Wings tattooed on the chest could have many meanings, and it starts with the type of wings chosen. Many simply choose wings that are akin to an eagle. This usually means that you are connected to nature and that you believe in freedom.
Of course, there are others who choose a more fantastical set of wings such as those of a phoenix.
This usually means that you are a person that believes in honesty and truth. The phoenix has also been associated with reincarnation.
Others choose a darker route when it comes to the type of wings used. Some use something closer to the wings of a dragon or even a demon-like creature. These choices are definitely darker and could mean all sorts of things. Most of the time, these types of wings are meant to show that you are not afraid of facing the evils of this world and that you will rise above them.
There is a third type of tattoo design that is usually used on the chest, which are the wings of an angel. The religious implications of angel’s wings are definitely at the forefront of this particular type of design. It could mean that the wearer feels close to angels or sees himself as a protector of others. It could also represent the wearer’s innocence is out in the open.
1. Single Wing Chest Tattoo Ideas
A full wing chest tattoo is a big commitment of both time and space. A single wing is a great choice as an alternative, as it saves space for other body art while still allowing you to express yourself fully. When you go a smaller tattoo, it can really open up variety in style options. Fine line and black and grey or with very limited low saturation colour schemes are popular choices. Stylistically, a realistic rendering of an actual eagle’s wing is an excellent choice for a single wing chest tattoo.
2. Chest Tattoos Featuring Two Single Wings Either Side
Two wings across the chest with space in the middle has a classically minimalist, well balanced effect. There is powerful symbolism in two wings unfurled proudly, with your mind automatically perceiving them as being attached to something. Without any image in the middle, it’s you who fills that space.
Although it’s not biomechanical or anatomically realistic in style there can be a feeling that those wings being an integral part of you. There’s scope to play with technical application, but in the end it’s the space and symmetry making the wing chest design such a striking tattoo.
3. Skull Centerpiece Chest Wing Tattoos
Skulls tattoos form the holy trinity of American Traditional symbology along with roses and hearts. Wings, alas do not, but you don’t get a tattoo because you like following rules to the letter. Tradition is great, but it’s even better sometimes to deploy a modern twist. As styles continue to evolve, chest wing tattoos give you a great opportunity to carve your own path of ink – it’s your skin after all!
The wings themselves are an almost perfect framing device – they provide depth, shape and scope on the chest – and they’re almost always beautiful in their own right. But sometimes you have more to say, and a skull centrepiece links this beautiful design to a more traditional, darker aspected past.
4. Heart Centerpiece Chest Wing Tattoos
Just like the skull the heart is an enduring symbol in tattoos. The heart boasts both a softness and morbidity when applied to wing chest tattoos. It’s not menacing like a skull, lion, or vicious mythical beast.
Hearts can indicate love and vulnerability but sometimes when paired with wings they’re a vision of mortality. The angel wings are reserved for those who’ve passed over the threshold to eternal life. The human heart complements and contradicts those angel wings – we know the heart can’t beat forever yet we also know love doesn’t stop when someone goes onward to the other side. A heart is a great choice for a wing chest centerpiece to commemorate a loved one that has passed on.
5. Hourglass Centerpiece Chest Wing Tattoos
Like sands through the hourglass… I’m sure you don’t need me to finish this pop culture sentiment. The hourglass has been a symbol of the fleeting nature of human existence for many, many centuries. Sometimes it’s used to remind us of the valuable and not infinite nature of time. To appreciate and be thankful for every moment because before we know it they’ll be gone.
Pirates in the 1700s added a twisted sense of humour to the mix by throwing the hourglass on the infamous jolly roger pirate flag with skull and crossbones. So in that sense the hourglass can be menacing: your time is running out!
Practically, hourglasses are a choice that leaves you with a vast scope to experiment and add to the design as it is a relatively open space within the shape. The symmetry of the hourglass also complements the symmetry of the wings perfectly.
6. Central Eye Chest Wing Tattoos
The All Seeing Eye or Eye of Providence is such a ubiquitous image it even makes its way onto the US dollar bill. The full description is – the all seeing eye of god – represents God watching over humanity and guiding us safely through with his divine intervention. This is a powerful Christian icon and it’s no wonder many choose to use this as the centrepiece in their wing chest tattoo. The loving and watchful eye of God held up by the wings of angels.
7. Religious, Mythological or Animal Chest Wing Ink
Man’s desire for wings likely goes all the way back to Ug and Grug enviously watching their feathered brethren soar through the sky. It’s such an old ‘flight of fancy’ that wings have made their way into ancient tales from practically all cultures over the globe. Wing chest tattoos give massive scope to explore this elemental side of things. Mythological creatures, winged lions or the Virgin Mary with her palms together in prayer, are popular image types that tie in perfectly with wings.
8. Alternative Chest Wing Centerpieces
Using the front shoulder and upper chest for the wings creates ample space and framing to be as creative as you want. American traditional imagery is often integrated in the form of roses, banners and assorted symbols, often eschewing the bold colours for black and grey. Geometric shapes are another great complement to wing symmetry and work particularly well with fine line wings. Because this gives you such a broad stretch of canvas feel free to combine styles and get as creative as you want.
Chest Wing Tattoo FAQs
What are the most common meanings relating to wing chest tattoos?
The most common meaning of a wing chest tattoo is just what you’d expect: freedom. Since time immemorial man has looked up at the birds and longed to join them. We’ve done that now with jet engines but the primal desire will always be with wings. A wing chest tattoo is often representative of a free spirit who wishes to rise above the muck of life.
Wings also very much represent angels and in that sense the meaning behind some wing chest tattoos is commemoration of someone who has passed.
The next most common meaning for a wing chest tattoo is a link with nature or a mythological creature.
Did you enjoy this collection of chest wing tattoos? Check out the galleries below for more chest ink and winged options:
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- Top 43 Small Chest Tattoos
- Badass Chest Tattoo Designs