You might have noticed a tattoo trend taking shape that looks simple yet mesmerizing at the same time: geometric tattoos. The simplicity comes from the use of common shapes – lines, circles, squares, triangles. These shapes are repeated in captivating, detailed patterns to form a specific design. You can create anything from abstract designs to geometric renditions of images, such as animals and elements in nature. Add more dimension by choosing thick or thin lines, and a range of colours. Welcome to the world of geometric tattoos.
If you read our last post, you’ll connect the dots and realize that mandala tattoos are a type of geometric tattoo. They rely on patterns and precision to reflect the deeper themes within geometry.
Symbolic meaning of geometric tattoos
Sebastian from Chronic Ink Tattoos has noticed people becoming very interested in tattooing sacred geometry, which is full of symbolism and fascinating concepts. One example is the flower of life. This is a geometric shape made up of multiple overlapping circles of the same size. This ancient symbol can be traced back throughout history in different religions and cultures. It is said to contain the patterns of creation – the most sacred patterns of the universe, including all life and existence.
Another ancient symbol drawn in geometric tattoos is the Gordian knot. Based on a Greek myth, the knot was used to secure the ox-cart of Gordias, a peasant farmer prophesied to be king. No one could untie the knot until Alexander the Great finally cut it with his sword after also failing in his attempts. The Gordian knot thus became a metaphor for a complicated problem that must be solved by thinking outside the box. While there are no pictures of the actual Gordian knot, it is commonly depicted as three or more interlocking rings. As a tattoo, it can represent the complexity of life, and the appreciation for the beauty in its unsolvable mysteries.
Generally speaking, geometric tattoos tend to draw from shapes and patterns in the natural world. Some symbols, like the ones above, are associated with deeper religious and cultural backgrounds. Among the basic shapes, circles can portray relationships and community, and square-based designs stand for stability. Combining or connecting them is a way to convey balance between the two. More intricate figures, such as a dodecahedron (three-dimensional shape with 12 plane faces) or icosahedron (with 20 plane faces) may show the juxtaposition of complexity and unity.
Geometric Tattoo Designs
According to Sebastian, most clients don’t have a specific geometric design in mind; it’s more of an idea. So if you are in a similar situation, do some research and bring some material for reference. Pictures of tattoos, illustrations, or other artwork are helpful in shaping your design. Sit with the artist to point out which aspects you like. Is it the composition, or where the tattoo is placed? Are there particular elements that you want to see in your own tattoo? On top of providing the artist a vision, give them as much creative freedom as you can afford. An artist who is trusted and inspired will produce the best work.
Advances in digital technology are giving artists a greater hand in creating geometric tattoos. Since this kind of tattoo needs to be extremely precise and even, a digital approach can save the artist time, make it easier to revise the design, and even ensure a perfect fit. Artists can do mock-ups by taking pictures of the body part that will be tattooed, and produce the design to fit it exactly.
Miss Mo is a professional bookworm and overanalyst. She is fuelled by curiosity, spicy food, and the desire to understand and enrich life through words. To see more of her musings: http://hellomissmo.