and highlighting. The details of these design should also be on point as it has to look as real as possible.
Some good designs include a realistic looking spine. This can be quite creepy but a bad-ass design as well. But one popular design for this style is known as the biomechanical design. For this design, gears and or electrical parts are seemingly hiding under the skin. The 3D style comes in handy for the part where the skin is pulled apart revealing the gears and mechanical workings.
As with the watercolor design, you have to find an artist that can pull this off. Just as with any other artist, some people are much better on certain styles than others.
Popular Culture and Tattoos
Popular culture has had a huge influence on the tattoo industry, especially among younger tattoo enthusiasts. They often take inspiration from books, movies, and even songs.
That being said, here are some tattoos inspired by 3 young adult franchises:
- Harry Potter – This is perhaps the most popular franchise for the past two decades. If you are a Potterhead, you can definitely get a tattoo of a wand on your spine. The spell “Expecto patronum” can also be a good quote tattoo as this is used against dementors – the franchise’s very own representation of depression.
- Divergent – This franchise may not have been as big as other young adult franchises. However, some big fans can get a tattoo of all the factions in the series: Abnegation, Erudite, Candor, Amity, and Dauntless.
- Hunger Games – This has been a pretty big franchise especially when the movie adaptations came out. For a fan, you can get a tattoo of the Mockingjay pins that are also featured on the book covers.
You can also gain inspiration from songs and get an ink of some song lyrics.
Other People and your Tattoo
The only thing with spine tattoos is that you can almost forget that you have one. Its placement is somewhere where you won’t see it everyday unless you choose to look at it. That being said, is your tattoo for you or for other people?
What this mean is whether your tattoo is designed to seen by you or by others. In most cases, it is the latter. So if you might have some problems with regards to where your tattoo should face, it is better to have them placed according to other people.
Preparing to Get a Spine Tattoo
Perhaps the best thing to do to prepare for a spine tattoo is to rest well. Your body needs to heal when getting a tattoo. Plus you would likely be in discomfort for the whole duration of the process. You need to have at least a good night sleep and mentally prepare yourself for the ride.