People get tattooed for different reasons. Sometimes it is becasue they like a particular design, a specific tattoo artist or because someone that they look up to has the same tattoo. Some tattoos have deep meanings that actually tell a story about you just for having that particular design branded on your body for the rest of your life. The swallow tattoo is one of those tattoos that has a significant meaning historically by sailors who were showing off their sailing experience. Much like tear drop tattoo has meaning to those prisoners who are doing life in a penitentiary.
The swallow, or sparrow tattoo is derived from British origin dated back to the early days of sailing. Sailors would get an image of a Barn Swallow, usually tattooed on their chest, hands or neck. The swallow tattoo, according to the legend meant that the sailor had traveled over 5,000 nautical miles; a sailor with two swallows meant that he had traveled over 10,000 nautical miles.
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The Octopus tattoo is the perfect tattoo for creative flexibility as far as tattoo design is concerned. The tattoo artist can design this sea creature to be wrapped around arms and legs, draped over shoulders and wrapped around torsos and backs. Add to that the Octopus’s chameleon like ability to change color to match their surrounds, and their wide variety of colors. They are ideal designs to incorporate into existing tattoos and maritime scenes and they also can symbolize a huge range of characteristics and virtues.
Naturally intelligent, creative and flexible, the octopus also acquires its mystique from the watery environment in which it lives. It is a master of camouflage, and can literally disappear before your eyes. And if that tactic doesn’t work to evade oncoming predators, the octopus will eject a cloud of black ink to make it’s escape. It is all part of the mystery and sense of wonder that surrounds this eight-tentacled creature.
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Many of the most popular designs in traditional American tattooing evolved from a group of tattoo artists who all traded, copied, swiped and improved on each other’s work. These tattoo artists developed a series of stereotyped symbols that were put on soldiers and sailors of both World Wars. Many of the different designs represented courage, patriotism, defiance of death, and longing for family and loved ones left behind.
A famous tattoo designer from the past was Sailor Jerry, a Sailor Jerry tattoo was characterized by bold unwavering lines with a refined use of color and amazing detail. Continue reading Traditional Tattoo’s →