Freedom and spirituality are two of the most common themes in wing tattoo designs. Of course, wings are related to flight and perhaps it a basic human instinct to wish for the ability to fly like birds. Wings can also denote love, peace, and transcendence. There are a myriad of creatures both real and imagined that have wings, such as fairies, the Pegasus, butterflies, dragons, griffons, and angels.
Photo by “Shannon Archuleta” on Flickr
Wing tattoos can stand for power, as in the case of an eagle’s wide spread, or represent inspiration guidance in the form of an angel. Wings are often included in biker tattoos. They can represent initiation into a club or merely emulate the famous Harley Davidson logo.
Photo by “michael pollak” on Flickr
Many people enjoy adding a whimsical quality to everyday objects like a clock, a cross, or even a teddy bear for a unique tattoo. One of the more popular tattoo designs is to show a pair of wings with a heart in between. This can symbolize either a love that has passed on, or a deep passion to reach heaven in the afterlife. Tattooed wings look great as realistic depictions with finely detailed feathers, or contemporized in the tribal art style.
Photo by “mytat_2s” on Flickr
The most common placement of a large tattoo of wings is across the back, imitating an angel. Those who are fleet of foot may want to emulate the Roman god Mercury and have wings inked on each ankle. If the wings are just one part of a larger design, however, they can go anywhere else on the body. Outside of the biker tattoos, wings seem to be just a bit more popular with women than men, although they are not gender specific.