When we talk of tattoo art, we talk of varied designs which tend to use elements which have both eye appealing quality as well as symbolic value. Flowers, butterflies, animals and birds, all come up as popular design elements for tattoo art. In birds, appealing birds like peacocks and parrots make a good choice for designer tattoos and so do the not so appealing ones like crows and ravens. This is why it is common to find crow and raven tattoos on many tattoo enthusiasts around the world. These tattoos are popular amongst both men as well as women and they represent the meanings specifically associated with these mysterious avian friends.
Table of Contents
Symbolic Meanings of Crows and Ravens
Both crows and ravens may not be as beautiful and colorful as some other birds, but they have a fascinating and interesting quality about them, which makes them quite special as a tattoo element. Crows are birds of contrasts, with some cultures like the west regarding them as a bad omen while they are seen in a positive light by nomadic tribes, which revere them as a sign of good fortune. In realistic sense, crows have been considered as harmless birds and beneficial for farmers as they eat insects which can harm the crops. On the other hands, ravens are believed to possess special qualities which help them make their way out of even the biggest problems, and this makes them a creature of great inspiration. They occupy an important place in legends of various cultures, which give them special meanings of their own. Various cultures like Greek, Chinese, Celtic and Roman revere this mysterious bird for its special symbolism. Most significantly, ravens are considered as a link between life and death, while the Native American culture takes it as a symbol of creation. The mythology behind it is that it is believed that the earth has been created by a raven which dropped stones into the sea. It is also said that seeing a raven in dream is a bad omen and impends something bad to happen in the life of the person very soon. Some people believe raven to be a very clever bird and also with the ability to keep secrets. In this way, both crows and ravens have been associated with positive as well as negative meanings and this makes them popular elements for inking tattoos.
Symbolic Meaning of Crow and Raven Tattoos
It is common to see crow and raven tattoos featured in the conventional black and grey colors because these are the basic colors in which these birds exist. On the other hand tattoo artists can use their creativity and experiment with colors to create something innovative and meaningful with such tattoo designs. Crow tattoos are basically linked with mystery and deception, while sometimes they can be used to signify healing, foresight and creation while raven tattoos are associated with intelligence, war, foresight, magic, secrets, prophecy and protection. Though both these birds are considered as bad omen and known to bring misfortune and death, seldom are crow tattoos and raven tattoos linked with the negative meanings while having them inked. After all, the tattoo bearer would like to represent a positive meaning with his tattoo rather than something negative or evil coming for them.
Popular Crow and Raven Tattoo Designs
The basic purpose of having a tattoo inked is to attract attention and to show the attitude of the bearer and the same applies to crow and raven tattoos. While you may not find these birds very attractive in the realistic sense, it depends upon the expertise and creativity of a talented tattoo artist to present a simple bird like crow or raven in the most attractive form. The right design and the right placement can in fact, give a lasting appeal to an element as simplistic as this one. Here are some popular variations in crow and raven tattoos:
- Tribal Tattoos – Ravens and crows, both have held a place of significance in tribal cultures around the world, which makes tribal designs a popular choice for crow and raven tattoos. These birds are seen as symbols of intelligence and wit in various cultures and these special qualities are highlighted by the most amazing tribal designs. You would find use of bold lines and strokes in tribal crow and raven tattoos and most of them are featured in sold black color. Such designs are very appealing to look at and carry a deep spiritual meaning, making them just perfect for those looking for a combination of aesthetics and symbolism.
- Vibrant Tattoos – Though nature has made these birds dark and somber, a creative tattoo artist can work with his creativity and play with a lot of vibrant colors to create an amazing design. While inking the raven or crow in an array of bright colors is one imaginative option, the artist can also picture the bird in flight in bright blue skies or one sitting on a tree with full bloom of colorful flowers.
- Realistic 3d Tattoo – Another option in crow and raven tattoos, which has become a rage in modern tattoo art, is the realistic designs, with a lifelike bird staring out of the skin, as it is going to fly out at any moment. 3D tattoos have become another way of inking realistic crow and raven tattoos.
Some other elements which are included along with crows and ravens to make the design more meaningful are trees, eagles, wolf, flowers, sun and clouds. When you decide to have a crow or raven tattoo inked, it is wise to look for an experienced artist, who can make such a simple design element look very alluring. In fact, tattoo art is the way in which the usually misunderstood reputation of these harmless birds can be cleared by the tattoo bearers and they can be considered rather interesting rather than ominous. They can rather be used to represent one’s wisdom and trickery, to meet the toughest and most challenging foes with the right use of wit and brains.