The human eye loves contrast and patterns. Perhaps our knack for recognizing patterns helped us along in our primitive years. Geometric tattoos for guys and girls excite this ancient instinct of ours, mesmerizing us with abstract patterns. Like electronic music, geometric art takes the pleasure of art back to its very basics—a love of rhythm and repetition. Of course, despite their looks, geometric tattoos take a lot of work to design. The different locations of the body pose the risk of cutting off the design, so artists need to work with those limitations in mind. Today, let’s talk about the ins and outs of geometric tattoos as we check out a whole gallery of them!
Geometric Tattoos Meaning
As I just mentioned, geometric tattoos incite an ancient instinct to recognize patterns. However, our love of geometric tattoos goes past a primal attraction. Geometry’s association with math, science, and technology makes geometric tattoos seem modern. At the same time, lovers of classic science also look into geometry, especially where astronomical tattoos are concerned. General art lovers look at geometric tattoos as a way of distinguishing themselves as an artist. Above all, geometric tattoos contain personal symbolism that translates well into a design. Because of this huge variety of meanings, ask about a geometric tattoo before assuming what it means!
Geometric Tattoo Design
Of course, the ease of execution makes geometric tattoo designs highly appealing to artists and clients alike. The sharp and crisp edges leave little to skill—anyone who knows how to draw a straight line will know how to ink a spectacular geometric tattoo! Designing them, on the other hand, takes a bit of work.
Negative space plays a huge role in the appearance of geometric tattoos, so only someone with a deep understanding of the elements of art can create a spectacular design. To use negative space, design a tattoo with an emphasis on ‘white’ space. When your artist inks, that white space simply represents parts where your skin shines through. ‘White’ lines and shapes create sharp divisions in a tattoo, despite containing no ink whatsoever. A simple way of completing a geometric design is to reduce a 3D object into flat planes, rather than curved surfaces. Divide sections of your subject into triangles or diamonds to create the appearance of a 3D mesh.
Of course, simple shapes only cover part of the geometric tattoo scene. Tribal tattoos and simple shape tattoos also fit into the category, and they carry meaning of their own. In particular, the scale patterns of Polynesian tattoos represent different kinds of fish. Each fish means something different—ranging from strength to prosperity and even to fertility. Circular shapes within the larger geometric design represent tiki ears or eyes, protecting the wearer from harm. Lastly, geometric symbols such as the Chakra symbols make spectacular tattoos because of their cool geometry.
Geometric Tattoos Animals
As far as subjects for your tattoo, geometric wolf tattoos always go over well! While transcribing elements of nature—such as animals—into geometric designs, you connect their raw meaning with one of modern significance. In the example of a wolf, the loyalty combines with intelligence and the tattoo’s subject seems to transcend knowledge as we know it. At the same time, combining a regular animal tattoo with a geometric design shows that nature follows simple rules of nature, akin to mathematics—although, of course, still quite mysterious!
Unlike typical geometric tattoos, some artists choose to color in the 3D ‘mesh’ to create an abstract portrait of the animal. Oftentimes, they use a watercolor technique to create distinct patches of color. This unique approach to a geometric animal tattoo looks spectacular and ages well!
Geometric Flower Tattoos
By nature, flowers already follow geometric patterns very closely. Nature determines the number of petals, seeds, leaves, and so on—before the bulb even starts to grow! Reducing flowers to even simpler shapes proves simple, and the resulting design still clearly looks like a flower. When pigments look a little too pricey for your tattoo, or you simply want a black and white tattoo over a color tattoo, then incorporating geometry helps your flower tattoo pop. Many Indian tattoo artists use stylized flower petals and geometric shapes in their designs already. The intricacy of a geometric flower simply appeals to the eye!
Geometric Tattoos Sleeve
Need to know how to connect tattoos into a sleeve? Well, geometric tattoos help you along! A design that emerges from a geometric background looks spectacular, and a geometric pattern can be influenced by any kind of shape. Simply put, use the outlines of the original tattoo to determine what kind of geometric pattern to use.
When designing a geometric sleeve, keep in mind that the curve of the arm alters the appearance of the tattoo. This is especially notable in geometric designs, since even straight lines mark the curvature of the tattoo away from the viewer. However, this proves an advantage for most designers, making the tattoo even more mesmerizing than a large surface like the back or chest! To avoid playing with the curves of the arm, simple horizontal bands distort the least.
Optical Illusion Tattoos
Nothing catches the eye faster than an optical illusion tattoo. Usually, optical illusions tie in 3D aspects to create interesting ‘realities’ for the people that wear them. In example, putting a shadow beneath a realistic spider creates the illusion of a spider crawling around on your skin. Seriously, people fall for 3D bug tattoos all the time! Twisting designs that go with the body create an illusion of different body shapes, randing from holes in the body to torn skin with figures underneath.
Lastly, geometric designs with sufficient amounts of black space make the body appear hollow, as if chipping away at the porcelain skin would reveal more nothingness. These alternatives to traditional geometric tattoos certainly start a lot of conversations and bring joy to those who watch or wear them!
Although some artists use the term ‘blackwork’ to describe typical black and white tattoos, actual blackwork tattoos use large swaths of pure black ink in the designs. In fact, the majority of the tattoo usually uses black ink, using huge dark areas to highlight lighter geometric designs in the foreground. Too often, artists and clients alike overlook the beauty of ink. Blackwork tattoos embrace the simple beauty of geometry and permanent change the color of your skin to something unique and beautiful. Much like the markings of a wild animal, blackwork tattoos define your identity and distinguish you from the rest of the pack!
Tattoos for Architects
I can’t write an article about geometric tattoos without mentioning architectural tattoos! Buildings house much of our experience in life, emotions, and pride. An architect might love one of the buildings they designed, or they might admire a feat of craftsmanship made by another designer. As artists themselves, small building tattoos combine their art with the art of another to show their appreciation for both.
Even for non-architects, homes and buildings leave a lasting impression. Tattoo buildings represent something unique for everyone. In example, a tattoo of their home church works great for a church-goer, especially if they grew up attending there. A skyline tattoo shows a beautiful connection between person and place—one that elicits years of memories and admiration spent on the city. Naturally, geometric designs tie right into these geometric feats, and all tattoos for architects incorporate some form of geometry. The beauty and utility of building design and structural feats mirrors the experience and love that artists put into their tattoo work.
Living Geometric Tattoos
Even though they’re inanimate shapes on the surface of your skin, geometric tattoos breathe life. Their stark lines and crisp forms contrast the natural world, to the extent that they represent modern intelligence at its finest. Nonetheless, geometry appears in hidden parts of nature. The spiral of flower seeds and petals, the distance between trees in a forest, and the dance of the sun and planets all obey the laws of mathematics. Their shape and movement form a special kind of geometry. As denizens of this great universe, geometric tattoos represent both our advancement in understanding of nature and our respect for the unknown. Let the patterns paint your way forward and ink that geometric tattoo on!
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