Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 9:45 AM |  
I went abroad on holiday recently and whilst sat on the beach with my wife, I remarked upon the amount of people surrounding us that sported some form of tattoo. Of all the designs I saw, I noted that those depicting angel wings were by far the most popular.

So why do so many people go for angel wings tattoo designs, over the many other images that may be available?

Before we answer that question, we need to look into what this design means.

Firstly a bit of background knowledge. We all know what angels are and where they supposedly come from, if you believe that sort of thing. But did you know that the real angels have never been depicted as having any kind of wings in the bible?

So where did the wings come from? Well, angels have always been associated with bringing messages from God. God lives up above in heaven and we live down below. Artists throughout the ages have drawn angels with wings in order to detail their descent from the clouds above.

That's pretty much how wings have come into the equation. Throughout history the wings have slowly but surely become indelibly linked with the angel, which has only intensified in the latter-day with books, films, comics and other pop culture.

But why are angel wings tattoos so popular?

I think this can be summed up by factoring in why people are now getting tattooed. In the past, western societies mainly collected tattoos as a way of showing an allegiance to a group (such as military tattoos) or simply to show off the designs as a way of self-expression.

Nowadays people tend to go for tattoos with more personal meaning to them. This is certainly the case with female tattoo collectors who favour more discrete tattoos with meaning.

Here are some reasons why you might choose an angel wings tattoo design.

1. They can represent your spirituality.

2. They can represent your ability to rise above a recent adversity or challenge.

3. They are a sign of good over evil.

4. They can show your desire to reach new "heights" in life.

5. They can represent a "guardian angel' looking over a loved one, both in life and death. They are popular in memorial tattoos.

6. They are neither masculine nor feminine so are popular with both sexes.

What styles of angel wings tattoo designs are available?

Typically, angel wings are drawn in a feathered image to represent real wings. Most collectors tend to place them on the back as per an angels placement. They can cover the whole of the back in one large design or be smaller, perhaps on the lower back. I have seen some designs cater for one wing only although most go with the conventional two wings. They are typically finished in black or dark colouring.

Wings can also be styled in the tribal method, taking the shape of the wing outline but not the full detail. These are very popular and are again mostly in black or dark colouring. The bolder outline will make this design stand out more.

For something further a field you could look at bio-mechanical wings. I have seen these about and they are quite striking. Whilst certainly a more "masculine" tattoo, these allow the tattoo artist to move away from the traditional feathering work and really strike out with an original concept involving machinery and metal imagery.


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