Daily Design Inspiration: Owl Tattoos

Owl Tattoos are all the rage right now. You see it permanently etched on skin on both men and women – whether holding a symbolic meaning for the wearer or just for plain aesthetics. When we’re not working on our graphic design, we’re daydreaming of these magnificent creatures. Not just for getting inked but for a daily design inspiration.

Photo courtesy of www.zetwet.com


The owl is regarded as a bird of wisdom and knowledge. He is a high scepter of education. For the more “open-minded” types, they choose the owl as a “spirit animal” as a status of intelligence, intuition and, of course, wealth.


Let’s go back in time to the Greco-Roman Age. The Greek goddess of learning, Athena, (or Minerva for the ancient Romans) had an owl for a companion or was either an owl herself. This is apparent in artifacts such as vases from the old world. Some mythographers claim that the owl’s nocturnal ability was used as a symbol of wisdom. Owls flying through army ranks were also seen as Athena’s blessing. They were also revered as they were believed to serve as mediators between Gods and men: messengers.

How about the classic Hindus, Celtics and Egyptians? The owl was highly regarded to these civilizations as a guardian of the underworld and protector of the dead as well as bird of wealth. Take in Indian Mythology, for example, the Goddess of wealth and money, Lakshmi rides an owl. Even through present times, when an owl passes through an Indian home, it is treated as a good omen. The Celtics associated these birds as the Crone aspect of the Goddesses. They are often guides to the underworld with their keen sight in darkness as well as being a silent yet precise hunter. They even have cults for these creatures. Ancient Egyptians regarded them as reincarnations of Gods – and you could find them everywhere from hieroglyphs to sculptures.


The owl keeps it’s reputations as a harbinger of change. His traditional symbolism is being “an announcer of death” which could be viewed as a life transition, not necessarily literal death. They say that when an owl shows up suddenly in your life, pay attention as it may signal the winds of change.

Colorful neo-traditional tattoo sleeve featuring an owl


As a totem guide or spirit animal, the owl represents your inclination towards the unknown. Exploration of this fascinating field of interest is what drives you and you are likely to appreciate the magic of life. With the owl as a guide, you move through life with more heightened senses and are more in tune with the hidden signs around you. Your intuition is strong and you focus a great deal of your creative energy at night.

These are sometimes taken into account when creating graphics, illustrations, paintings and other forms of artwork.

Fantastic realism on an owl tattoo


Owl tattoos come in an endless variety of styles: Classical, New Age, Vector, Modern, Vintage, even Tribal. They are also appointed on various areas of the human body. I once saw a man covered in owl tattoos. Just owl tattoos. Very fascinating.

We scoured the net for some of the best owl tattoos and somehow managed to stumble on these. We’re indeed feeling particularly inspired. It’s exciting to think of incorporating the wise owl into our web design and graphic design projects.

How about you - what do you think?

Owl Tattoo by Matt Jordan courtesy of www.alltattoodesign.com

Of course we had to include the good old watercolor owl tattoo - Mike Ashworth Tattoos

Lisa S Owl tattoo by Eyedeal Ink

Black and grey owl tattoo on forearm

Half back tree owl tattoo by Jackie Rabbit

Playful blue owl by Kurt Fagerland

Delicate watercolor flying owl

Geometric lines owl tattoo photo courtesy of www.angeltattoos.net

Placement's a bit overused but still awesome - Realistic owl chest tattoo by Ami James

P.S. Maybe all this talk of owls tattoos has got you excited for one. Cebu City has got some of the most talented tattoo artists in the country. We’d love to feature them soon in our future blog entries but for the meantime, go check them out.

Disclaimer: All artwork presented in this article are linked and credited to their respective owners. We do not claim rights.

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