Many people are drawn to the magical and mystical aspects of fairies, their deep symbolism and historical significance, and their delicate nature and innate fragility. As tattoo designs, fairies are often symbols of youthful innocence and a desire to retain a child-like imagination of wonder and awe. They appeal to a wide variety of lifestyles and are becoming increasingly popular due to their versatility in size, style and design.
Fairy tattoos are great options for those seeking beautiful colors within majestic settings. Symbolizing the child within, fairy tattoos represent all that is possible. With wings resembling those of butterflies or dragonflies, fairies are portrayed to live among nature, to sleep in drifting water lilies, and to hide within the petals of Mother Nature's beautiful flowers. Therefore, fairy tattoos reflect a dream-like world that is both fanciful and perfect.
Fairy Tattoo Designs
Fairy tattoo designs blend well with other images commonly seen in tattoo art such as flowers, stars, angels, butterflies, dragonflies, moons, petals, leaves, toadstools and mushrooms. These combinations offer more complex designs, more colorful pieces and more interesting compositions.
Fairies are considered to be small and, as such, translate especially well into small tattoos. Fairy tattoo designs can be positioned nearly anywhere on the body; however, the most popular locations include the hip, lower stomach, lower back, shoulder blade, ankle and wrist areas. Fairies can be depicted in a variety of different positions, sometimes standing, sitting, flying, reclining or crouching.
Darker fairy images are generally inked in a Gothic style often pairing a fairy image with that of a dragon, gargoyle or phoenix. They are also commonly coupled with with Celtic or tribal-art designs. These darker images use more black ink rather than bright, colorful palettes also tend to be larger in size then their childlike counterparts.
Cute Fairy Tattoos
Childlike fairies are relative to those seen in Disney movies such as Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, or Thumbelina, as written by Hans Christian Anderson. Cute fairy tattoos portraying characters such as these commonly include magical elements such as sparkles and wands. Their bodies are human in form (generally girls) with the addition of small, fluttering wings. Some fairy tattoos feature fairies with pointed, elf-like ears and some wear elf-style hats with matching shoes while others feature Queen Mab (a fairy queen) or Fairy Godmothers (deriving from Cinderella and The Wizard Of Oz).
Fantasy Fairy Tattoos
Fantasy fairy tattoos feature female fairies with adult bodies. Many have large iridescent wings with multiple colors and involve fine detailing and shadin. These fairy tattoos are generally larger in size than the smaller Tinkerbell style tattoo designs. With curvaceous figures, fantasy fairy tattoos can easily introduce messages of sex appeal by including seductively torn clothing, an abundance of cleavage and plump, luscious lips. Many times these fairy tattoos have a strong resemblance to the stereotypical 1940-1950’s pinup girl.
Portrait Fairy Tattoos
Fairy tattoos can also be designed as portraits. Using the face of one's child within a magical setting is one way to combine a parent's love with his or her passion for fairies. This idea could also work for those with multiple children by having the tattoo artist create a customized design entailing two or three fairies—one for each child. For those seeking self portraits, choosing to have a one's face inked on the body of a small or sexy fairy by an experienced tattoo artist is a fun and creative way to merge a self portrait within a childlike or mystical setting.
Sprite, Elf, Pixie, Dryad or Fairy Tattoo?
There are many monikers associated with the magical fairy form: sprite, elf, pixie, dryad and, most commonly, fairy. Below are descriptions that help to identify each.
Fairy: a supernatural being of human form with magical powers, existing in limbo between heaven and earth, recognized for their skill in predicting and controlling human nature and even the future. They can be either good or evil and are sometimes wrongly confused with demons and witches.
Elf: a small, mischievous, and wingless creature of human form believed to live in mountainous regions and delight in trickery. According to Scoto-Celtic folklore, elves were a race of beings invisible to humans and silent in their motions. They are thought to have pointed ears and are more human-like than fairies.
Sprite: a supernatural being of human form with magical powers. Sprites are usually small in size and are often associated with water. Water sprites are said to be able to breath water or air and, in some instances, have the ability to fly. Sprites are considered to be harmless unless they are threatened.
Pixie: a small, mischievous creature that is thought to shed showers of sparkles and have pointed ears (i.e. Tinkerbell). Pixies originate from Celtic folklore, just like fairies. They enjoy playing tricks on people by stealing and throwing things. There are two main theories about the origin of pixies. One theory tells of pixies being people who were not good enough to go to hell while the other theory says that pixies are druids who rejected Christianity. God was said to have punished them by making them smaller and smaller until they accepted Christianity as their faith.
Dryad: normally considered to be very shy creatures, dryads are nature spirits who take the form of beautiful young women. Dryads, like all nymphs, are supernaturally long-lived and tied to their trees. They are known as the “soul” of the trees and are considered such an integral part of their tree that is was believed if the tree died, the dryad associated with it would die as well. Because of this belief, dryads and the Greek gods punished any mortals who harmed trees without first propitiating the tree nymphs.
Celebrities with Fairy Tattoos
Many of today’s hottest actresses, models and musicians have taken the plunge and adorned themselves with colorful body art. Here is a short list of Hollywood stars who have chosen to bare fairy tattoos:
JAMES KING / Model: Fairy tattoo on lower back
COURTNEY LOVE / Singer: Fairy tattoo on back
ALYSSA MILANO / Actress: Fairy tattoo on hip
RACHAEL MINOR / Actress: Fairy tattoo on lower back
CHRISTINA RICCE / Actress: Fairy tattoo on inside of right wrist
BRITNEY SPEARS / Singer: Fairy tattoo on lower back
AMBER TAMBLYN / Actress: Fairy tattoo near left ankle
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