Flowers are probably the most colorful and vibrant creation in the world. This is why it has become a favorite subject in various arts and crafts. Tattoos are no exception. While many deem flower tattoos as solely women’s choice, many men find that flowers have various meanings that can best represent them. One of these flowers is the sunflower and getting a sunflower tattoo can best represent you as a person.
Among the most common floral tattoos are roses, lilies and the lotus flowers; each with a different meaning. However these days, sunflower tattoos are also gaining popularity. Not only do women get these but also men. But why is getting more popular in the tattoo industry?
We have always been fascinated with the deeper meanings of various objects. That is why symbols are often derived from what we see in real life. Sunflowers are no different.
Sunflowers often grow on warm and sunny areas. But the name is not only because of where it grows, it’s also derived from how it looks like. Sunflowers are known for their bold yellow-colored petals. It also has strong, long and durable stems. Overall, the flower evokes a feeling of warmth and joy. The sun and sunshine is also a common imagery for happiness and since many are reminded of the sun when they see a sunflower, it became a symbol for joviality.
What Does it Say When you Have a Sunflower Tattoo?
A sunflower tattoo would not be the first and only tattoo that can offer an impression about its wearer. Most of the time, a person’s tattoo could tell a lot about them. So, what does it say when you have a sunflower tattoo?
If you have any of the following personalities, a sunflower tattoo is the best choice to represent you:
- Bubbly people who love laughing and spending time with friends.
- Warm and kind people.
- Those who are optimists and often look at the bright side of life.
- Adventurous people who love the great outdoors, especially when it’s sunny outside.
- People who are full of life and often are the life of parties and gatherings.
- Fun-loving and carefree people.
- You love flowers and all “pretty” things.
- People who are full of pride.
History of Sunflowers
For other cultures and people around the world, sunflowers are more than just a symbol of warmth and happiness. The sunflower may have began with the ancient Incas who see the flower as a symbol of the sun God. The flower’s roots could be traced back to ancient Mexico and is believed to reach Europe in the 16th century. Since then, it has grown in popularity and have reached other countries.
Besides being used as a decor, sunflowers also produce food and oil. The sunflower seeds can be eaten and sunflower oil can be extracted. The latter is often used as a cooking ingredient.
Sunflowers as a Symbol in Various Cultures
Apart from ancient Incas, various ancient civilizations and cultures around the world have adopted sunflower as a symbol of their gods. Others have used it as a way to symbolize good luck or a bountiful harvest.
The sunflower is regarded as a symbol of a water nymph called Clytie in Greek civilization. According to Greek mythology, the nymph fell in love with the god Apollo and ultimately lost him. In a state of grief, she turned herself into a sunflower. It is believed that the sunflower always look in the direction of the sun so the nymph could look for the sun chariot and reunite with Apollo.
For the Native Americans, the sunflower is a symbol of harvest and bounty because of its relation with the sun. They also see the sunflower as a symbol of fertility and energy.
In Chinese mythology, the sunflower is related to good luck and long life. The color of the sunflower is also known as the color for happiness, vitality and intelligence.
Christianity also looks at the sunflower as a religious symbol. It is often deemed as representation of their faith in God as well as spiritual love. Another meaning of a sunflower is the unity of mankind in the light of faith.
Sunflower Tattoo Design Ideas
Sunflower tattoos are great for smaller or bigger tattoos. Small tattoos often involve just a single sunflower while bigger tattoos usually include a cluster or a combination of other subjects.
For small tattoos, here are some good ideas you can try:
- Changing the center of the sunflower – Since sunflowers have big centers, many change its design and often use symmetrical and geometric patterns. Others use swirls and dots that make it look like a tribal sunflower. Mandalas are also popular solution for a more creative center.
- Flaming petals – While others change the center, some choose to change the petals to another element. Probably the most popular choice is changing it to flaming petals as it is more closely related to sun and warmth.
- Minimalist – The minimalist approach is another popular tattoo style that is getting more popular these days. It’s pretty much drawing a simple sunflower without any shading and details. It’s a great tattoo design for first-timers or for women who likes delicate designs.
Here are ideas to try if you want an average-size to bigger tattoos:
- A bouquet of flowers – Combining various subjects are pretty common for tattoos. Doing this can easily make your design look more unique. The best combination for your sunflower tattoo is another flower or a bouquet of other floral designs. You can try roses, daisies and daffodils. As mentioned earlier, these flowers have different meanings as well and choosing a flower that also represents you makes the best design.
- Sunflower cluster – Of course, you can just choose to have a cluster of sunflowers tatted on you. These designs can be on the realistic or hyper-realistic styles. You can either have the flowers only or a stem of sunflower with a couple of leaves.
- Adding butterflies or bees – Adding butterflies are also very common for floral designs, particularly with sunflowers. Bees are also a great touch as it can add a whimsical touch to your design.
- Watercolor style – Probably one of the most unique-looking tattoos are the watercolor-style tattoos. These are often done in colorful and pastel-colored ink. It often looks like a drawing made out of watercolors, with splashes of colors and soft strokes.
Sunflower Tattoo Placement and Design Ideas
We have often reiterated that the placement of your tattoo greatly depends on the style you want. But what if you have no idea of the design much less where to place it? Here are some placement ideas and some designs that best fit.
The wrist: This placement is popular for women and teens as well as for first-timers. It’s a rather small place for a tattoo but smaller designs look lovely and delicate on this area. You can choose a minimalist sunflower tattoo to put here. It can either be just the flowers or with its stem.
Inner forearm: Since this area is longer, you can choose a slightly bigger sunflower with a stem. You can do the minimalist approach or a realistic one. Black and white tattoos are also great for this placement. This is likewise the best place to insert quotes.
Inner elbows: This area is just slightly wider than the wrist so the same designs could work here as well. But a unique approach would be two sunflowers with their stems crossing. If you have a smaller arm, a black and white tattoo would look good rather than a full-colored one. You can even choose white ink.
Half-sleeve: Half sleeve tattoos are more common for men. Usually, a design includes a cluster of sunflowers. Others have vine-like stems while others include various elements. For example, sunflowers surrounding a skull that could represent life and death. Or perhaps a grandfather or normal clock with sunflowers. This could represent how short our lives could be. The approach is usually realistic and with colors. But a black and white sleeve also looks amazing.
Back: A big sunflower is the most common design that men and women can get. However, some designs include two sunflowers that reaches the upper back to the lower back. Others choose a sunflower with a long stem and line it on the spinal cord. This offers a more delicate design and is a great choice for women. Men often include a girl’s portrait with the flower.
Chest: Women can get a sunflower tatted from their shoulders to their chest. The usual design is a cluster or sunflowers or bouquet of sunflowers, roses, daisies, lilies and more. Others put the same designs on their left and right shoulders extending to the chest, but never touching the other side.
Sternum: This is a placement that most usually only women choose as it is a delicate place under and in between the breasts. While others choose a simple sunflower right on the center, others tend to get more creative. They usually make the centers as mandalas or create a half sunflower that accents the swell of the breasts. Others choose to decorate it with vine-like stems and tribal styles with swirls and dots. A triangle with a sunflower in the middle is also a common design.
Thighs and legs: Thighs and legs are also popular among women. They often get thigh tattoos that reach to their hips. Although the designs are often a cluster of big sunflowers, it looks delicate and sexy because of the placement. Those who want a sunflower tattoo on their legs could make it look like a field full of flowers. Start from the ankles, the stems could reach below or on the knee, sometimes as high as the thighs. They also include other flowers.
Foot: Foot tattoos are also getting more popular. Usually, the designs are delicate and swirly, just like with designs you can put on your hand. However, a sunflower and butterfly combo is becoming a more common sunflower tattoo design.
Designing your Sunflower Tattoo
Designing your sunflower tattoo could be a little overwhelming. But the trick is to make a design that you really want. You can make it as simple as a single sunflower or a cluster. However, you can make it as unique as you can.
Others tend to add elements that do not usually go with a sunflower-for example, a skull of a woman with a sunflower growing from one of its eye sockets. The design is grotesque but uniquely and hauntingly beautiful when done right. It could also denote life and death; as life is one of sunflowers representation and the skull is commonly linked to death.
You can get your creative juices running to make a unique and yet inspiring tattoo that best represents your life or what you believe in. What you have to do is research which elements have certain meanings and what they represent.
You can also talk to your tattoo artist for the design. Communication is the key in order to create the tattoo you have long wanted.
Will it Hurt?
Unfortunately, getting a tattoo will definitely hurt. It does not matter where you are going to have it, you will definitely feel pain. The only thing is, one place could hurt much more or much less than the other. That is why first timers should carefully choose their first tattoo.
The wrist and ankle is a popular choice for first-timers but know that the pain level can range from uncomfortable to stinging. The places where you could feel more relaxed are the forearms, sleeves and legs.
The aftercare is probably the most important step. You can risk the final look of your tattoo as well as your health. By all means, do not pick on the scabs and flakes and never scrub it with a towel, especially a rough and coarse one.
Use mild and fragrant and alcohol-free soaps and lotions when cleaning and moisturizing your tattoo. Most of all, never sunbathe or stay under the sun or staying on the water for too long. Allow at least 2 to 3 weeks to even a few months to let it fully heal.