Some angel wing tattoos are small designs. Others are large back pieces designed to evoke the image of real angel wings.
All About Angel Wings
The early biblical angels weren’t described as having wings. In fact, they resembled ordinary men, although they brought extraordinary messages. Over the years, however, artists have drawn and painted angels and other holy creatures with pure white, feathered wings, and present-day images of angels almost always include wings.
Types of Angel Wing Tattoos
Angel wing tattoos appear as back pieces, lower back tattoos and smaller designs that can be placed anywhere on the body. They may be colored or black and grey, and they can be inked in any tattoo style. The type of wings you choose depends on the reason for your tattoo.
Angel Wing Back Pieces
Back pieces make a strong personal statement. They’re sure to provoke looks and comments. People choose these angels wing tats for individual reasons, and they’re not always what you’d expect.
Wish to Fly –
Wings suggest flight, freedom, lightness and possibilities.
Desire to Do Well –
An angel wing tat can be a daily reminder to strive for generosity and kindness.
Personal Expression –
Wings can represent the wearer’s commitment to look after friends and family.
Celebration of Beauty –
The wings may signify nothing more than appreciation for beautiful tattoo art.
Religious Dedication -
In Memoriam –
The wings can represent the wearer’s belief in guardian angels in the form of parents, grandparents or other loved ones looking down from heaven.
Some people choose to have wings that cover the entire back. Others choose smaller wings that adorn the shoulder blades or decorate just the center of the upper back. It’s a personal choice. In general, the bigger the wings, the bigger the statement.
Lower Back Designs
Lower back tattoos are often abstract designs, but they can incorporate virtually any image. Angel wing tats can be adapted to make beautiful lower back designs. If you choose a lower back tat, you’ll want to make sure that the wings are incorporated into a design and not simply sprouting from the sides of your spine. A central image such as a heart, a Celtic knot, a sunburst or a star can pull the design together.
Other Angel Tats
Angel wings don’t have to sprout from the back. Wings can be incorporated into tattoos on arms, shoulders, calves or anywhere else on the body. One popular design is the initials of a lost loved one, surrounded by protective wings. The wings can also represent the belief that the person who has died is now among the angels.
Angel wing designs don’t have to be memorial pieces. You might choose a drawing of an actual angel with soaring, delicate wings. Or, you can include wings in a mixed design with other images and elements.
Choosing a Style
The classic image of angel wings is of luxuriant feathers spreading out across the back. This image can make a lovely, powerful tattoo, but wings don’t have to be feathered. People have chosen Celtic-influenced designs, tribal patterns, free-form flames and butterfly-style wings. The wing shape can also be formed from multiple smaller shapes.
Color is another option. The same feathered wings could look solemn in black and grey, but wild and joyful in color.
Elayne Angel got her beautiful tattoo in 1986, and tattoo experts give her credit as the first person to have full-back wings inked on her body. According to an interview , Angel doesn’t mind other people following her lead. She does feel bad, though, when people copy her exact design. She’d rather see each person wearing their own unique art.
If you’d like an angel wing tattoo, talk to your tattooist about creating an original drawing. That way, not only will you have a beautiful, angelic tat, but you’ll have one you’ll never see on anyone else.