Owl tattoos can be a popular choice of tattoo design. The popularity of the Owl is easy to explain. With their large eyes, Owl’s have a very distinctive appearance. The forward-facing eyes and prominent ears of many owls also give them an appearance closer to our own than that of other birds. Also, for many people, Owls epitomize wisdom and experience. Owls are very clever hunters and of a solitary nature. They are also winged creatures, possessing much grace – Owls possess the innate ability to fly silently. Owl’s hunt only at night, so perhaps this nocturnal nature also appeals to some. They can also have quite spiritual significance and are featured prominently in the legends of many cultures.
From an artistic view, Owl tattoos can be visually striking, highly detailed, and colorful. They give a talented tattoo artist a chance to show his skill. Owl tattoo designs can also be any size, making it possible to place an Owl tattoo on any part or body area. It is also possible to combine an Owl tattoo design with other styles. An Owl tattoo rendered in a tribal style could look very striking.
- 1 Meanings of Owl Tattoos
- 2 Types of Owl Tattoos
- 3 Placements for Owl Tattoos
- 4 Celebrities with Owl Tattoos
- 5 History of Owl Tattoos
- 6 More Owl Tattoos and Ideas
Meanings of Owl Tattoos
An Owl tattoo can have many different meanings depending on what the wearer wants to portray. In the past, owls have been associated with both wisdom and bad omens. Owls are now endangered and quite rare, which could also be a theme.
Types of Owl Tattoos
Traditional Owl Tattoos
The owl is most often associated as a symbol of wisdom. A traditional owl tattoo design could be worn to express a love of learning or willingness to learn new things.
Barn Owl Tattoo
Perhaps one of the most easily recognizable owls is the barn owl, which can be an excellent choice for a tattoo design.
Cute Owl Tattoo
Many women or girls choose a cute owl tattoo design.
Flying Owl Tattoo
Owls do fly, and you can use this in a flying owl tattoo design. This design looks great on the chest or upper back.
Old School Owl Tattoos
Owls lend themselves well to the old school style. An old school owl tattoo design would have a black outline and quite bold colors.
Owl Tattoos for Men
Placements for Owl Tattoos
Owl tattoos can be extremely versatile. Owl tattoo designs lend themselves to pretty much any size, large or small. Therefore, it is possible to have an Owl tattoo design on pretty much any part of the body. A talented tattoo artist should have little trouble drawing a striking design to fit any place on your body you choose.
A detailed Owl design can also look pretty cool over quite a large surface. For instance, a highly detailed Owl tattoo design can look simply amazing, covering quite a large area upon a person’s back.
It is also possible to combine an Owl tattoo with other elements and designs. If you are thinking about getting an Owl tattoo, you will find many beautiful examples of Owl body art, Owl tattoo pictures, and Owl tattoo images to inspire your tattoo ideas.
Other great places to put Owl Tattoos would be:
Celebrities with Owl Tattoos
Rapper Drake has an owl tattoo on his back.
History of Owl Tattoos
People in the west usually associate owls with wisdom. It goes back to ancient Greece, where the owl was the symbol of the city-state of Athens and the cities patron Goddess Athena. Athens was renowned throughout Greece as a great center of culture and learning. It is easy to see why Athens choose owl as their symbol. Owls are clever hunters and a remarkable feat of evolution. Their abnormally large eyes are well adapted so that they can see well in the dark. An owl can turn its head 270 degrees without moving its body. They also have incredibly acute hearing. It’s pretty easy to see why the Athenians were so impressed.
The owl was not always so well regarded in the rest of Europe. The owl’s solitary nature, often an eerie hoot, and nocturnal habits gave the bird an unworldly appearance, which led to many other cultures seeing the owl as a bird of ill omen. The Romans thought of it as a funereal bird. The hoot of an owl was thought to be a death-howl foretelling death. One owl caused a great deal of trouble when it strayed into Rome’s capital, triggering a long period of sacrifice and purification.
Interestingly, the French borrowed from both sets of earlier beliefs. In France, they have both eared and earless species of owl. Eared owls are seen as symbols of wisdom, while the earless ones were thought to be bad luck. The image of the owl as a bird of bad omen was not only confined to Europe. In Arab mythology, owls could be bad omens. There are still people in Africa today who believe that if you hear the hoot of an owl, someone will die soon.
In the Americas, both the Aztecs and Maya considered the owl to be a symbol of death and destruction. The Aztec God of Death was often depicted accompanied by owls. Many Native American tribes believed owls to be the messengers and harbingers of dark powers. The Cherokee believed that if an owl flew over you in broad daylight, someone close to you would die very soon. Many owl species have become endangered in modern times, making them something quite rare and precious.