155 Best Owl Tattoo Designs This Year

Owl Tattoo History

Owls link up with so many civilizations for centuries, no matter which part of the globe you go to. This bird has played vital roles in Egyptian, Hinduism, and Celtic folklore and myths. These cultures have long held the belief that the owl purpose was to protect the spirits of the dead, guiding them towards heaven or hell as the owl had the ability to talk to these spirits. Romans believed that an owl resting on top of a tall public building meant that an important figure has died, leading to its name ‘the angel of death’. Served as  a guardian that carries the souls of the dead towards the underworld, its still carries that belief up to date.

According to Native Americans culture, the owl is  also a life animal, or a spirit animal. They believe the owl came into existence on earth from a place and time where humans have little or no understanding of. This is pretty much the same concept as hypnosis, a method that is believed to open up portals that only a deeper part of our minds and consciousness could understand. The main goal is to give out all sorts of messages to people. A couple of the messages that owls communicate to  humans are messages of deep thought, wisdom, patience, observation, truth, and empathy.

In regards to the topic of wisdom, the meaning of an owl tattoo narrows to knowledge. There are plenty of historical links connecting owls to knowledge. Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, symbol is a book and an owl. The ancient Greeks often saw the owl as an important strategist when it comes to maneuvering and finding prey in the dark.

And thanks to their unique look, some people had the idea that owls are actually alien birds sent from a distant planet. A popular legend when it comes to this bird was that owls evolve  from a race of extraterrestrial species that reside in the Noctua system, sent to earth by their masters to take a closer look at humans.

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Types Of Owl Tattoo Designs

  • Open winged owl tattoo – If you ever feel like talking to others the opposite of death and discuss life instead, then you may want to go for this tattoo design, which depicts an owl with its wings open. Plenty of people select to get this tattoo as their own little way of showing others about their interest in spiritualism. An owl tattoo that symbolizes spirits and life will often carry bright shades of color with them.
  • Totem owl tattoo – Ancient owls stories associates it with different cultures. Back in the day, the tattoo was referred to as ‘the angel of death’, since a lot of myths and legends would often tell stories about owls’ ability to talk to the dead. And because of this, a lot of cultures had this belief that the owl was a type of guardian and our only connection between the living and the afterlife. Totem owls  feature on protective bracelets and charms. And not only that, they looked really nice as well, thus making them a popular design overall.
  • Celtic owl tattoo – In European folklore, the owl was a symbol of  mixed blessing. It was depicted as a bringer of wisdom and knowledge, but, like the Romans, saw it as a bringer of bad luck and doom. Celts have seen these wise birds as a guardian for departed souls – And it is often believed that if you saw an owl, or even heard its cries, it was pretty much the same as receiving an invitation from death itself. Owls were believed to guard hell and the underworld, making sure that anyone who stepped inside this realm were protected from the universe’s evil forces. A Celtic-style owl takes on this kind of concept, and it represents your admiration and respect for these birds.
  • Snowy owl tattoo – In Native American and pagan rituals, the white snowy owl is a representation of self-awareness and having a much higher form of consciousness. This particular breed of owl legacy was  protecting their eggs and chicks against predators. They are a strong representation of motherhood in the bird kingdom, and this is the reason why people will get a tattoo of these birds.
  • Barn owl tattoo – If you want to tell everyone that you are a mysterious and secretive human being, then you may want to go for a tattoo of a barn owl. When the image of a barn owl comes to mind, you rarely see them and will often try to find them. But interestingly enough, you can actually feel these barn owls watching you and waiting for you to find them.
  • Peeking out owl tattoo – This owl tattoo can be seen quietly peeking out from the dark shadows of the skull that he’s sitting on top of. The skull seems like one of his prized treasures.
  • Owl and feather tattoo – In most Native American myths, a bird’s feather was known to carry its spirit, and this can help whoever holds the feather to travel to the afterlife once they pass away. And as a tattoo design, owl feathers symbolize both guidance and spirituality, traveling along the correct path towards heaven.
  • Colorful owl tattoo – This is an owl tattoo with bright splashes of color. The owl is a symbol of wisdom. And since the dominant color of this tattoo is purple, it means that the owl in this particular tattoo is filled with knowledge, and also represents royalty.

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Owl Tattoo Meaning

The owl is one of the best tattoo choices you can make. An owl tattoo isn’t technically mainstream, but they’re still quite popular. And not only that, the owl tattoo also carries plenty of symbolism. Most owl tattoos are carry detail meanings and are colorful. They’re so detailed, in fact, that most of them only feature the owl itself, but could also contain a handful of other elements and symbols, or even other birds.

Whenever you take a closer look at an owl, you will know all about the animal’s meaning and symbolism even at a first glance. Owls salient feature is having large eyes and excellent hunting skills. An owl’s eyes are capable of  seeing in low light, even at a far distance. Despite their large size, owls can also hunt quietly, not making even just the slightest noise when they’re flying in the air.

Soft feathers covers owls’ bodies, which provides them with a type of acoustic stealth, and lets them quietly sneak up and attack their prey. And not only that, owls also carry a quiet and mysterious vibe to them, probably because they’re nocturnal birds and don’t show up much during the day. And like plenty of other regal bird species like eagles, an owl represents freedom, along with excellent vision because they can still see plenty of things in a pitch-black environment.

Your artist can create so many designs using an owl as an inspiration. An owl tattoo design looks amazing in black ink or vibrant colors, no matter if it’s a cartoon owl, a minimalistic owl drawing, or something that carries much detail. You can get a large depiction of an owl sitting on top of a branch or flying with its wings stretched out, or when they’re perched and keeping them close to their body. You can pair an owl tattoo  with other symbols including flowers, clocks, keys, or anything that looks good with it.

Since owl tattoos in general contain a very symbolic and rich history, not to mention they always look beautiful no matter what the design may be, it’s not really surprising why they are so popular. And as mentioned earlier, both women and men can sport owl tattoos on their bodies. If you prefer a cute owl tattoo, go for a cartoon one. And if you like something that’s on the serious side, go for a design that’s more realistic.

Most tattoo artists are more creative nowadays, bringing their owl designs in so many directions. Sometimes you will see them with jeweled eyes, or holding a lantern or torch in their beak. The owl is often synonymous with time, so you’ll often see owl tattoos accompanied by hourglasses or clocks.


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Owl Tattoo Placement Suggestions

The placement of your tattoo is very important since it can both make or break the entire design. After you select the owl tattoo of your dreams, the next step would be to determine which area it looks the best on your own body. For certain people out there, owl tattoos may be a fitting idea, especially when the design involves them perched on the wearer’s shoulder, as if they are protecting and guarding the wearer itself. Other people may prefer to place the owl tattoo on their backs or at the back of their nape, which they can hide by day and show off during the night – Similar to a real owl’s lifestyle.

An owl tattoo can look great no matter what size it may be. So it’s still very much possible to get an owl tattoo ink on all parts of the body. A great tattoo artist will have it easy drawing a gorgeous and detailed design that you can place anywhere on your body. A very detailed owl tattoo design also looks great over a huge surface. For example, a tattoo design look particularly great when it covers a wide area on top of a person’s back.

If you have thought about getting an owl tattoo, take a look through several nature books or photographs so you can get inspiration for your dream tattoo. Then the next step here would be to meet up with your artist and make sure that the two of you approve the final design before they can finally start drawing it on your body. This is a genius way to get a tattoo, and it befits the concept of an owl tattoo as well.


Owl Tattoo Preparation Tips

Make sure to double-check the exact date and time of your appointment after booking. Perhaps one of the worst things you can do here is to miss out or forget about the tattoo session. Not only will you not be able to get your dream tattoo, but your artist will not get any pay either, since they won’t have any other clients to work on during the time that you were to come to their shop.

Remember the date and time of your appointment. If you can, write everything down on a calendar or a planner, or even set an alarm for it.

Do plenty of research. Be sure that you really know whatever it is you want for a tattoo design, especially if you are having it permanently. Come up with as many little details as you possibly could, regarding what you want the final design to look like, so that you will get what you were after.

Of course, it also helps to provide your artist with as many details as you possibly can. This is necessary so that they can finish your tattoo and make them to your exact specifications. Give them any reference photos if you have them, and tell them where you want to put the tattoo on your body, as well as how big or small you want it to be.

Giving all of the necessary info to your artist regarding the overall look of your tattoo will make sure that they have enough time to prepare themselves and work on a draft, which will hopefully meet your standards as well.


Are Owl Tattoos Painful?

Yes. That is because tattoo guns have to insert their ink into the top layer of your skin and get it deep enough, so it won’t get washed away when you take a shower. But at the same time, it shouldn’t be too deep so everyone will still be able to see it. The perfect location will end up with the tattoo sitting right next to your own skin’s pain receptors. And since plenty of professional tattoo artists will finish the task using modern tools that push the needle right inside the skin from eighty times to 150 times per second, it’s quite easy to see how a tattoo can get a nasty reputation.

Tattoo pain is similar  to a cat scratch, or a mild burning sensation. But the real factor here as to how much a tattoo can be painful all goes down to the place where you intend to put it. This includes any spot that is over the bone, which can be very painful.


Frequently Asked Questions About Owl Tattoos

  • Do tattoos hurt?
  • The simple answer? Yes, tattoos do hurt. But it’s not really as painful as some might like you to imagine. That’s because after a brief duration, your body’s own set of painkillers ( endorphins) will start to activate, and relieve you of pain. Exactly how long will the endorphins in your body last is depends on the natural limit inside your body, and this allows you to withstand a long or short tattoo session. The average tattoo session lasts for up to three hours. And once this time passes, you’ll run out of endorphins and begin to feel a bit uncomfortable.
  • How long does a tattoo take to complete?
  • Tattooing is never a swift process. And it you should never rush it either, since you will be stuck with the results for the rest of your life. A complex yet average-sized piece of work, which is roughly as big as the back of your hand, will take over two hours to finish up. Meanwhile, a more complex piece takes more than a couple of hours to finish, sometimes lasting for days. A tattoo appointment could last multiple hours, however, some of the tinier pieces may only require thirty minutes or an hour to finish. Meanwhile, a full-sleeve tattoo done by a professional artist could take over fifty hours, depending on how complex everything is.
  • How much does a tattoo cost?
  • In regards to making tattoos, you will definitely get whatever it is you pay for. Never expect a professional artist to ask you for a cheap fee, and if you still insist on paying them just a small amount of cash, then you could end up paying even a bigger amount of money down the line. This is because a bad  tattoo can cause you to go for a tattoo removal, or get a bigger cover-up tattoo instead. Make sure to save up all that cash until you can afford whatever it is you really want. Never settle for anything, just because you can’t wait for the artist to finish the design. This is a choice that will stay with you for a very long time.


How Much Does An Owl Tattoo Cost?

Similar to any other product or service out there, an owl tattoo does cost a lot of money – However, this is just average when it comes to tattoos as a whole. An important thing to think about when you’re planning to get an owl tattoo is familiarizing yourself with exactly what you’re about to get, especially when you’re running on a tight budget.

Depending on whoever draws your tattoo, the popularity and location of the shop of your choice, as well as their experience, where the shop is located and how popular it gets, as well as if they are a professional artist or not, the price can go from 40 bucks to a whopping 200 bucks per hour.

There are also artists out there who will charge their clients according to the design of the tattoo, while the remainder of them will charge their clients according to how much time they spent making that tattoo. In case you do have plans to give them additional cash for your new ink, then you no longer have to follow this advice: Just remember that a customized design is much more expensive in comparison to a plain design, just because of the amount of time it takes for the artist to complete it.

The positioning of your tattoo does play a major part in regards to the price. If your desired placement is in a spot that is difficult for the artist to reach, and you may end up taking frequent breaks thanks to the positioning of the tattoo, then this means you’re going to have to pay additional cash for this.


Owl Tattoo Maintenance Tips

If you keep the bandage on the tattoo longer than the prescribed time, your tattoo can catch an infection, or the ink might end up bleeding out and ruin the look.

Make sure your hands are clean before you take off that bandage. Washing them before you moisturize the tattoo will stop it from getting an infection, especially when you rub unscented lotion on it using your fingers. To take off that bandage easily, add a few drops of lukewarm water to it to stop the bandage from sticking to your skin too much. Then slowly and carefully pull it off, so you won’t end up damaging the new tattoo. Throw the bandage into the garbage.

It’s now time to wash the bandage with lukewarm water and a mild, unscented antibacterial soap. Instead of soaking your new ink in a basin of water or under a running faucet, just cup a hand and gently scoop some lukewarm water on top of the new tattoo. You can utilize an unscented mild antibacterial liquid soap to rub on top of the tattoo lightly using your fingertips. This takes away the leaked ink, as well as the dried up plasma or blood. It can also stop scabs from forming way too early.

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