Do you believe that there is a tiger within you? How thick-skinned and brave are you? A lot of people tend to get tiger tattoos since they are so mesmerizing, unique, scary, as well as power-embracing.
Are you someone who tends to seek attention and look playful with your tattoos? If this does apply to you and you’re trying to show everyone that there is a tiger within you since you’re a fierce individual, keep on reading! Here, we will list and explain the top 30 tiger-inspired prints and tattoo ideas.
What Does A Tiger Tattoo Symbolize?
If you end up getting a tiger tattoo you will enjoy its symbolism. Here are some of the most common links & association to this tattoo:
- Large tiger tattoo will represent your dominant personality.
- A small tiger tattoo will look like a cub, which will symbolize your witty, fast & playful character.
- Tigers in general, according to some spiritual meanings, represent danger, strength, as well as positive spirit.
- In dreams, tigers can symbolize your courage, ambition, justice & integrity.
10 Colorful Tiger Tattoos
1. Tiger Tattoo Designs Colorful Orange Idea
If you’re a fan of bright and loud colors this tiger is the one for you. Make sure that you have hours to place this design over your body.
Orange is a color of fire and passion. If your personality is a feisty one you can easily show it with this tattoo.
Did you know that tigers are the largest among wild cats?
2. Japanese Tiger Tattoo Over Leg
Japanese art usually looks a lot like this. Do you gravitate toward cute and colorful ideas? This thigh image will suit guys and girls!
The bold and powerful color combo represents a warrior that is inside of you. You probably know how to fight off bad evil and inappropriate vibes, wouldn’t you agree?
3. Realistic Tiger Tattoo On Hand
Only some tattoo artists are capable of doing realistic art. If you’re a fan of real-like life art and you’re trying to get an accurate representation of a tiger, consider this unique piece.
Realistic tiger tattoos will tell that you’re a strong-minded and brave individual who never gets tired of showing your true face, intentions, or colors.
Fun fact: tigers can weigh up to kilograms.
4. Tiger Eyes Tattoo Over Back
This giant back tattoo is only for those who are comfortable with its pain level, as well as price point. This large tattoo can cost up to $, so heads up!
A giant piece such as this one and tiger back tattoo is an amazing representation of your persona, as well as the fact that you love and want to seek attention everywhere you go. If you’re trying to rule the world, win in life, or come across as someone who knows what they’re fighting for at all times this is it for you!
5. Tiger Hand Tattoo Fighter Inspired Idea
This tiger fighting image is a bit unusual and quirky. If you’re someone who appreciates the beauty behind funny ideas this design will look amazing over you.
The tattoo shows you and the obstacles that are ahead. If you’re trying to win at every aspect of your life show it with this idea and its power-fighting concept.
6. Tiger Tattoo Chest Design
Do you love large chest tattoos? Are you trying to express your masculine side with it? This print is for those who love to look brave and bold 24/7.
Red and orange show a fiery and powerful persona. If you’re someone who loves the feeling of power you will readily rock this chest idea.
Did you know that tigers can grow up to meteres?!
7. Tiger Tattoo Small Colorful Idea
Small tattoos yet colorful prints are for those who don’t want to look overwhelming with their chosen tattoo. If you’re afraid of the needle yet you crave a pop of color, consider this tattoo.
Wild colors such as these will make you look like a superhero. If you love to party, go out, or meet new people this tattoo will let the world see you for what you truly are.
8. Large Back Traditional Tiger Tattoo
Have you ever had the courage to tattoo your entire body, or perhaps your entire back portion? A lot of people tend to get scared of this process, but how far are you willing to go?
Large tattoos such as this one are for those who know how to invest their time and money in a proper design. It will let the world know that you’re crazy and that you don’t care what others think about you.
9. Tiger Tattoo Sleeve Idea
Do you enjoy sleeve tattoos? If you want something over your entire body or something that can look positive while seeking attention you will love this giant masterpiece.
Loads of different and unique colors will stand for your pure side and positive emotions. This giant yellow tiger will symbolize your wealthy and luxurious side, is this you?
Fun fact: tigers only eat meat.
Chinese Tiger Tattoo With Pop Of Red
This Chinese tiger over the chest or your masculine body will look fierce. This color combo is for anyone who wishes to look outstanding and breathtaking.
Red is a color of passion. If you’re trying to show the world that you’re up for action and you’re energetic this is it.
10 Black & White Tiger Tattoos
1. Tiger Face Tattoo Black Design
This forearm piece is unique and realistic. If you’re someone who knows how to appreciate a good drawing this one will look amazing on you.
It represents power and determination, as well as unique energy. You will come off as someone who is always trying to win every battle and in every situation.
Did you know that tigers only hunt alone and at night?
2. Tiger Tattoo On Thigh Black & White Ink
Women who want a thigh tattoo will enjoy this one. It is a dramatic piece that will look lovely on those who work out and who have feminine legs.
The tattoo symbolizes determination and persistence. If you’re a strong-minded girl this tiger is the one for you.
3. White Tiger Tattoo Idea
This is another thigh tattoo that girls can rock proudly. If you’re proud and satisfied with your physique you will enjoy and gravitate toward this design.
Black ink symbolizes your mysterious side. If you’re someone who is always trying to make a statement and rawr loudly everywhere you go represent it with this tattoo.
Fun fact: Tigers are actually great swimmers!
4. Tiger Face Tattoo Over Back
If you love and live for back tattoos this one will suit you. Make sure that you have hours to spare to get this design.
It resembles your authentic personality and your character. If you strongly believe in high-power and wish to seek justice in life you will enjoy this tattoo.
5. Realistic Tiger Tattoo Over Forearm
This is a realistic tattoo and the best representation of true power. If you live for accurate art and you love realism this tattoo is for you.
Decorate it with flowers and make it into a feminine design. Girls who want to look grandiose will appreciate this beauty.
6. Traditional Tiger Tattoo Over Shoulder
You can place a tattoo over your shoulder and show your respect for this fierce animal. If you’re someone who is always seeking justice and power you can show it all with this tattoo.
The pop of blue color over the eyes will represent your delicate personal touch and your courage.
Did you know that a tigers roar can be heard up to three kilometers away?
7. Tiger Sleeve Tattoo With Pop Of Color On Eyes
You can also go for a pop of yellow with your tiger tattoo. This tattoo is a true masterpiece, so make sure that you have a good tattoo artist in mind.
It symbolizes someone who is the main character in everyone’s life and who has a winner persona!
8. Tiger Tattoo Over Calf With Blue Eyes
Calf tattoos are quite common for men. If you’re someone who loves dramatic tattoos and you’re proud of your legs and physique this one will suit you.
It symbolizes your inner intentions and your power to overcome obstacles at any given time.
9. Large & Bold Shoulder & Sleeve Tiger Tattoo
This giant tattoo is for fans of drama. Make sure that you have hours to fully commit to this design.
Once done, this tattoo will symbolize your full potential and your will to create and keep on going through any hard obstacles in your life.
Fun fact: tigers can reach up to 65 km/h when running at their full speed.
Tiger Tattoo Back Design In Black Ink
Not everyone can rock and enjoy something as big and bold. Do you wish to stand out, and where do you stand in this spectrum?
This tattoo is for guys who have masculine and dramatic back, that’s for sure. This design shows your ups and downs, as well as your ever-changing moods and personality.
10 Small Tiger Tattoos
1. Small Tiger Arm Tattoo
If you’re afraid of the needle and the tattooing process you can get this image. It is cute and playful, wouldn’t you agree?
A moon symbol stands for your shifts and your inner positive energy. We all have our moments, wouldnt you agree?
Did you know that tigers have been around for two million years?!
2. Feminine Back Tiger Tattoo For Women
How about a booty tattoo? If you’re a sexy and sensual girl this is ideal for you.
This sleeping tiger will represent your drained persona who can feel stuck at times. However, you can always push through since you’re as tough as a tiger.
3. Tiger & Bunny Combo Tattoo
If you’re someone who loves cute and playful ink this low-key tattoo will suit you. It is for women who love funny characters.
A tiger and a bunny will represent your childhood and your character that loves to have fun and stay forever young and youthful.
Fun fact: no tiger can have the exact same stripe pattern.
4. Burning Tiger Tattoo
Give a pop of color to your tattoo and make it extraordinary. This one is cute and feisty while not being overpowering.
Red is a color of renewal and new life. If you’re ready for a new journey of any sort, this tattoo will suit you.
5. Tiger Tattoo With Flowers
Small black ink over the forearm is quite practical and common among girls. If you’re someone who loves to look gentle and cute with your artsy designs this is for you.
This tiger stands for purity and new life. If you’re ready to be reborn you can show it with this image.
6. Tiger & Elephant Cartoon Idea
Some people enjoy cartoons and smaller tattoos. If you’re someone who loves a pop of color and you’re trying to enjoy a creative design this duo is for you.
Get a name tattoo underneath your tiger and dedicate it to someone special and important in your life. If you’re trying to stick to something sensual this is for you.
Did you know that tiger cubs are born blind?
7. Tiger Stomach Tattoo
Stomach tattoos are popular among women and those who are trying to look sexy. If you’re up for something cute and fierce you will enjoy this tiger.
This stomach tattoo represents your bravery and your constant trials and errors. Women who are always seeking the truth and are trying to find their selves will appreciate this art.
8. Sleepy Tiger Cub On Leg Tattoo
Leg or small foot tattoos are for minimalist lovers. If you’re up for something small that doesn’t take way too much of your time you will want this idea.
This sleepy tiger represents your persistence and your level of trial and error. You should keep on trying in every aspect of life since trying means succeeding in the end.
9. Artsy Black Tiger Tattoo
This small forearm black tattoo is for those who want something quick and easy. This tattoo will take you less than two hours to achieve, which is great for those who are in a rush.
This black ink symbolizes your mysterious and sexy character. Let everyone see how capable and willing you are to conquer the world.
Fun fact: a tiger will live up to 25 years.
Cute Tiger Forearm Lines Tattoo
This small forearm tattoo of a cub is for those who want something minimalistic and low-key. If you’re trying to look gracious you will want this idea.
A sleepy cub represents your soft personality yet a persistent character. If you are loving and caring you can show it all with this tattoo.
Tiger Tattoo: More FAQs
1. Are Tiger Tattoos Pricey?
Tiger tattoos can truly vary in their price point based on your chosen and preferred tattoo artist. However, the bigger & more colorful the tattoo is the pricier it will be. Larger & colorful tattoos can be around $, while smaller tattoos are around $ If you end up getting a black & white tattoo you can take off (easily) $ off their price.
2. Do These Tattoos Hurt To Get?
Each tattoo is unique in its own way. Usually, the best placement for your tiger tattoo is:
Heads up since neck, stomach, rib, or foot tattoos can be painful. You might experience some mild pain either way. General rule; if there is a lot of extra skin – the tattoo won’t hurt. If there are only bones, get ready for some severe sensitivity.
3. What Is The Best Placement For Your Tiger Tattoo For Men?
Guys will enjoy tiger tattoos that are visible & dramatic, as well as colorful. In your case, stick to thigh, bicep, neck, or calf tattoos.
4. What Is The Best Placement For Your Tiger Tattoo For Women?
Women love the simplicity of black & white tattoos, as well as simple black & white tiger tattoo ideas. You will enjoy placing your tiger over your forearm, lower back, or shoulders.
5. What Are The Different Kinds Of Tigers And Their Symbolism?
The Bengal tiger is a symbol of strength, peace, love, as well as humility.
Siberian tiger is a symbol of willpower, strength, as well as balance (such as Yin & Yang).
A Malayan tiger stands for grandeur and brave intentions.
Baby tigers or cubs symbolize inner awakening, strength, or playfulness.
Where Do You Stand?
In the end, which one print and tattoo choice was your ultimate favorite? Let us know where you stand and if you’re ready to commit to any of these 30 tiger tattoos, we would love to know what and where you tend to get your inspiration from.
Sharing is caring!
75 Traditional Tiger Tattoo Designs For Men Striped Ink Ideas
The tiger is one of the most popular animals in the world, and they have long since been revered by humans for their speed, strength, and grace. Tigers live their lives the ways humans would if they could.
They have no fear, no inhibitions, and no real competition.
Their strength is only equal to their curiosity and passion. It was even commonplace in the past to include certain body parts of Tigers within supposed love potions.
Some rural villages in India have reported attacks by Tigers in which people have actually been eaten. This tends to happen when humans encroach on the territory of a tiger, or if the food supply is blocked enough to force the tigers to move or retaliate. Their tenacity and adaptiveness to the world is astonishing.
These wonderful beasts are typically portrayed as positive forces of power in pop culture. They have a connection to royalty since they are such noble creatures, and they represent dominance and guardianship.
Many Chinese citizens still decorate the graves of their loved ones with images of tigers. They are thought to repel evil spirits and bad luck. Tiger tattoos often represent power, protection, and nobility. They are truly earned by those who wear them.
1. Forearm Traditional Tiger Tattoos
2. Bicep Traditional Tiger Tattoos
3. Arm Traditional Tiger Tattoos
4. Chest Traditional Tiger Tattoos
5. Back Traditional Tiger Tattoos
6. Side Traditional Tiger Tattoos
7. Leg Traditional Tiger Tattoos
8. Calf Traditional Tiger Tattoos
9. Thigh Traditional Tiger Tattoos
Shoulder Traditional Tiger Tattoos
Stomach Traditional Tiger Tattoos
Hand Traditional Tiger Tattoos
Neck Traditional Tiger Tattoos
Head Traditional Tiger Tattoos
Kneecap Traditional Tiger Tattoos
Traditional Tiger Tattoos
More Traditional Tiger Tattoo Ideas
Tiger Tattoo Ideas You Need To Inspire You
The tiger tattoo enjoys a great popularity among tattoo lovers of all walks of life. It is a powerful symbol across Asia, as modern tigers are all descendants of tigers from Asia, but also in many cultures.
As a result, tigers have been a staple element of tattooing in many Asian countries, especially in India, Malaysia, Burma, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and Cambodia. Its ferocity and majestic appearance have given it important symbolic meaning in cultures throughout the continent.
The tiger symbol is associated with power, passion, ferocity and sensuality. In addition to these it represents beauty and speed, cruelty and wrath and its appearance in dream is usually a sign of new power or passion that has awakened within an individual.
Are you looking to get a tiger tattoo for yourself?
Check out our guide on its symbols across continents and cultures, and find over + tiger tattoo ideas for inspiration below.
Every Tattoo Has A Story Tiger Tattoo Symbols and Meanings
Given all modern tigers stem from Asia, of course their cultures have the most rich history in portraying tigers in their folklore, coats of arms, flags, and art.
Tiger is the national animal of many countries, which means its a great way to use it in tattoo designs to portray your Asian heritage.
- the Bengal tiger is the national animal of India,
- the Malayan Tiger is the national animal of Malaysia,
- the Siberian tiger is the national animal of South Korea,
- the Royal Bengal Tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh.
The modern tigers predecessors have come from China, which explains why this animal has such strong cultural roots in their mythology. That said, the tiger is one of the 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals. People born in the year of the tiger are thought to be competitive, self-confident, and brave.
It is believed that the Chinese tiger bears on its forehead the Chinese character wang, meaning the king.
As a spirit animal, the meaning for the tiger is said to be willpower, courage, and personal strength.
Instead of the Westernised werewolf, Asia believes in a weretiger that can change forms from a human being to a fearsome tiger and vice versa.
The Korean culture believes that tigers are guardians that will oust evil spirits and bring good luck. Therefore, they will frequently have pictures or statues of tigers in their homes or even as jewellery.
Tiger In Chinese Mythology
Tiger, as an ancient Chinese animal symbol is an emblem of dignity, ferocity, sternness, courage, and by itself is Yin energy.
Just like the bear, or a wolf, tiger is a symbol of protection, which means its commonly seen on clothing or in the home imagery to keep away any harm.
Tiger is the strongest animal in the Chinese folklore and subsequently the king of all animals, instead of the typical choice the lion king of animals.
Other parts of China see the tiger as the God of Wealth. Consequently, Tsai Shen Yeh, the Chinese God of Wealth is depicted sitting on a tiger. Such an image symbolizes the supremacy of the intangible forces, and our ability to harness the tigers power in our lives.
Chinese animal symbolism of the tiger can be narrowed down to:
Another way the Chinese myths see the tiger is as the protector of the dead, and will often be seen in graves as a mark of protection, assuring peace for those who have passed.
In ancient Chinese myth there are five tigers that hold the balance of cosmic forces in place and prevent chaos from collapsing into the universe.
These five tigers are:
- White Tiger: ruler of the Fall season and governor of the Metal elements
- Black Tiger: ruler of the Winter season and governor of the Water elements
- Blue Tiger: ruler of the Spring season and governor of the Earth elements
- Red Tiger: ruler of the Summer season and governor of the Fire elements
- Yellow Tiger: the supreme ruler of all these tigers and symbolic of the Sun
Tiger In Indian Mythology
Indian mythology is filled with tigers. Many stories have the tiger as the protagonist so the tiger fights dragons, brings rain in time of drought, brings babies to the childless and then keeps those children safe from nightmares, and has the ability to heal.
In a creation story from the northeast state of Nagaland, the mother of the first spirit, the first tiger and the first man emerged from the earth together through a pangolin’s den.
But the godly traits of the tigers continue to this day. Vaghadeva, the tiger god, is honored as guardian of the forest, propitiated with offerings of flowers and incense placed on simple rock shrines.
On the other hand, the Bengal Tiger is paramount in the traditions and culture of India. It associates with the deities Shiva and Durga, and members of the Warli tribe worship Warghia, the lord of the tigers while in the south the god Ayyappan is associated with the cat and the warrior goddess Durga is depicted riding a tigress in the battle.
In Buddhism, the tiger symbolizes anger.
Tiger In Japanese Tattoo Art (Irezumi)
Even though tigers have historically never lived on Japanese soil, the Japanese culture recognizes this animal and its strong symbolism affects all parts of folklore, from pictures, stories and skins, which were brought over by emissaries, monks, traders and soldiers.
As said, the Chinese people were seeing tiger as the king of animals, which of course translated into the Japanese culture to represent strength, courage and long life.
Because the tiger was thought to be especially protective of its young, tiger depictions were used to pray for the health and safety of ones children. For the same reason, the expression TORA NO KO (a tiger cub) came to be used to refer to any highly prized possession. Tigers are also said to be able to ward off bad luck, disease and Demons. In many old prints you will see a tiger fighting demons (Oni) at the side of “Shoki” The demon queller.
The traditional Japanese tattoo “Irezumi” is the decoration of the body with mythical beasts, flowers like cherry blossoms, leafs, and other images from stories, myths and tales. The woodblock print art were the driving force behind introducing irezumi into the tattoo art and notably the “hero’s heavily decorated with Irezumi”. Wearing Irezumi is an “Aspiration” to life’s goals.
Best Tiger Tattoo Placements
Tiger tattoo design, depending if its a small tiger head, or a part of big elaborate Japanese style tattoo scene, can be inked on different body parts.
It is very common to use with leaves and other nature elements for a forearm tattoo, especially a common tattoo choice for men. With other wildlife animals it often builds a tattoo sleeve scene.
Smaller designs fit very well on the biceps, hands, and calves, such as small geometric tattoos.
If you are looking just for the tiger roaring, you can also go for the upper arm, all into the shoulder and chest.
To help you with your research for your next tattoo design, we went on a hunt through Instagram to find the best tiger tattoo ideas.
Take a look below to check them out all:
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Tiger tattoos are popular with all gender identities.
A tiger can’t change its stripes, but you might be able to add some to your sleeve.
Most tiger tattoos are done in the traditional art styles of India, China, and Japan.
This is due to the great amount of symbolism the tiger holds in these countries.
The big cats have been transported elsewhere for the show, but they have their roots in Eastern cultures.
They’ve been immortalized in art, sculpture, and tattoo for years.
Instantly recognizable and universal, tiger tattoos are suitable for any person with any background.
Some animal enthusiasts will choose a less stylized tiger, opting for a tiger portrait tattoo instead.
Across all tattoo styles, tigers are one of the most commonly requested animal tattoos.
Tiger Tattoo Meanings
Tiger tattoos mean several things: strength, fierceness, passion, and free spirit.
These tattoos are often associated with bravery and leadership.
The ferociousness of the tigers stare embodies strength, while its fluid grace reveals an elegant side.
The tiger is known to Asian cultures as being a fierce creature with knowledge and protection.
We will go deep into the history of tiger symbolism to understand what the tiger tattoo means.
The tiger is a free spirit— it’s the king of its domain and has free reign over it.
It is common in tiger tattoos for the tiger to be growling with its mouth wide open and its teeth sharp and deadly.
Here are some common meanings of tiger tattoos:
- Free Spirit
Tigers are symbolically protectors of the dead.
They are kings of the wild and therefore rule over all other animals.
Perhaps this is where their symbolism as protectors began— they are in control.
The tiger tattoo means strength because the tiger is a physically capable animal with enormous strength.
This has translated into strength in the metaphorical sense in tiger tattoos.
Passion means a powerful emotion, such as pain or joy.
Looking at a tigers face, you can see the passion in its eyes and the sheer intensity in its spirit.
The tiger is a free spirit, independent from the needs of higher animals, even humans.
In so many cultures the tiger is a highly important symbol of the element wind.
The wind is free and decides the blow in whichever direction it chooses.
Tiger Tattoo Meanings in Different Cultures
Across the Asian continent, the tiger stands out as an impressive force in literary history.
Its many meanings across Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai cultures represent what the tiger now means to these nations.
It’s important to be aware of this tattoo’s cultural history, which is highlighted as the following:
- Tiger Tattoo Meaning in China
Chinese tiger tattoos have detailed backgrounds and these too are often colorful tattoos.
Chinese culture is the origin of most meanings we have today about the tiger.
For centuries, the tiger was presented with a Han character on its forehead meaning, “king”.
That is because the Chinese believe that the tiger is the king of all animals in its domain.
The tiger became a mythological creature in Chinese culture.
Part of its legend is that after five hundred years the tiger turns to all white.
Also, there was a legend a tiger would present itself if an emperor were moral and just.
In Chinese myth, the tiger controls the element of wind and is known as the Guardian Of The West.
It is also the guardian of the dead and is often etched onto tombstones in China.
As we have discussed, the tiger is part of four Chinese constellations, meaning it is one of the four most important animals to Chinese culture.
- Thai Tiger Tattoo Meaning
Thai tiger tattoos tend to have two tigers facing each other with Thai lettering surrounding the tigers.
They are often symmetrical in form.
Their meaning is protection, stealth, power, and speed.
Emotionally, they represent compassion.
Thai tiger tattoos can even go as far as helping in finances, business negotiations, and protection from natural disasters.
“SakYant” means mantra tattoo in Thailand, and sakyant often include tigers.
The tiger Yant is popular with military personnel and police.
It is also popular amongst businessmen and politicians.
- Japanese Tiger Tattoo Meaning
In Japanese art and Japanese tattoo culture, the tiger tattoo symbolizes strength and courage.
A Japanese tiger tattoo can also provide protection from bad luck and evil spirits.
Tiger Tattoo Designs
If you’ve been researching tiger tattoos for a while, you know there are common themes within the designs.
Each of these themes has its own meaning and may make your tiger tattoo more or less suitable for your personality.
Embracing the full extent of tiger tattoos, additional themes have been weaved into the design.
Focusing on color and symbols, these main themes feed off meaning and give us beautiful visuals as a result.
Browse some dynamic tiger tattoo designs and their meanings below, and you’re sure to find your perfect match.
Wolf & Tiger Tattoos
The idea of a battle royale is popular in the tattoo world.
The design includes different predatory animals going head to head in an epic battle.
Tiger tattoos and wolf tattoos are both bad-asses in their own way, and this tattoo design may just be a swaggering display of power.
It can also be a kind of yin/yang tattoo design, as these two come from two commonly opposed animal groups: feline and canine.
Snake & Tiger Tattoos
With the example above, it’s pack animal versus solitary creature.
In a snake & tiger tattoo design, we have two independent creatures duking it out.
Tiger tattoos and snake tattoos represent male sexuality.
This tattoo may be a symbol of the wearer’s virility and passion.
Because a tiger represents bravery and snake temptation, this can also be symbolic of overcoming toxic habits in your life.
Korean Tiger Tattoos
The white tiger in Korean is called the Baekho and is also referred to as an animal of the west and of autumn.
Korean tiger tattoos are more cartoonish looking than others but also are very interesting tattoos to have.
Korean tiger tattoo symbolism comes from the Dangun myth, where a tiger and a bear compete to become human beings.
The catch is they had to eat only mugwort and garlic in a cave for one hundred days without seeing sunlight.
The bear, following instructions, was eventually turned into a patient woman, while the tiger ran away.
They both became humans and their child, Dangun, founded the first-ever kingdom in the history of Korea.
This tale means that Korean tiger tattoos symbolize Korean heritage and masculinity.
They are also seen as trickster characters, possibly due to their dual nature.
Korean tiger tattoos can represent protection, but also messages from the divine.
Tiger Head Tattoos
As established, the tiger head holds the vital senses needed to protect itself and its family.
Tiger head tattoos often catch the animal mid-motion, roaring or snarling against threats.
The contrast of dark eyes and white teeth, alongside the multi-colored fur, gives gorgeous gradients and dynamics to your tiger tattoo.
A tiger tattoo focused around the head homes in on the meaning of protection.
Roaring Tiger Tattoos
The tiger makes its presence known.
A roaring tiger tattoo is incredibly dynamic and a great choice if you want your ink to turn heads.
Someone with a bold personality may wear this tattoo design, but it could also work well for someone mild-mannered who wants to cultivate a take-charge attitude.
Tiger and Panther Tattoos
Like the tiger, panther tattoos are timeless and well-loved.
Thus, the tiger and panther tattoo signifies two of the most admired creatures, doubling meanings of strength and wisdom.
Dragon and Tiger Tattoos
Dragons are considered wise mythological beings in China.
Therefore, the dragon and tiger tattoo means that cunning strength is not enough— one requires wisdom to move through life even with intense courageousness.
Without wisdom, all of that hard work someone puts into a project is meaningless.
The dragon and tiger tattoo symbolizes the mixture of the two ideas.
Essentially, this tattoo means if you are a hard-working person who is wise in your decision-making, you will be successful.
This tattoo is excellent for businessmen and women.
Tiger and dragon imagery is often seen throughout the home in China for their protective properties and the balance they bring to each other.
An old Chinese proverb states that dragons will conjure clouds while tigers call forth the wind.
Though this is turbulent imagery, rain can be a blessing.
The tiger and dragon team are seen as the ultimate rulers of the skies.
Their opposing nature means together, they bring harmony between opposites.
White Tiger Tattoos
White tiger tattoos may not be as common as the usual colored tiger, but they are no less a tiger.
Resulting from a recessive gene, the white tiger is an anomaly full of pride and strength.
There is a lot of lore that surrounds the white tiger in Japan.
In Japan, it is referred to as Byakko, a celestial tiger that has its home in the western night sky.
It is also an important mythological figure in Taoism.
It represents the direction west on a compass and represents the element metal.
The white tiger tattoo was also worn by samurai as they entered the battle.
Byakko symbolizes the warriors that fought for Japan, and it is also associated with the planet Venus.
The white tiger tattoo, as we’ve discussed, carries with it a lot of Chinese symbolism representing the season of autumn.
However, a white tiger tattoo can also mean that you have wisdom or knowledge.
The color white also denotes the symbolism of a healer or protector, which the tiger certainly is.
The white tiger tattoo is perfect for someone who feels they protect those they love.
What sets the white tiger tattoo from the rest is its vivid example of individuality.
Baby Tiger Tattoos
A tiger cub represents pure potential.
They may look sweet, but they’re going to grow up to be fierce warriors.
Many of the baby tiger tattoos below are commemorative.
Proud parents will often get baby animal tattoos for the birth of a new child.
Alternatively, these tattoo designs may represent someone who feels they’re at the beginning of their journey.
Crawling Tiger Tattoos
Zooming out to capture the whole of the body, a crawling tiger tattoo gives appreciation to the movement of a tiger.
The crawling motion indicates carefulness or steadiness, mixed with sensual undertones.
Full of thought, the crawling tiger holds a knowledge it aims to pursue.
They’re able to move their large bodies almost silently, stalking their prey in awe-inspiring fashion.
The crawling tiger tattoo design may represent a cunning personality, someone who makes all the right moves to get what they want.
Tiger & Butterfly Tattoos
Some tiger tattoos have tigers with butterflies surrounding them, while others have a tigers face inside of the container of a butterfly’s body.
This tattoo means freedom and independence.
Both the butterfly and the tiger are free spirits.
The butterfly flies in the wind, just as the tiger represents the wind.
Tiger and butterfly tattoos together resemble a colorful and unique tattoo that is inspirational of living free.
Samurai Tiger Tattoos
Japanese tattoos can also be associated with the Yakuza or Japanese samurai.
The Japanese samurai got tattoos in an effort to keep their identities.
Because a Samurai’s armor was quite valuable, it was often stolen from their bodies after a battle.
To keep themselves identifiable, the Samurai got tattoos.
This way, if they needed to be buried, their families would be able to do it properly.
Without a traditional burial, a Samurai can not ascend into the afterlife.
Samurai often opted for tiger tattoos and there are a couple of reasons for that.
On the battlefield, the tiger would give them strength and courage for the fight.
If they died in battle, the tiger would protect their spirit in the afterlife.
You may not be a Samurai, but having a Samurai tiger tattoo may give you a burst of confidence in your personal battles.
In this context, a samurai tiger tattoo symbolizes protection and guidance.
Choose an original tattoo design that speaks to you, and let it enhance your identity.
Tigers in Hinduism are often associated with the goddess Durga, who embodies the quintessential divine feminine archetype.
Durga tattoo designs are depicting the goddess riding either a lion or a tiger.
In this context, the tiger tattoo symbolizes power beyond limits.
This is a power used to protect all that is pure and virtuous and conquer evil.
Durga is a maternal figure, but she is also a goddess of war.
Tiger Tattoo Styles
Many tiger tattoos are done in a traditional Japanese or American old-school style.
But why not switch it up a little?
Tigers don’t belong to one sacred tradition, so they are up for grabs with interpretation.
Talk to your tattoo artist about why you want a tiger tattoo and what they represent for you.
You’ll probably be able to put together something really interesting as a team.
Something you never would have thought of on your own!
Whether you’re a Bengal tiger or a Talky Tawny, there’s a tiger tattoo that will suit your stripes.
Tiger tattoo designs change meaning depending on the type of tiger used in the tattoo, as well as the symbolism behind it.
The white tiger and saber tooth tiger each have their own meanings; and when a dragon or a butterfly is added to the tiger tattoo, it forms a new meaning.
Still not sure? Check out our tiger tattoo gallery for some majestic inspiration.
Realistic Tiger Tattoos
Are you ready to commit to a bold, colorful design that will turn heads wherever you go?
These realistic tiger tattoos are basically like wearing a National Geographic spread on your body.
With their lush colors and fine details, it’s hard to tell these apart from a photograph.
Unsurprisingly, these tattoos require large amounts of skin real estate to pull off- so expect to spend a few hours (and dollars) with your tattoo artist.
Realistic Black & Grey Tattoos
These tiger tattoo designs don’t mess around.
A realistic black and grey tattoo depict every last detail of the tiger’s ferociousness.
If you are a lover of the grace and pure power of a tiger, this is the style for you.
Realistic black and grey tiger tattoos have an incredible detail level, so you’ll need a large area to properly house the design.
This kind of piece would be ideal as a chest piece, sleeve, or epic back piece.
American Traditional Tiger Tattoos
On the other side of the spectrum, American traditional tiger tattoos have a stylized aesthetic.
Old School tiger tattoos combine the noble nature of our tiger friends and the respected style of American traditional.
These pieces are characterized by their bold lines, the saturated color feels, and 2D look.
They’re a classic design, something that connects you to American tattoo history.
If you’re looking to pay homage to old-school tattoos and look good doing it, this tiger design will get the job done.
The American traditional tiger tattoo is typically shown growling fiercely and may even be wearing headdresses or have a dagger in the tiger’s head.
American traditional style of tiger tattoo means power, bravery, and intense determination.
Their mixture of delicacy and strength, stealth and quickness, makes them a truly well-rounded animal to work within the American traditional tattoo style.
The American traditional tiger tattoo invites you into the spectacular world of wild nature.
Deemed to be the epitome of power and energy, the tiger is popular both in the striking style of American traditional tattoos and beyond.
The simple color palette of American traditional design means that the tiger transforms into a bold, block-color spectacle.
An American traditional tiger is a brave statement of your own bright, individual essence.
Traditional Black & Grey Tiger Tattoos
Although less common in American traditional tattoos, tigers work well with a black and grey palette.
This is because tigers offer a brilliantly distinct look without the need for color if you so desire.
Traditional black and grey tiger tattoos highlight texture effectively, fluffing up the soft fur of the tiger well.
Black-work Tiger Tattoos
Black-work tattoos are so versatile.
They can look whimsical and cartoonish, or elegant and mysterious.
To qualify as a black-work tattoo, a design must have large sections of saturated black ink.
These inky sections are contrasted with creative use of negative space, making for a dazzling contrast.
These black-work tiger tattoos are creative and fun while maintaining the majesty of this jungle cat.
Graphic Tiger Tattoos
“Graphic” can encapsulate many things.
If you’re looking to get creative with your tiger tattoo design, this may be the category for you.
Graphic tiger tattoos are categorized by cutting-edge techniques with impressive visuals.
This may also include a blending of styles to create a genuinely original end result.
Single Needle Tiger Tattoos
Single needle tattoos have come a long way in terms of detail level.
These pieces are created using a single fine needle, rather than the “bundles” of needles to create different line and shading styles.
This has a soft, pencil-drawn effect.
As tattoo artists in the single needle space expand their abilities, they’re beginning to create some absolutely stunning designs with impressive lining/shading.
Check out the single needle tiger tattoos below to see an example of excellence in the field.
Stick & Poke Tiger Tattoos
Stick & Poke is the OG tattoo method, though the exact tools and application may vary from place to place.
Some people ask if stick & poke tattoo designs last as long as tattoos from guns. The answer depends.
In the hands of an experienced tattoo artist, your stick & poke tiger tattoo will look fantastic for just as long as a tattoo from a machine.
If your tattoo fades faster, you may have been working with someone less familiar with this method.
Browse portfolios and testimonials- a beautiful stick & poke tattoo is worth the effort.
Neo-traditional Tiger Tattoos
These Neo-traditional tiger tattoos are so smooth, they look like they were meant to be on these people’s bodies.
A Neo-traditional tattoo has all the detail and dynamism of a realistic design, but with some fantasy and cartoon elements to add that little extra something.
Watercolor Tiger Tattoos
If you’re looking to express the essence of a tiger, but don’t mind going a little abstract, consider a watercolor tattoo design.
In a watercolor tiger tattoo, your artist will use light washes of color to create a piece that has a sense of artistry and movement.
Some watercolor tattoos forgo black outlines altogether, while others use them to create a sense of contrast.
New School Tiger Tattoos
Not much for realism?
Why not go buck wild with a new school tiger tattoo?
New School tattoos are just as luscious and detailed as realistic designs, but they have a sense of playfulness unparalleled by other tattoo styles.
In these tattoo designs, colors and details can be exaggerated to the Nth degree.
Artists like Jesse Smith are juggernauts in this field.
Tribal Tiger Tattoos
Tribal tiger tattoos are similar to black-work tattoos in that they use large sections of deeply saturated ink contrasting with negative space.
The difference is that these seemingly abstract shapes come from (or are inspired by) different ancient Indigenous peoples.
Tribal tattoos can be an excellent way to pay homage to your roots.
If you’re looking for something with less cultural meaning with the same vibe, go for a contemporary black-work design.
Tribal tattoos show the bare bones of the tiger’s body.
This can show anything from a tiger about the pounce on its prey to the tiger’s head on top of a tribal patterned background.
Anyone who gets a tribal tiger tattoo is instilled with the ultimate spirit of the animal.
The tribal tiger tattoo represents strength in oneself and indicates that you are a free spirit.
Rectangular Tiger Tattoos
Sometimes the coolest tattoos lead a little to the imagination.
These rectangular tiger tattoos give you a slice of the action while leaving some details out, showing that slinky, mysterious quality of our favorite jungle cats.
This approach allows you to put the focus on the details that mean the most to you.
In the case of the first rectangular tiger tattoo in our gallery below, it is inspired by a Japanese scroll piece, which is a lovely homage to traditional Japanese artwork.
Geometric Tiger Tattoos
It’s funny how, even when broken down to the basics, a tiger can be so recognizable.
Geometric tattoos are a visually appealing, stylized way to pay tribute to our favorite animals.
In our collection of geometric tiger tattoos below, you can see how creative an artist can be within this contemporary genre.
Japanese Tiger Tattoos
Tiger tattoos are a symbol of strength and courage in Japan.
Tattoos have become a significant part of Japanese culture.
The ink work can symbolize certain beliefs and ideas that are important to the person who wears it on their body.
Japanese tiger tattoos can be done in a tebori style, the traditional hand-tapping method, or normal, using a modern tattoo machine.
Tattoos are often meant to make the wearer look fierce, but the original intention is to reflect the tigers great power and influence.
Along with all the meanings behind tigers in Japanese culture, Japanese-style tattoos of tigers represent passion and aptitude in battle.
Other than that, they also represent good fortune and wealth.
This is one of the favorites of Japanese-style tattoos.
That’s probably because the tiger tattoo has a great aesthetic, often placed as a back piece or a full sleeve, and represents so many important themes.
Japanese style tattoos are often colorful: when they depict tigers, they are done with bright orange ink.
The tiger in Japanese culture is symbolic of many things: the season of autumn, the direction of the West, evil spirits, disease, as well as bad luck.
The tiger also receives some of its symbolism from Chinese culture, symbolizing the wind.
Byakko is the Japanese name of the white tiger and represents one of the four Chinese constellations (Black tortoise of the North, Azure dragon of the East, and Vermillion bird of the south are the others).
There are also seven astrological symbols associated with the white tiger, related to positions of the moon.
Neo-Japanese Tiger Tattoos
Neo-Japanese is a contemporary style that blends ideas from Japanese artwork as well as pop culture trends and art history.
If you are from outside the Japanese culture and admire their art style, you may be asking yourself if its acceptable to get a Japanese tattoo.
Because these designs are less traditional, they feel less specific to one culture, and you can add your own spin on the design.
Neo-Japanese tiger tattoos are a fresh take on an ancient design.
Illustrative Tiger Tattoos
Illustrative tiger tattoos have a gorgeous painterly style, and there’s lots of room for play within this genre.
To qualify as an illustrative tattoo, a piece just has to look “drawn” rather than all the way photo-realistic and not fit into one of the above categories.
One Line Tiger Tattoos
Some pieces say a lot by not saying much at all.
If you’re someone who likes to keep it simple, one-line tiger tattoos are striking in their minimalism.
In a one-line tattoo, the entire tattoo piece is created without lifting the “pen off the page,” so to speak.
One continuous line is used to create an unforgettable work with lots of airy negative space.
Trash Polka Tiger Tattoos
Trash polka is a gutsy European style characterized by a collage effect, bold black lines, and red splashes.
It combines photo-realism with surrealism and other tattoo elements to create something with a big visual punch.
This trash polka tiger tattoo makes such a strong statement.
It really gives you an idea of the story the artist wanted to tell.
Contemporary Tiger Tattoos
Contemporary tiger tattoos can be anything you want them to be.
Find an experimental artist who’s always pushing the conventional limits of tattoo design, and you’ve found someone who can pull off the contemporary tattoo style.
Like graphic pieces, a contemporary tattoo may blend ideas from different tattoo genres to create a stunning final effect.
Tiger Tattoo Ideas
Thinking about where and how you would have your tiger tattoo?
Here are some of our favorite tiger tattoo ideas.
- Black & Grey Tiger Tattoos
Black and grey can be applied to most of the above styles if you aren’t into colored ink.
These pieces have a classic look and wont clash with your clothing if you like to dress colorfully.
We love the level of detail that comes out in a black and grey tiger tattoo.
A tiger tattoo doesn’t have to take over your whole body to impress.
If you’re a more subtle type or looking to collect several pieces over time, consider a small tiger tattoo.
You can say a lot with a few simple tattoo details.
These simple tiger tattoo designs are minimalist in aesthetics but maximalist in visual effect.
Sometimes you want your tattoo to tell a story.
With a tiger tattoo sleeve, you can take your tiger on a visual journey.
Add some regal design elements to this extraordinary creature with an ornamental design.
Ornamental tiger tattoos add a fantasy element to your ink.
- Saber-toothed Tiger Tattoos
The extinct saber tooth tiger when placed in tattoos represents vengeance and passion.
The saber-tooth tiger, as one could tell by its name, was a fierce creature.
A saber-tooth tiger tattoo shows that you are a strong person and that you dare to take risks.
If you have a saber-tooth tiger tattoo it means that you are passionate, whether it be hate or love, you use that passion with fierce actions.
This would be a great tattoo for a boxer, American football player, or rugby player.
Want to bring the saber-toothed tiger back from extinction?
Get some inspiration with these saber-toothed tiger tattoo designs.
Are these something you’d like to sink your teeth into?
If you’ve got the time, budget, and space on your body, sometimes it’s best to go big.
If you want a tiger tattoo you can see from space, consider a jumbo design for maximum visual effect.
Tiger tattoo placement is flexible, depending on what idea you have.
You can opt for a gallery-worthy exhibit on larger surface areas, such as the chest or back.
Or perhaps shrink your tiger tattoo down to its head only, perfectly shaped for more circular or square areas, such as the knees or hands.
The arm is considered to be one of the safest and easiest places to tattoo on the body.
Arm tattoos hurt less than other tattoos, and the arm provides a larger canvas to ink.
Tattoos on the arm are often chosen by muscular people as a way to show off their gorgeous ink and their muscles at the same time.
Upper arm tattoos can be more painful than getting a tattoo on the forearm.
It provides a slightly larger area to get a tattoo.
When choosing a tiger tattoo, you want to keep in mind to choose an area that provides as much space as you can for a more detailed design.
The upper arm and forearm are great places to get a tattoo, but if you can, a tiger tattoo on the entire arm is a much better choice to show off the intricate detailing of this type of tattoo.
Nothing is quite as bold and brave as a hand tattoo, except for maybe a tiger tattoo!
Tiger hand tattoos are ever-popular, serving a location that suitably fits the face of the animal.
And, as you have two hands, why not tattoo a friend for them?
This is especially great for those interested in the tiger and panther tattoo.
Tiger tattoo small
We’ve already told you about tiger tattoo ideas for men, and it seems that this type of tattoos is perfect only for them. But nowadays many girls choose tiger tattoos too, and, in my opinion, they look gorgeous and fresh. So maybe you should ink this kind of tattoos too? You can pick up very cute and adorable young tiger, funny cartoon or wise and powerful tiger tattoos. Some of the ladies choose just black-contour or abstract tattoo designs and place them on the shoulders, forearms and wrists, but if you wanna more eye-catching one, you should pay your attention to tattoos made in a watercolor technique or with colorful splashes. Now you should scroll down to see al ideas that we’ve collected for you and read all tips. Find your inspiration!
Black Tiger Tattoo Ideas
If you’re looking for a tiny tattoo, then you can pick up a black-contour tiger head tattoo and place it on your fingers or wrists. Don’t forget that geometric tattoos are popular right now, so you can ink such tattoos on your shoulders, thighs or a back. If you love unique and super attractive tattoo ideas, then take a look at eyes of the tiger tattoo that covers a whole forearm.
Black tiger tattoo on the arm
Cool tiger tattoo on the thigh
Cute tattoo on the finger
Eyes of the tiger tattoo on the forearm
Geometric tattoo on the arm
Half-sleeve tiger tattoo
Realistic tattoo on the shoulder
Small tiger head tattoo on the wrist
Tiger tattoo on the back
Tiny tattoo on the wrist
Colorful Tiger Tattoo Ideas
As you know a tiger tattoo is a symbol of a power and a strength, so you can repeat an ideas with an aggressive tiger and place it on your neck (making it on the front of your neck will be a very bold choice). Many girls like watercolor tattoos, so if you wanna something colorful and girlish, then you should choose your favorite colors (purple, pink, yellow, green, etc.) and ask your tattoo artist to repeat some of watercolor ideas below. You can also add to tiger tattoos some additional elements such as flowers or trees.
Angry tiger tattoo on the neck
Gorgeous tattoo on the shoulder
Large tiger and tree tattoo on the back
Original tiger tattoo on the arm
Pink, purple and yellow tattoo on the back
Red and black tiger tattoo on the back
Small tiger tattoo on the shoulder
Tiger and flowers tattoo on the side
Tiger tattoo with colorful splashes
Watercolor tattoo on the side
Watercolor tiger head tattoo
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