175 Cute and Traditional Owl Tattoo Designs with their Meanings


During the ancient periods, an owl was known to have a unique connection to a deceased person’s soul, which allows them to move its body, directing these wandering spirits towards afterlife and its wonders. This is because an owl is actually one of the earliest forms of life on earth, with prehistoric versions of its species dating back to over 66 million years ago. The owl is also recognized as a spirit animal, which guides people and shows them a world beyond the veil of illusion and deception. This is the reason why it is often used as a symbol for guidance, knowledge, and wisdom. This is a phenomenon that draws so many people to owls, and the main reason why people get owl tattoos done.

If you are a huge fan of tattoos in general – No matter if you love getting them or if you just appreciate the art – Then you could go for a traditional owl tattoo design which might not be as popular as other tattoo designs out there, but still carries plenty of meaning. Both men and women love owl tattoo designs, especially since they carry an elegant look to them – Not to mention they look very stylish on the body. Owl tattoos carry plenty of symbolism and is meant to show off a magical word for people who enjoy tattoos. So it’s so much better to learn what an owl tattoo really means, before you can get one yourself.

Owls are a gorgeous avian creature. They are known for their distinct calling sounds, its silent flight, as well as big eyes that allow it to see through the dark. Ancient folklore tells us that these birds are known to have a spirit that has the ability to transcend their own body in order to assist humans right into the mysteries and wonders of life. As a spirit animal, an owl can show and guide us a world that goes past illusions and deceptions. This is the reason why they’re connected to mystery, wisdom, intuition, and knowledge. It’s a strong spirit guide meant for assessing and discerning difficult solutions.

An owl is both fascinating and colorful, and this is the reason why people often get them as an inspiration for their tattoos. Plenty of owls are nocturnal, meaning they only hunt at night. If you love to stay out late and sleep all day long, then an owl tattoo is probably a good idea.

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Types of Owl Tattoo Designs

A bird is an integral part of nature and makes a great household pet as well. In fact, some bird species are so popular that a lot of people are inspired by them and get a tattoo based on their appearance. An owl is a popular bird – And not only that, it has also shown up in most myths, folklore, and legends. And when it comes to tattoos, then owl tattoos are very important because they have such distinctive features that separate them from other birds. Owls are highly intelligent – One of the smartest birds out there. Owls are also a symbol of luck and wisdom. So people have always wanted to get owl tattoos on their body, thanks to its positive connotation. These tattoo designs are both cool and attractive at the same time, and not only that, they’re very popular among men and women. Owls are beautiful birds, so the designs can also catch people’s attention.

  • Owl With Crescent Moon Tattoo: This depicts an owl tattoo that has been suspended on the wearer’s arm. Placed on top of him is the crescent moon. In tattoo symbolism, a crescent moon can mean a whole lot of different things – Including the nature of life, the building and destruction of energy, as well as the balance of receding tides. Because the crescent moon is positioned on top of the owl’s head, it could mean that the owl in the tattoo is a symbol of wisdom.
  • Owl In Bold Print: This is an owl tattoo design that requires plenty of color. It’s gorgeous and artistic at the same time. In this design, the owl is sitting beside a burning candle, keeping watch over the flame, and making sure it never goes out. What’s so great about this tattoo idea is that you don’t have to make it too detailed – The colors will simply do the trick.
  • Owl With Top Hat – This is a perfect chest tattoo. It gives people a cute and more distinguished peek at an owl dressed with a top hat, looking very dapper. The tattoo design is meant to emphasize the owl’s claws, and he seems to be holding a cane topped with a skull taken from another bird. It’s the predator putting his prey on display. Another depiction of an owl with a top hat deals with him holding a bowl filled with gold coins, as well as diamonds, pearls, and jewels. He’s got a crafty look on his face, like he just accomplished a heist.
  • Celtic Owl Tattoo: In European culture, an owl is seen as both a positive and negative symbol. Like anywhere else, the owl is known to be a symbol of pure wisdom – But it’s also a harbinger of doom and destruction. Back then, the ancient Celts saw the owl as a dignified creature who guards the souls of people who have travelled to the afterlife, and hearing the hoot of an owl also meant that death was close by and the person has to be careful. In mythology, owls guard the underworld, making sure that anyone who has joined this realm were kept safe from the dark forces of the universe. A Celtic owl tattoo draws on this idea, as it both represents a person’s fascination and fear for this bird.
  • Tribal Owl Tattoo: Native Americans consider the owl to be a bad omen. Even though they still incorporate owl feathers in their culture to ward off evil spirits, finding an owl, or even listening to its hoot, also means that death and destruction are close by. All across the Caribbean and Latin America, an owl, also known locally as the Patoo, is known to guard the souls of the dead. This is a tradition that goes back to the Mesoamerican era. Aztecs and Mayans often got owls to carry messages coming from the Palace of Fear, which is thought to be haunted by demons, owls, and the souls of the condemned. In Aztec culture, the god of death is often depicted with an owl, or several owls. This is the reason why a tribal owl tattoo is closely associated with misfortune and death.

Owl Tattoo Meaning

Not only does the design of your owl tattoo have to be important, but it has to carry a meaning to the wearer as well – That’s what makes a tattoo very special. It’s always good to know what a tattoo really symbolizes. An owl tattoo can either mean any of the following: Independence, wisdom, knowledge, experience, and mystery.

An owl tattoo looks highly amazing. The reason why people love them so much is because of their looks. Owl tattoos look stunning, no matter what design you pick. As mentioned, owl tattoos can have various meanings because they’re supposed to represent an owl’s attributes and traits. Owls have huge eyes that allow them to see in the dark, and in literature, they have brains that hold plenty of knowledge and wisdom. An owl tattoo design is both stylish and unique, especially when compared to other bird tattoos like parrots and canaries. It doesn’t really matter if it’s the traditional owl tattoo, or a modern one.

The image of an owl never fails to capture people’s imaginations, because it’s a creature that’s filled with symbolism – Not to mention an owl looks very elegant. Owls rarely fly, can see through the dark, have big wide eyes, and a distinctive call. They symbolize knowledge and wisdom and is pretty much a great subject for a lovely tattoo. Unfortunately, there have been some negative connotations attached to the bird all because it’s a nocturnal creature who hunts in the night. Meanwhile, a favorable impression about owls in total can be attributed to their appearance, especially those huge eyes. An owl is a highly sensitive bird as well, and this is the reason why they don’t fly around too often. Their eyesight is way too sensitive to light, but it fits them nicely during the night time. The final result of an owl tattoo will all depend on whoever wears it, as well as their cultural beliefs.

The Best Placement For An Owl Tattoo

When it comes to positioning, an owl tattoo can be highly flexible and fit every spot on your body. You can get an owl-themed sleeve tattoo, an owl at the back of your neck, etc. The best kind of tattoo placement is meant to compliment a fantastic owl tattoo design. Owl figures contain plenty of rich details, not to mention they’re highly intricate too. Even though the silhouette of an owl can immediately be recognized and still makes an excellent tattoo idea, a lot of people still want to throw in some extra details into the design of their owl tattoo. Perhaps the most common depiction of this bird has got to be their dynamic flight action, or a bird on its static pose. The positioning of their tattoo can still determine how successful the design will look like in the end. An owl tattoo placed on the person’s shoulders conveys a sense of guidance and protection. The traditional owl tattoo design on the back of the wearer’s neck, meanwhile, is meant to imitate to the lifestyle of a real owl, since your back can hide the tattoo during the day, and show it off during the night.

The ability of being able to mix together an owl tattoo design along with several other images can create the best results that fit several areas. And this is the reason why owl tattoos can also be placed on the wearer’s back, the legs, the arms, the hips, or their wrists.

Owl Tattoo Preparation Tips

Getting yourself ready for a tattoo can be downright taxing – Even if it isn’t your first time. You still have to do many things prior to the session and remember a couple of things as well to ensure that the entire experience goes by smoothly as possible, especially when you’re planning to get a tattoo done.

Here are a list of things you should and should not do in order to ready yourself for the journey to your tattoo.

Drinking loads and loads of water days before your appointment not only ensures that your skin is healthy, it’ll also make you feel energetic and alert during the session.

Get loads of rest. It’s definitely awful when you have to sit or lie down for four hours, while you’re feeling exhausted from lack of sleep. So make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep on the day before the appointment. And what’s more, not getting proper rest can cause you to feel irritable through the entire thing, which could have a detrimental effect on your tattoo’s final look.

It’s always good to know about the amount of cash you’ll be charged for your new ink, so make sure you have enough money in store. Find out if your tattoo will come at a fixed cost, or will be charged per piece or per hour.

If it’s the latter, then bring plenty more cash than you intend to spend, to cover yourself up in case your session runs overtime and you have to pay some additional money. And whenever you get yourself a tattoo, make sure you don’t forget about the other smaller costs you could pay during the entire day – Including the food, the drink, the aftercare products, the parking, and maybe a tip for the artist.

Does Getting An Owl Tattoo Hurt?

If an owl tattoo happens to be your first, then not only will you feel nervous about the pain, but you’ll have a sense of uncertainty as well. That’s because you’ll literally have no clue how getting a tattoo feels, and your friends won’t be able to describe the accurate pain of getting a tattoo since each person has their own threshold of pain. Once your first tattoo is completed, the fear of experiencing pain will be reduced – Or in some people, increased – Especially if their first tattoo was a painful experience.

Those who have experienced getting a shoulder tattoo will often describe getting one as purely uncomfortable, but more of a dull, background pain instead of a sharp one. This is because a person’s shoulders don’t contain a decent amount of nerve endings compared to other places like the arms, the legs, or the ribs. This means that if you really want a tattoo in this spot, then you’re in luck because it won’t hurt as much.

The calves and legs are also a great place to get a tattoo on, especially if you’re feeling nervous about the pain. This place also doesn’t contain too many nerve endings, and provides plenty of cushioning compared to the feet and hands, which could be very bony. If you plan on getting a tattoo on your feet, then just move it to the calf so it won’t be a painful experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About Owl Tattoos

  • How does the tattoo studio atmosphere feel?

The atmosphere in a tattoo shop can vary depending on how they are able to present themselves to their clients. A tattoo shop can both have a welcoming and relaxed vibe. Professional artists, along with the staff, will pretty much do whatever it takes to make sure that their clients will feel composed, relaxed, and calm during their entire stay there. Don’t hesitate to ask all sorts of tattoo-related questions to your artist. A lot of them are happy to answer all of them, and talk about your concerns, if it helps you feel more at ease with the process.

Even though some shops out there will be small and can only handle one customer at a time, plenty of them are much bigger and you’ll often be accompanied by several other clients that go through the same experiences as yourself. This can be a bit of a boost that can lessen your worries and anxieties after you enter the shop for your session.

  • Can we bring in our own design?

Of course you can – You can choose from your own drawing, something taken from a book, something from the Internet, an image you saw in a stranger’s t-shirt, etc. Your artist is also willing to custom-design something for you, depending on your source materials as well as your ideas. If they want to create a customized tattoo for you, then they will ask for a deposit first before they can begin the artwork. They’ll end up working with you and make plenty of modifications and changes to your preferred design and will suit whatever you like, but still within reason. There are still plenty of issues to be discussed before you can go right ahead to the session, such as the size, as well as the placement of your tattoo. These will all be decided by the artist and the client, so they can have the best kind of tattooing experience possible. If your tattoo’s outline has been completed but you decide not to get it placed on your body, then your deposit will then be used as an art charge to cover up the drawing and researching time of the artist.

  • What are the safety precautions for tattoos?

Here are some rules you need to follow for safe tattooing:

Always get a tattoo done from the most reputable and licensed shops. Each state actually has their own set of tattoo requirements and regulations, so make sure to talk to your local department of health if you want to know about the newest safety rules.

An artist should never reuse their needles and razors on a different client. Make sure that you see your artist remove a set of brand new needles from a sealed pack. You also need to see them use a brand new set of sterilized gloves and wash their hands before they can begin with the procedure.

The chairs, the work spaces, as well as the non-disposable equipment used during the session must be completely cleaned up and sterilized between each client. If they don’t follow this, then you need to pick another facility since this is a strong evidence of poor sanitation.

The spot on your body where the tattoo will be placed must be swabbed with a disinfectant first, such as rubbing alcohol, before your artist can start tattooing. Once it’s done, the fresh tattoo must be covered up using a sterile gauze or a fresh bandage. Always follow the artist’s set of aftercare instructions so your tattoo can properly heal up.

  • How does it feel once the tattoo has been completed?

For those clients who only want a tiny owl tattoo that only takes an hour or two to finish, then they will be able to get away with a small amount of redness and soreness after the first tattoo work is finished – Even though the same area will still feel sore for the next couple of days.

There are individuals out there who have sat through over four, five, or even six hours in the tattoo chair, and these will unfortunately make them uncomfortable during the next few days once the session is over. Having several needles pass through the top layer of your skin several times will do loads of damage surrounding the tattoo.

It’s also not uncommon to experience symptoms such as redness, heavy bruising, and a good amount of swelling and soreness surrounding the tattooed area over the next couple of days, even though these effects will disappear over the next few days, until it’s completely gone.

It’s important to know that if things end up becoming much worse instead of better for your tattoo’s outcome, then you could suffer from a potential infection and you must go back to the shop where you got it done to hear your artist’s recommendation.

  • What is a tattoo blowout?

Starting from a couple of days for up to six months after you got your tattoo done, the ink will eventually begin to spread out from beneath the skin, creating a blurry effect around the design. This is also known as tattoo blowout. There are certain areas around the body that will experience a good amount of tattoo blowout, thanks to the thin amount of skin found there, or continuous movement, like the wrists for example. This means that the skin is very thin and continuously moving.

Tattoos placed on top of the joints are the ones prone to blowout. This includes the fingers, the ankles, the back of your knees, as well as the hands, since they move around all the time. These are the same parts that contain a very quick amount of skin regeneration. The skin around here heals more slowly, meaning if you don’t move the area around this part of the body too much, then you won’t be experiencing any action for a while.

How Much Does An Owl Tattoo Cost?

Much like any other service or product, these tattoos will definitely cost plenty of cash – But the amount of money involved is the average. One of the important things you have to consider here is knowing exactly what you’re getting, especially if you’re on a budget.

Certain artists out there will charge their clients according to design, while the rest will charge them by the amount of time. If you do have plans to shell out some cash for a new tattoo that you’ve been dreaming about for so long now, then you need to follow this advice: An elaborately-design piece of ink is always pricier compared to a simple design, simply because of the amount of time it takes to completely execute it.

Owl Tattoo Maintenance Tips

Not only are tattoos permanently placed on an individual’s skin, they’re meant to carry a special meaning to the wearer as well. A tattoo is technically a type of wound, since tattoo guns use needles to insert ink right inside the skin. Having to take care of a new tattoo can be downright confusing at first, especially if it’s your first time. Here are some details on how to care for a brand new tattoo, and keep it looking as good as new.

One week after the tattooing session, your skin might feel a bit warm and have a reddish tint to it. the colors – If used – Can also look very bright against the rest of your skin. Your tattoo could become less bright as it heals up.

This is the part where you shouldn’t submerge your new tattoo in any body of water. If you need to clean yourself, use a shower instead of a bathtub. You can continue washing your tattoo gently during the first week, if necessary. How often should you clean it will all depend on the person’s lifestyle, as well as the environment that they live in.


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