53 Small Manly Tattoos Ideas – [2022 Inspiration Guide]
Positive and masculine, realistic and expressive, the manly small tattoo is a perfect addition to any man’s ink collection or the start of a venture into an artistic life of encouragement and drive. Appreciation is the key to success with a small manly tattoo design.
Small tattoos were once thought to be only for the female population. The size of the ink, the show of tolerance to pain.
However, as the tattoo industry grows and more in the public eye, meaning and artistic design are more closely appreciated than size among tattooed men.
Manly small tattoos consist of many intricate and simple designs. They range from simple anchor tattoos and borderless crosses to the more intricate Celtic, Japanese, and script designs.
Typically, these tattoos are positive and encouraging, often ranging from religious quotations and symbols to that of specific well-known positive enforcement nationalities, such as Native American, Celtic, and Japanese, not to forget the most common of all, nature.
Read on for an awesome selection of small manly tattoos you can take to your tattoo artist as inspiration for a new design.
See more about - The Top 51 Awesome Small Tattoo Ideas
1. Outdoors Tattoos
The following are great examples of how a talented artist can turn these outdoor objects into beautiful works of .
Few things are as powerfully bonded to ideas of independence and manhood as the time spent in the great outdoors. The smell of fresh mountain air, sleeping under the stars, sharing beers with the around the campfire, and trips into the wilderness have paved the way for a powerful sense of camaraderie for thousands of years.
can be a great way to commemorate the importance of these forays into the wild for an individual, and what better way to pay tribute to these trips than with some of the essential gear that makes them possible?
A involves the camping gear, which includes the camping multi-tool, the hatchet. This versatile piece of equipment can be used to hammer tent poles, split wood, and even open cans of food if someone forgot a can opener. Add a compass to guide the way and a decent backpack to keep it all together and you’re ready to head off into the woods.
2. Small Military Tattoos
Here are some examples of interesting military-themed .
War, unfortunately, seems to be an essential aspect of human nature. As soon as the third caveman arrived on the scene, a conspiracy was hatched against him between the first two. Despite the hellish nature of war and combat, this crucible is also where some of the greatest acts of sacrifice and bravery are born, and the men and women who step up and do their duty to their country forge powerful, lifelong bonds.
Many soldiers, sailors, and aviators choose to commemorate their service and the sacrifices their fellow warriors made with . While plenty of service members choose to ink their branch or specific tours and operations on their bodies, some prefer less specific nods to their warrior lifestyle. Given the nature of war, oftentimes, these patriots choose to adorn their bodies with the tools of their trade: weapons. Whether it is a rifle, pistol, or even an aircraft, these weapons of war are the objects that helped define their role in serving their country and also make for great
3. Small Nautical Tattoos
The following pieces are some great examples of nautical tattoos that draw from a number of traditions and styles.
The Western tradition began in the 1800s when Captain Cook made several voyages to the South Pacific islands, including Tahiti and Hawaii, observing the native populations and their striking full body and face . In fact, during one expedition, Cook’s science officer and botanist Sir Joesph Banks received a tatau (Samoan word for ), as did many of Cook’s deck hands and crew. They brought this tradition to the West and it quickly spread from port to port.
As time passed, tattoos became more and more popular among sailors, and as some seamen made their way to Japan, this stunning Asian tradition was incorporated into these nautical designs. In fact, it was the blending of Japanese with the traditional elements of European and American nautical life that led to the American Traditional school of tattoos, perhaps most famously pioneered by Norman Keith Collins, better known as Sailor Jerry.
This inextricable bond between tattoos and the sea continues to this day, and the designs are not strictly confined to the bold lines and simple designs of the American Traditional .
4. Small Tattoos
Here are some that show off the versatility of these lovely little pieces.
Tattoos are a great way to express yourself, and as this lovely tradition continues to grow in popularity and acceptance globally, the people who choose to get permanent ink on their bodies become more diverse. It is no longer generally accepted that if you have a , you are either a sailor or criminal; it once was. Now, bus drivers, kindergarten teachers, and even politicians can all enjoy the pain and pleasure of carrying their favorite art with them wherever they go.
As the group of people who get tattoos grows, so does the variety of styles and designs. Now, there are endless pages of flash to choose from and thousands of talented artists to apply them or create one-of-a-kind work of for discerning individuals.
One trend that has gained popularity recently, with both men and women alike, is inking , either to be incorporated into larger designs or as standalone pieces. While big bold pieces will always be impressive, there is something to be said for in visible places, as well as the mysterious effect that can be achieved by having a small piece just peeking out from above a shirt collar or waistband.
5. Small Dotwork Tattoos
In the hands of a talented , the results of dotwork technique can be different and exciting. Here are a few great examples of what is possible with this popular style.
Over the course of the five thousand or so years that humans have been each other, there have been quite a few different styles that have come and gone. The first documented was found on a frozen corpse in the Alps known as Otzi Man, who had several series of lines, dots, and crosses tattooed on areas of the skin that coincide with points of stress on the body. These have been theorized to perhaps be some ancient form of natural medicine.
Since these prehistoric origins, we have seen everything from the vibrant colors of Japanese body suits and the intricate face tattoos of Maori warriors, all the way to new school pieces inspired by comic books and anime. One recent trend that is continuing to grow has more to do with the style of application and less with the images and designs depicted.
The dot or stipple work style has been gaining traction in the world, thanks to how different it looks compared to more traditional techniques and the variety of images and textures that can be executed with this painstaking process.
6. Animal Tattoos
The following are some great examples of animal tattoos that utilize a number of different styles and techniques.
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’ s best friend; inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” While this quote from the unforgettable Groucho Marx is a clever play on words, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true: the dog is man’s best friend. The special bond formed with a pet often inspires a as many people choose to get inked to commemorate their bond with their dog, cat, or hamster. But these are not the only reasons people choose to get animal tattoos permanently inked on their skin.
Other people choose tattoos of animals that they feel have powerful traits. Some people already see these traits in themselves, while others believe permanently branding these creatures on their body will imbue these traits in themselves. Still, other people decide to get animal tattoos for more aesthetic reasons, and the majesty and beauty of the animal kingdom provide them with ample material to draw from.
7. Small Abstract Tattoos
Here are some great examples of tattoos that use a more abstract and imaginative approach to this permanent art form.
Tattoos, like all art forms, are limited only by imagination and the skill of the artist doing the work. This means that any number of concepts, designs, and techniques can be utilized to create these stunning works of permanent . When examining the practically endless amount of work available on the internet, one becomes immediately aware of the sheer volume and variety of tattoos that people have adorned their bodies with.
Some people have full body duplications of impressionist paintings tattooed on their back, while others commission artists to accurately recreate black and white portrait photographs of deceased loved ones in a photo-realistic style. The possibilities truly are endless, and for some, a more abstract approach is what best suits their taste and sensibilities. Whether this means loose, gesture-like drawings or broad swaths of vibrant color is up to the client and their
8. Black and Gray Tattoos
Here are two fantastic examples of tattoos that vary in style and application but stay true to black and gray ink.
9. Blackwork Tattoos
The following pieces are some examples of how, with a clever design and a talented artist, no color is necessary to create interesting tattoos.
As we have seen, there are endless ways to express yourself through the incredible medium of tattoos, and some people deal better with extremes. For these people, color is out of the question; for these people, even gray wash is too watered down. Only is bold enough to express the unambiguity of their aesthetic. Thankfully, in the world of tattoos, blackwork is a style that has been around forever and there are many talented artists who specialize in these stark designs.
Small Manly Tattoo FAQs
How much does a small tattoo cost?
Tattoos can be a bit tricky to price, since every tattoo is different and artists’ rates can vary greatly based on a number of factors. That being said, we will give loose guidelines on how much these small tattoos should generally cost.
First off, most, if not all, tattoo shops have a minimum cost. For many shops, this is around $50 USD—give or take—so even if you just want a simple design like a small circle on your thumb that might only take 30 minutes to complete, expect to pay a shop minimum, and don’t even bother trying to haggle.
The next major factor in determining price is the artist. Is the artist in high demand? How long have they been tattooing? Are they regularly featured in magazines and other tattoo media? All of these affect price, with some of the best artists charging hundreds of dollars per hour as well as often having their own minimum fee that might be different from the shop’s. For these high end artists, even small tattoos may cost upwards of a thousand dollars.
Long story short, these prices can vary greatly, so the first step is heading to your local shop, finding an artist whose work you like, and making an appointment for a consultation.
Do tiny tattoos last?
Short answer: no. Long answer…maybe. Small tattoos are great and can be well executed depending on the artist and the design, but the pieces that use fine lines and subtle shading will never last as long as other pieces that utilize larger areas of skin, bold lines, and saturated color. Often the ink can “fall out” of these small designs or sometimes bleed together, slowly turning into a blob over time.
The human body’s immune system sees tattoo ink as a foreign body and it actively tries to push out, dissolve or absorb it as soon as the needle hits your skin. This means that the bolder the lines and color and the larger the surface area, the better the chances of a small tattoo design standing up to the test of time. “Bold will hold” is an old tattoo maxim that rings as true today as it did back in the days of Sailor Jerry.
This is not to say that small tattoos are pointless. A good artist can still achieve a high level of saturation that gives these small pieces a better chance of holding up, it is just important — as with all tattoos — to consider what the piece will look like 5, 10, 20, and 50 years down the line.
They are permanent, after all.
Enjoy these tiny tattoos? Check out the links below for some other useful galleries to aid in small-sized ink inspiration: