Top 101 Memorial Tattoo Ideas – [2020 Inspiration Guide]
Blissful sentimentality is serenely encapsulated within all kinds of memorial tattoos. These timeless tributes are touching emblems of a warm inner nature that exclusively focuses on forging positive connections with other people.
Nothing captures the pain of bereavement better than a memorial tattoo.
They often rely on idyllic décor to emphasize a longing for the good times instead of focusing on the end. These stirring representations of emotion are laced with vital appeal, which is derived from the appearance of sensitivity.
Memorial tattoos are frequently enhanced by the inclusion of names and dates. These savvy additions will beatifically serve as a concrete reminder of any individual at the center of this homage. These benevolent adornments can be used to remember anyone who has left your life. Common themes include lost parents, grandparents and spouses. Deceased pets may also be honored in this fashion.
Some memorial tattoos actually recognize the death of a fallen icon or idol. They can be pursued as a way to note kinship with a celebrity or hero who passes away. There are literally no limits! For a little encouragement, we have crafted this divine assembly of memorial tattoos that will serve as a catalyst for your own masterpiece:
1. Memorial Tattoos of Pets
For many of us, pets truly are family. They go through the ups and downs of life with us, always ready to reassure us that it’s all going to be okay. Sometimes they’re the only ones we feel we can really talk to or be ourselves around, especially when the humans in our lives are being – less than supportive.
Whether it’s a forever-friend pet you’ve recently lost or your favorite childhood playmate, it’s little wonder that so many memorial tattoos are in honor of our four-legged friends. To ensure the most lifelike portrait possible, choose a tattoo artist with animal experience. Realistic fur, eyes and shaping will make your buddy look real enough to leap off your arm and play fetch!
2. Memorial Tattoo Portraits
Portraits are difficult, but when properly executed, they’re some of the most powerful tattoos around. Delicate shading, realistic proportions and poses allow this tattoo to capture not only the appearance but the personality of the subjects.
A realistic portrait is considered by many to be one of the most difficult tattoos. We’ve all seen online galleries of truly horrific portraits which make loved ones into disfigured aliens. Avoiding this is simple – do your research and find a tattoo artist with a high level of skill in photo-realist portraits. Paying extra for this skill is well worth it, as evidenced by the breathtakingly lifelike portraits above.
Pictures speak a thousand words and having a realistic photo of your loved one on your skin for life speaks even more. Be sure to choose your favorite photo – memorial tattoos based on photos can capture just about any expression and emotion, so choose a photo that brings out the best in your loved one.
3. Small & Simple Memorial Tattoos
As you can see, there’s no reason to go big and flashy with your memorial tattoos. Sometimes, a small, simple memorial says all that needs to be said. Detail counts heavily in smaller tattoos, whether it’s linework, dotwork, realism or shading. Small and simple memorials can also help to avoid potentially painful questions which a larger or more visible tattoo may elicit from well-meaning strangers.
4. Occupational & Hobby Memorial Tattoos
The realism, fine linework and artistic depth shown here demonstrate how powerful a memorial tattoo can be. Faces aren’t important here – the eternal memories of days spent in the woods are.
Did your deceased loved one have a favorite hobby or pastime? Perhaps they served proudly in the military or were dedicated to a particular occupation or sport. If so, this is a poignant way to honor them by utilizing something that brought them joy or pride in life.
This is particularly true if you (or they) believed in remembering the good times, rather than dwelling on loss. Seeing them enjoying their favorite activity or an occupation which made them proud may make it easier for you and surviving loved ones to remember them in happier times.
5. Personalized Memorial Tattoos
Proving that blackwork is an art form unto itself, this tattoo combines uber-personalization with a powerful tribute to a proud marine. A pop of blue sets this piece off beautifully.
While all memorial tattoos are personalized in a broad sense, sometimes you want to go the extra mile and add text. This might be a name, dates, a poem or message. The stereotypical “MOM” tattooed on the bicep of a tough sailor is another example of personalization – proper names are fine, but so are familiar names and nicknames, or specific imagery.
When adding text to memorial tattoos, font, size and crisp lettering are everything. In addition, try to match the style of the writing to the style of the tattoo. To use the above example, an old-school style heart in memory of mom will look best with matching Sailor Jerry-style writing. Photo-realistic portraits are complemented beautifully by classical script lettering. Work with your artist, trying out different styles until you find one which feels right.
6. Religious Memorial Tattoos
If you or your loved one counted religion or spirituality as a big part of life, commemorating them with an inspiring tattoo is a natural. Perhaps they had a favorite quote from a holy book such as the Bible, Koran or Torah. Don’t be afraid to stray from English – a quote in the original language of the book is a beautiful touch. It also makes your tattoo less of a public statement and more of a personal tribute between you and the departed.
If you favor images over words, consider adding some details. Doves, roses and crosses are gorgeous when inked as part of memorial tattoos. Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism each have a wealth of symbolism, allowing you to create a personalized memorial tattoo which symbolizes one of the most important things in your loved one’s life – their faith and the better life to which they’ve moved on.
Memorial Tattoo FAQs
Can You Get a Tattoo With Someone’s Ashes?
When it comes to memorial tattoos, ashes are about as personalized as it gets. Tattoos created with cremation ashes – referred to as ritual or commemorative tattoos – are perfectly safe and legal. To create these tattoos, a very small amount of your loved one’s ashes are mixed into the ink used in your tattoo.
Cremated remains have been heated to a temperature between 1500 and 1900 Fahrenheit. This destroys all potentially dangerous bacteria which normally live in the human body and live on after death in decaying tissue. The heat of a crematorium essentially vaporizes all soft tissue, then crushes the skeletal remains into the sandy texture we traditionally call ashes. These remains are sterile, and therefore perfectly safe for use in a tattoo. Your tattoo artist – preferably one with commemorative tattoo experience – will select the most finely ground, powder-like material to ensure smooth, quality workmanship.
Due to religious restrictions on bodily remains and sentimentality, be sure that all family members and loved ones know and approve of your choice before obtaining ashes for this purpose. If possible, ask your loved one if they approve and have them tell others that they’ve given your future tattoo their blessing. This can avoid potentially awkward and painful discussions once they’re gone.
Looking for more memorial tattoos? Click on the links below for more galleries: