Elephant Tattoo History
After their journey, a lot of Captain James Cook’s men – Notably the sailors and even the ordinary seamen, returned to their homes sporting tattoos. This was actually a tradition that eventually became associated with seafarers, especially in the public eye and the press during that period. And during the process, these seafarers re-introduced the concept of tattoos and tattooing in Europe, which spread rapidly in seaports from across the globe.
And during the turn of the 19th century, tattooing had become widespread across Britain, but were still closely associated with sailors, along with thugs and criminals. But the concept of tattooing was now also being practiced by amateurs, including public school students. And when the 1870s arrived, tattooing had become very fashionable and trendy among many people, even the members of the upper class. Even members of the royal family wore tattoos. In its most upmarket form, a tattoo can be expensive, long, and also a very painful process.
The idea of tattooing eventually spread across the upper class all across Europe, especially during the 19th century. However, it became massively successful in parts of Britain, where it was estimated that at least one out of five members of the royal gentry bore tattoos. These people took their lead from the British court, in which King George V followed King Edward VII’s lead in getting a tattoo. Meanwhile, Frederick IX, the King of Denmark, Kaiser Wilhelm II, the King of Romania, King Alexander of Yugoslavia and even Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II all wore tattoos on their bodies. Plenty of these tattoo designs were comprised of ornate and spectacular renditions of their own family crests or coat of arms. During the modern era, Spain’s King Alfonso XII also wore a tattoo on his body.
The main perception that tattoos were only deemed acceptable by a certain class has always been a very popular media theme in Britain since plenty of journalists since then have described the practice of getting tattoos as something that is completely fashionable and no longer meant to be used only by a certain class. A good example of this cliché are mostly found in every decade of the 1800s. But despite showing a whole mountain of evidence, there has been a myth which shows that even though both the upper and lower classes were drawn to the idea of tattooing some parts of the middle class did outright reject the whole concept.
In 1969, the House of Lords started debating a bill which would prohibit the use of tattoos to minors, especially since it had grown popular with the youth in recent years but was often associated with crime. It was also observed that over forty percent of juvenile delinquents sported tattoos on their bodies, and that leaving marks on their skin sort of encouraged a sense of self-identification with a criminal group. But two people who opposed the bill, namely the Marquess of Aberdeen and Lord Teynham, did mention that they themselves have acquired tattoos from young folk without any side effects.
Types Of Small Elephant Tattoos
- Cute cartoon elephant tattoo – This is a common tattoo design mostly meant for female wearers. As its name implies, it is a cute cartoon elephant tattoo. It’s an adorable design that is meant to represent youth, innocence and curiosity. The design is often a great reminder of the wearer’s happy memories. Disney’s Dumbo is one of the popular subjects of a cartoon elephant tattoo.
- Tribal elephant tattoo – The best kind of tribal patterns came from Native American, Polynesian, and Haida traditional designs. However, these amazing elephant tattoo designs actually originated from a whole host of cultures from across the globe. The true meaning of each pattern sadly got lost over time, but as a whole, a tribal elephant tattoo symbolized a link towards nature itself.
- Elephant with some quotations – Yet another common tattoo design idea. This is an elephant tattoo that you see in most people’s bodies. As its name suggests, it is comprised of an elephant paired up with some quotations which are meant to be significant for the wearer themselves. You can pick some of your favorite quotes or sayings to match the tattoo, or just about anything that holds significance in your life, such as an anniversary date, a birthday, and so much more.
- Pink elephant tattoo – This is an elephant tattoo that is very popular amongst tattoo enthusiasts. Females in particular really like this tattoo design, since pink is a traditionally feminine color and feature. It is believed that this particular design came from the idiom ‘pink elephant’, which was a term used by novelist Jack London back in the 1900s. A ‘pink elephant’ meant that the person was seeing hallucinations after a hard drinking binge. One more known association with this tattoo design is Dumbo the elephant, who, after drinking a combination of water with champagne, started seeing a parade of pink elephants. It is said that those who acquire this tattoo design are social butterflies and party animals who like to have a good time.
- Small size artistic elephant drawings on wrists – Another feminine elephant tattoo design. It symbolizes a fierce trait, especially involving single parents. One of the great things about this tattoo design is that you can draw it in various color combinations, depending on the color of your skin. For instance, if you’re tanned or have a dark skin tone, bright colors like red will be utilized to make the tattoo stand out even more.
- Chain of elephant images – A group of elephants linked together in a tattoo looks nice on your body. This design deals with several images of elephants who are connected to each other. With this tattoo design, the elephants give the impression like they are creating a singular line – So this means you need to get this placed on a certain big body part. The arms, the back, and the legs are suitable for this design.
Meaning Of Elephant Tattoos
Elephant tattoos could represent a lot of things, like most tattoo designs. In general, an elephant tattoo represents good luck and prosperity. However, thanks to its role in nature, it also symbolizes strength, power, longevity, and dignity. Apart from the ones mentioned, the elephant is also known to represent spirituality, intelligence, honor, and patience. And because of all of these meanings, an elephant tattoo became more known thanks to its portrayal of ancestral lines and family ties.
An elephant is highly protective of their herd, as well as their own young. This serves as a symbolism to those who acquire elephant tattoos to place importance of family above everything else. An elephant is willing to die to protect their family. And in case you’re willing to share the same protective instinct for your own family, then this tattoo design might just be the right one for you.
Elephants can also represent a person’s own social intelligence. A female elephant is often considered to be the leader of a huge herd. They like to maintain the connection and strength of the group itself. This also means that a person who wears the elephant tattoo is prepared and knows what to do in a situation like this. It also means that they don’t have any issues whatsoever regarding keeping their emotions in check and are also not afraid to show off any empathy.
In religions like Buddhism, the white elephant is an important symbol. An elephant tattoo design can also mean that the wearer has the ability to choose wise decisions that can benefit them in the long run. Wisdom is oftentimes associated with being decisive. Those who wear elephant tattoos means that they have chosen to represent their ability to make the best decisions, even in the toughest situations.
Elephant Tattoo Placement Ideas
After you have picked your tattoo design, you now have to choose where to place it. Whether you want to cover it up easily during a visit to some conservative relatives or create a signature part of your own beauty identity, one of the great things about this is that your body will be able to give you a pretty comprehensive canvas for both plans.
However, always make sure to pick a spot where you can easily see that tattoo of yours for faster maintenance and aftercare methods – Unless you can get somebody else to do that task for you.
Here are some nice places for you to put in that small elephant tattoo of yours.
A small elephant tattoo below the shoulder is a place which can look very nice if you wear a lot of off-shoulder and strappy cuts but can easily cover everything up with some sleeves. A tattoo on the side of the ribs is quite hard to hide away, but still so pretty and delicate to look at.
And what about the fingertips? Placing a tiny tattoo on your fingers is a nice idea, but fingertip tattoos are only limited to certain designs. It’s still a cute tattoo to look at, though. Ribcages are a great option if you’re not fond of showing off that tattoo design of yours. Another nice yet discreet spot to hide a tattoo is on the ankles.
Something more daring like a spine tattoo would be great on the wearer’s upper back. A spine tattoo is longer, thinner, and looks wonderful on the spine, hence the name.
A tattoo can be a huge commitment. Considering which design to put on the body permanently is just the start – After you have found which design goes well with your concept, you now have to decide on the placement. The placement of a tattoo really does matter, especially when worn on a living and growing thing such as human skin. When you want to pick a placement, think about certain things here like aesthetics, how much you want to show or hide away the tattoo, and the amount of pain you can tolerate.
A good idea is to imagine splitting your body into several small canvasses, so you can get an idea about you’re your tattoo is going to look like. Think about how your body looks like, then divide them into several segments. These segments are divided into several joints by the body. For example, the top part of your leg going down to your thigh is one canvas. Consider each canvas of the body in turn for positioning of the tattoo.
When you divide your body into several parts, you can figure out which kind of designs work the best for every spot. You’re going to have to find the best small and big places on the body where the tattoo can go.
Elephant Tattoo Preparation Tips
Be sure to come alone on the day of your appointment. Even though there are loads of shops out there that allow you to bring in a significant other, a friend or a family member to the session and share that big moment, it’s not exactly advised to bring in somebody who isn’t there to get tattooed. Sometimes these onlookers will get bored and might distract the artist while they do their job. In case you really have to bring in someone, please inform them if they have to stay inside a designated area unless the artist themselves invites them into the room to join you.
Little children and babies are not allowed inside the shop, since they can distract the artist, you, and other clients – Not to mention they can end up destroying equipment.
Put on the right clothing when you arrive for your appointment. Dress appropriately and as comfortably as possible. Ready yourself for a lengthy session ahead. Do not wear tight clothes or anything else that can constrict your movement. Pay close attention to where you will be tattooed and check to see if the clothes that you wear will make the area very accessible.
Bring in any item that’ll help you relax while the session is happening. It can be a blanket, a pillow, a gadget, or anything. This is important especially if you have plans of lying down for a while as you get tattooed. It is said that getting a tattoo can be boring but exciting at the same time. Bring in some non-intrusive forms of entertainment which isn’t going to interrupt your artist. This is an excellent way for you to pass the time and serve as a distraction from the pain. In fact, you are more than welcome to bring in some excellent equipment such as tablets or MP3 players. Portable movie players, television sets or iPods are great, but anything else that requires movement – Such as handheld video game consoles – Are not allowed. Leave those things at home.
Once you come in to get that tattoo done, just relax and let the artist finish their job. Never hold any other schedules right after the session is over. And if you happen to be in a hurry, this will build up a sense of urgency on the artist’s part, which could affect the final outcome of the tattoo.
Do not use any form of numbing or topical creams or ointments on the spot that’s gonna be tattooed on the day of the appointment. And even though some artists will allow you to drink pain-relieving medicine while the session goes on, never take any illegal prescription pills or drink alcohol to numb the pain. This can result in a whole number of complications, and even go as far as to jeopardize the quality and safety of the tattoo.
Are Elephant Tattoos Painful?
Keep in mind that the more relaxed you feel, the easier will the experience be. If you want, you can talk to tattoo experts or those who have gotten it done more than a couple of times. You can also chat with the staff at your local tattoo parlor regarding their own experience in getting a tattoo. A lot of them will be more than willing to guide you through the basics.
Each person’s tolerance for pain is a bit different. Even though a tattoo can be downright uncomfortable for a lot of people, this is a piece of cake compared to other painful life experiences like getting a kidney stone removed, or even childbirth for the ladies. Tattooed individuals you can talk to should pretty much confirm this fact.
It helps to learn where exactly a tattoo hurts the most. A decent amount of pain for your tattoo can be greatly affected by the spot on the body where you plan on getting it. In case you’re looking to fully minimize the pain you’ll feel, you might want to move the placement to somewhere else less painful. Even though every person’s body is different in general, places with plenty of muscle – Such as the legs, the arms, the upper pecs, and areas with a lot of natural fat in them (the hips, the butt, etc.) will hurt the least amount.
Sensitive areas like the underarms, the chest, and the face, or hard areas near the bones such as the scalp, the collarbones, the face, the feet and hands will hurt the most. It’s also advisable to learn which type of tattoos will hurt. Yes, all tattoos will have a different level of pain when you put them on the body – Proving that not all of them were created equally. The level of pain coming from your own tattooing experience will also be affected by the design, believe it or not. It also involves the things that you plan on putting into your own body. Even though there are a few exceptions, such as:
- A tiny tattoo and a tattoo with a simple design (like a quote tattoo) won’t be painful compared to a large chest piece. Meanwhile, a huge, colorful and detailed design will surely hurt twice as much.
- A gray ink or black ink tattoo won’t be that painful either. It’ll also take less time to finish up compared to a multi-colored tattoo.
- An area filled with loads of solid colors will also hurt more than a simple black-and-white one, since these will require the artist to pass the needle through the same spot a bunch of times.
- Arrange for somebody to tag along with you. Going through a tattoo experience doesn’t exactly mean that you have to do it by yourself. If possible, try bringing a friend or a close family member with you for support – Or basically someone whose company you enjoy. Bringing someone who cares a lot for you will make the whole tattooing experience twice as easy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Small Elephant Tattoos
- Should I drink before the appointment to calm my nerves?
- Absolutely not. This isn’t advisable for many, many real reasons, apart from the fact that giving a tattoo to an inebriated person is difficult to do. A professional tattoo artist has the right to refuse to give you a tattoo if you exhibit drunken behavior during your appointment. The main reason for this is that alcohol can thin your blood, and this will cause excessive bleeding while you’re getting the tattoo done. Not only will this be difficult for the artist to do, but it also has the effect of washing out the tattoo’s ink as it is injected into your skin. This makes the entire tattooing process twice as long, and can show off a poor result in the end. Alcohol can have an effect on your body for several days, so it’s not exactly the best idea to get one done after a long night of drinking, even if you haven’t had alcohol on the day of the appointment itself.
- What can I do if I’m not happy with my tattoo?
- Unfortunately, there aren’t too many options available here. Depending on the design of your tattoo, it’s very much possible that it can be included and can make the tattoo fit to your standards. Or you can take a closer look at several tattoo removal methods: They are a bit expensive, but the results will still look better than what they used to be. However, the main objective here is to make sure that you’re getting the design that you want before the tattooing process actually begins. This is the reason why your tattoo artist will apply an inked stencil on top of your skin before the tattooing begins: You’ll be able to see what your tattoo looks like beforehand and fix the positioning in case you really have to. The artist will use the stencil’s lines as a sort of guide.
- Is it easy for my tattoo to get infected?
- Infection only becomes easy if your artist doesn’t use brand new or sterilized equipment, as well as the correct techniques for tattooing, or if you don’t even bother following aftercare instructions as your tattoo heals up. For instance, leave the bandage on top of your tattoo until your artist tells you to take it off – Usually after five hours. Once the bandage has been removed, you can wash the area using lukewarm water and a mild antibacterial liquid soap. Use your fingertips to wash it instead of a tissue or a washcloth, since this can cause irritation and can even rub off the ink from your tattoo. Then lightly pat your skin dry using a clean paper towel. Let the skin air dry for up to ten minutes, then rub in a thin layer of antibacterial ointment (as suggested by your artist). Repeat the drying, washing, then rubbing in the ointment on the same area for up to three to four times a day. After this, lotion will do as a moisturizer.
The Cost Of A Small Elephant Tattoo
The price of your small elephant tattoo will vary according to the design as well as its size. Of course, a bigger and more detailed tattoo design will be twice as expensive compared to a simpler and smaller design – There’s a good reason for that. And to give you an idea here, a relatively simply tattoo design, which includes tiny tattoos (the size of a dime or a penny) already cost an average of $70 or $80. But the prices will vary though, so the only thing you have to do is to ask your tattoo artist. Bring in your design – Or you can describe it to the artist, just be as specific as possible. A lot of tattoo shops out there will be able to give you a price right then and there.
And in regards to tattooing, you will get whatever it is you paid for. Don’t expect a professional artist’s work to come at a cheap price. And if this is the way to go, then you might end up spending just a few more bucks further down the line, especially when you have to pay for a huge cover-up tattoo or a laser tattoo removal.
Small Elephant Tattoo Maintenance Tips
How fast your tattoo will heal up all depends on the size, and the intricacy of the design. A larger design will stay red and swollen for a longer while and create more trauma on the skin. Right after the appointment, you will be arriving home with a bandage on top of the new tattoo. And after a couple of hours, you can now take it off. This means you have to ask your artist for any kind of specifics on how long you should be waiting before taking off the tattoo.
After the bandage has been ripped out, you might notice a type of fluid coming out of the tattoo. this is actually a combination of pus, blood, plasma, and some extra ink or pigment. Don’t fret when you see this – It’s completely normal. And not only that, your skin will also look a bit sore and reddish from the process.
Using clean hands, gently wash the tattoo using warm water and a mild non-scented antibacterial soap. Place on a thin amount of petroleum ointment, then rinse the bandage off so your tattoo can heal up.
From the second to the third day, your tattoo will begin to take on a cloudy and seemingly dull appearance. This can occur as your skin heals up, and the scabs will start to form.
Wash your new ink at least twice a day and rub on a fragrance-free and alcohol-free moisturizer. Each time you clean up, you might still see some ink seeping out and running down the drain. This is even more extra ink that has oozed from your skin. The redness should start fading away by the fourth or sixth day. Some light scabbing can also occur at this point. The aforementioned scabs should not be as thick as the ones you normally get when you accidentally cut yourself, but they’ll still have a raised look. Do not pick on these scabs. Prematurely removing them will cause scarring and can damage the tattoo’s final look. Instead, continue washing up the tattoo with the same lukewarm water and mild liquid soap. Place in some moisturizer.
Once the sixth or fourteenth day arrives, the scabs will already have hardened and will now start falling off by themselves. As mentioned, never pick on them and leave them to flake off. Otherwise, you can you could end up pulling on the ink and leave scars on the tattoo.
By this time, your skin will start getting very itchy. To relieve this, place in some moisturizer a couple of times a day or pat the itch gently to relieve it.
In case your tattoo is still swollen and red, you might want to go and see the doctor – It could be a sign of an infection. During the last stages of healing, a lot of the giant scabs and flakes will already have fallen off. You could still see a bit of dead skin remaining, but this should clear up too. The spot with the tattoo on it could still give off a dry appearance, but dull.