I am in Greece this week enjoying the sun, surf and amazing Mediterranean food. My husband and traveling partners will likely dine on more than a few octopuses. Personally I prefer to enjoy octopuses with my eyes only; in the wild, in home decor, or in tattoos!
I have often wondered why I find octopuses so fascinating. Recent scientific findings have helped me realize that it’s because they are basically aliens. Their genetic structure is vastly different from any other creature on earth. They have roughly three times as many genes as humans along with large brains and closed circulatory systems not found in other invertebrates. They are exceptionally intelligent and can learn to solve puzzles, open jars and escape across open spaces above water.
Octopuses have an amazing ability to camouflage into their surroundings in less than a second which is really just the coolest thing possible. There is a wide variety of species from the teeny tiny to giant kraken like beasts. They are very complex creatures which can be shy and deadly poisonous at the same time. All the while remaining super cute in a creepy-crawly kind of way. Like spiders you can hug. That must be why I like them so much, they are just big squishy spiders that you can cuddle and they can squeeze you back….well maybe they don’t cuddle, but a girl can dream.
First some reference material of super cute octopuses. Then on to the tattooed versions.
The meanings behind the octopus tattoo are are varied as the designs and placements one might find. Sailors often have them to signify their time at sea. Others see them as symbols of regrowth and rejuvenation. They can be icons of creativity and agility or the ability to adapt and change with any situation. Some people (like me) just love the little guys or oceanic life in general.
Some of the most dramatic octopus tattoos are featured on women. Specifically on or near their boobs. What’s not to like!?
Combining an aquatic creature with a water-based artistic style is an inventive way to display your octopus without literal waves or an ocean scene.
Cute and Cuddly
Sometimes you just want a little bit of cuteness to carry with you at all times. I especially like the combination of the saber with the sweet yet mischievous feminine octopus. The juxtaposition of beauty and danger is what I’m all about.
Bold and Beautiful
The colors these tattoo artists are able to achieve are incredibly impressive.
Terrors from the Deep
Anywhere you find tattoos you will find people mixing skull designs to create terrifying scenes. Ocean life also easily lends itself to being combined with pirate themes. The giant red octopus taking down a ship is one of the best (and largest) American traditional style tattoos I have ever seen. If you’re going to cover your back it better be with something magnificent and this surely qualifies.
Realistic and Dimensional
The intricate textures of octopus skin is difficult to capture, even in photographs. Most artists don’t attempt it or don’t do it well. These two nailed it.
Darkness and Shadow
It’s always pleasing to see the versatility of basic black ink, especially when combined with well drawn designs.
Flowing and Floral
I found more babes with octo-ink than I was expecting. The combinations with bright colors and tropical flowers were a wonderful surprise. Great inspiration pieces.
Not that any of the items above don’t make a statement. All tattoos of any size make statements. The sizes, colors, and placements of these speak volumes about octopus love.
Now it’s off to do some snorkeling and see if I can’t find one of these beauties in the wild!