Tattoos come in a vast multitude of designs and styles. The Yggdrasil is a particularly impressive piece of art that displays the image of a tree, one known well in Norse Mythology.
As explained by the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Yggdrasill, Old Norse Mimameidr, in Norse mythology, the world tree, a giant ash supporting the universe.”
As you can see, this tree was no small matter to the Norse. The encyclopedia goes on to say that the legend of the great tree states that one of its roots went into the underworld, another went into the land of the giants and still another went into the land of the gods.
Below are several examples and a variety of interesting takes on the classic Yggdrasil design.
This piece fits nicely on the upper-back as it spans from the bottom of the back neck down in-between the shoulder blades. It incorporates two simplistic diamond shapes toward its lower half and displays simple but effective black and white shading to fill in the foliage of the tree. It is a fairly simplified tattoo is some regards but it is clear from one close look that there was certainly an abundance of truly skilled handiwork involved in its creation.
This tattoo is a slightly more complex version of the Yggdrasil design as it incorporates multiple symbols and a circular outline of lettering. It displays a good deal of solid black and makes good use of negative space to draw the viewer’s eye toward the detailed linework, particularly in the upper-half. The symbols inspire interest and the shape of the piece as a whole is idea for covering the backside of the bottom portion of the leg.
This piece grows from the mid-arm area up to the shoulder and features multiple lush segments of color. Whether it be the greenery at the crown of the tree, the brown and white throughout the trunk or the various designs on each respective level, this coloring has an attractive and comfortable feel and is a solid, creative piece of artistry.
This Yggdrasil occupies the majority of the mid to upper arm but does it by making effective use of space. It displays several small, interesting pieces throughout the roots and branches of the tree including a bug, an eye and a skull of some sort, possibly that of some type of animal. The combination of these various elements come together for a unique, almost eerie feel. Nevertheless, eerie or not, this is some sick ink.
This is a seemingly-minimalistic take on the Yggdrasil design. This piece, however, proves to be more intricate when examined up close. The dotting technique employed around the branches of the tree, for example, shows that with this Yggdrasil there may be more than meets the eye. Not to mention the fact that this tattoo is undeniably well-drawn.
This version has been laid out in a circular form as both the shape of the tree’s branches and leaves as well as its roots conform to a rounding shape, giving it a tighter, more cohesive look. To contrast this design, three birds are placed just outside of the sphere circle that could be interpreted as standing out from the crowd in a symbolic and metaphorical sense.
Here is an interesting one. With a very similar design used for both the top and bottom of the piece, accented by multiple emblems throughout, this piece feels both unified and filled with variety. The bird perched on the top of the tree and spreading its wings is an aesthetically pleasant touch as well, as is the shading in general.
A more raw and stripped down take on the classic design, this piece utilizes a more simplified look without losing any of the original strength or attitude. While it may initially seem a bit jagged and rough around the edges, these aspects of this Yggdrasil are what truly gives it character. While many people may prefer a cleaner, more standard approach, there is certainly a demand for bold and rustic tattoos like this one.
This Yggdrasil is rather unique as it is divided by a large, pointed shape in the middle of the right and left sections branches. This shape is made up of multiple different elements including what appears to be celtic knotting, a substantial amount of dotting technique around the inside border of the shape and smaller shapes within the large shape as well.
Featuring two Yggdrasil, one on the inside of each arm, this tattoo combo really is twice as impressive. While it may appear at first glance that this is the same ink twice, it certainly is not. While they are quite similar and share many similarities, including their core design, it can be seen upon a closer look that the line patterns in the middle circle within the branches are quite different and the branches around them differ as one is filled with foliage and the other is without any leaves (among other differences).
Quite a creative take on the Yggdrasil, this tatt shows versatility in the way that the tree is growing over the shoulder rather than standing face up. Integrated into the branches are a collection of what look like birds and wolf faces in addition to what appears to be a dagger, all drawn in the celtic style. This approach to the Yggdrasil is quite impressive and refreshing as it literally comes at you from a different direction.
Here is another Yggdrasil piece that is done within a circle. This tattoo is split into two portions. One is a darkened portion that displays the tree branches by using the negative space. In turn, the bottom half quite effectively, does the opposite effect with the tree’s roots. It’s an exceptionally cool idea and certainly one that originated from a place of strong and thoughtful creativity.
This Yggdrasil is composed of minimalist lines showing the two barren treetops placed opposite each other and joined at the center of the artwork in the form of a spiral. This work is simple but well-done and, despite the amount of untouched ink on either side of the spiral, still fills this portion of the subject’s arm quite effectively. Even with its reduced approach, this piece stands out with its interesting shape and nicely-done linework.
This Yggdrasil includes much more than the bare minimum as it incorporates a cracking surface at the bottom of the tattoo, possibly intended to symbolize shattered earth, as well as an hourglass that supports the main element of the piece, the tree. Hourglasses commonly symbolize the passing of time. This particular combination of the Yggdrasil and the hourglass most likely has a more complex meaning than one would find with only one of these elements. The range of possibilities is vast.
This is a particularly minimalistic, straightforward, and interesting Yggdrasil as it utilizes white space for both the trunk of the tree and much of the foliage as well, yet still maintains a bold look and feel. Additionally, the contrast between said white space and the dark bottom portion of what appears to be a sort of soil and earthen materials, which is quite dark and bold, is certainly a strong feature of this tattoo. Negative space has the potential to play a key role in a tattoo design, particularly when the artist is skilled in that area. This take on the Yggdrasil is an exceptional example of this.
This is a rather complex and embellished Yggdrasil, although certainly not in a negative way. This piece, which spans over the majority of the subject’s arm, takes an untraditional approach to this well-known design by only showing a portion of it, that being most of the tree’s top portion, with the rest being covered by a warrior. This figure is clad in highly-detailed armor of the fantastical variety.
Inked onto the upper leg, this Yggdrasil stands out with its simplicity as a design that takes few risks but maintains the core elements of the piece, such as the branches and roots of the tree and the tastefully and simple designed birds that reside in a group not far above the tree’s crown. Sometimes more is better, but in this case, the artist did more with less.
This version of the Yggdrasil takes a more abstract approach but certainly still retains balance as either end of the tree, the branches and the roots, both flow into respective triangles giving them a type of mirror-image effect. The splashes, or perhaps clouds, of paint make the clearest difference between the two halves as one is blue and the other is more of a reddish-purple. Nevertheless, this tattoo presents an interesting and well-done interpretation of the Yggdrasil.
This artist went about the Yggdrasil from yet another angel, creating what in some ways looks like an intentionally early sketch, yet with a great deal of strong line work. The piece is minimalistic to say the least. This less-is-more approach is in no way a hindrance to this artwork as the stripped-down style is beautifully done and applied to the subject’s arm in such a way that makes it seem as if it is a natural extension.