155+ Elephant Tattoos: Design Ideas with Meaning

History of the Elephant Tattoo

During the era of the Silk Road trade route, the elephant was used as one of the main modes of transport for traders. That’s because it had enough strength to carry a heavy load of goods more than any other animal. And since traders adored it and wanted to show off their appreciation for the animal, a few of them would draw an image of an elephant on their bodies, so that they would remember it when they pass on.

King Pyrrhus of Greece is one of the most famous people who employed the use of elephants in wars. A lot of historians credit him, as well as other noble figures, for using elephants as a way to win in battles. Because of the elephant’s size, enemies would tremble and flee, and people in the ancient world developed a fascination with these creatures. Those who can’t afford to buy one would instead have a small image of it inked on their body as a sign of courage and strength.

In Hinduism, the god Ganesha has the head of an elephant and the body of a human. Ganesha is also known as Kangiten in Buddhism. Ganesha represents determination, wisdom, endurance, and foundation. If a person prays to this Hindu God, they can overcome their trials and build a home for themselves and their families. Getting a Ganesha tattoo also allows you to hone your memory and wisdom.


Types of Elephant Tattoos

  1. Feminine elephant tattoos – Tattoos that have a more feminine look don’t focus too much on details, and more on curves. They don’t really sport straight lines and corners as possible, to highlight the elephant’s form. Tattoo artists also go wild with color, even though pinks, blues, and reds usually suit the best for elephant tattoos. These elephants can also be adorned with roses and jewels.
  2. 3D elephant tattoos – This type of elephant tattoo design is highly trendy. They are a perfect example of how the art of tattooing has grown throughout the years. The 3D elephant is a good representation of the animal itself, and only the most talented tattoo artists can draw it flawlessly. The 3D elephant tattoo also looks good if you paint the animal in its natural habitat, which is either in the African woodlands, or near a watering hole.
  3. Minimalistic elephant tattoo – Certain people prefer a small elephant tattoo design, since they’re so much easier to draw. They’re not that painful either, and you can cover them up if you want. The small elephant images are highly popular, especially with women who prefer the tattoos on their ankle, wrists, or behind the ear. A minimalist tattoo makes it hard to acquire the details of an elephant – But some of the best artists can still do it.
  4. Baby elephant tattoo – A tattoo of a tiny elephant looks great on a person’s wrist. It also looks nice on a person’s finger.
  5. Pattern elephant tattoos – The gorgeous pattern of an Indian henna tattoo also shows in the other tattoo designs. Elephant tattoos inspired by Indian drawings contain lots of the same patterns. Flowers, jewelry, minimal colors, clothes, tusk decorations, stripes, and spots are all connected with this theme. The tribal elephant tattoo appears regal, wise, and all-powerful.


Meaning of Elephant Tattoos

The elephant tattoo design could stand for many things. In general, the elephant tattoo not only means good luck, but prosperity as well. But thanks to its significant role in the animal kingdom, it also carries strength, power, longevity, and dignity. Apart from those aforementioned traits, elephants also signify honor, intelligence, patience, and spirituality. Thanks to all this symbolism, the humble elephant tattoo has gained popularity, since elephants themselves place importance on family ties and ancestral rites.

An average elephant lives for many decades, and has one of the longest lifespans among mammals. Scientists have also claimed that it would live even longer if not for the fact that it loses its teeth when it grows old, and thus cannot eat regularly anymore. So having this type of body marking also stands for longevity, or the hope that just like this animal, you will live for many years to come.

The elephant is also a symbol of success in Hinduism. Their God Ganesha is the God of arts and sciences. He is known to have discernment and great wisdom. In Alchemy, the elephant is also known to represent communication, commerce, and shrewd discernment, which is one of the most common meanings of the elephant tattoo.

Ideal Placement of an Elephant Tattoo

You can put the elephant tattoo on your back, knee, wrist, shoulder, ankle, ribs, upper arm, back of the neck, inner arm, the sleeve, and other parts of the body. It doesn’t matter which body part you choose – You can be assured that it will look wonderful if done by a professional.

The elephant tattoo also looks great on the shoulder. The Hindu God of success, Ganesha, has been commonly depicted as having an elephant’s head. This could result in a successful life if you want to get inked with an elephant tattoo design.

In most cases, if one decides to get a large elephant tattoo, it can be inked on the person’s back, since the back is a huge surface area required for putting in the design.

Preparation Tips for an Elephant Tattoo

Knowing how to prepare yourself for getting an elephant tattoo can lessen the process of getting the tattoo done by hours, thus preventing unnecessary health complications. This ensures that the entire process is as pain-free as possible. Here are the necessary steps you must take if you want to get yourself inked with an elephant tattoo:

Be sure to check out the artist’s portfolio. Don’t impulsively get a tattoo without checking out their works. This assures that you’re getting what you want as well as the quality that you want. You want to know six weeks ahead of time if you’re planning to get a tattoo. If it helps, stick a temporary tattoo on the body part where you want to get the real one. Wear it for a couple of weeks to see if it looks and feels right. And if it does, then start with all the other steps.

Verify the appointment time and cost ahead of time with the tattoo artist, and keep a close watch on your health. If you have followed the necessary food and drink suggestions, then you should be feeling quite healthy. In case you’re feeling too nauseous, dizzy, woozy, or ill, go ahead and reschedule – Your artist will understand.

Shave the area yourself in the weeks leading up to getting the tattoo. If you get razor burn pretty easily, shave at the closest point possible, that has you walking without any razor burns. Otherwise, the tattoo artist might have to do it themselves.

When you’re in the process of getting a tattoo, lots of tiny needles are piercing the skin. This creates plenty of unwarranted bleeding. To avoid excessive bleeding and possible damage to a tattoo, do not drink alcohol 24-48 hours before your appointment. Do not consume coffee or take medication for pain relief. All of these are known blood thinners which could end up in unwanted bleeding.

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Average Service Cost & Standard Prices for Getting Elephant Tattoo

The cost of a tattoo will all depend on the artist’s skills. Plenty of professional tattoo artists usually charge per hour with their works. With this, the client is guaranteed to acquire a good, professional-looking tattoo. The cost of a tattoo usually starts at $100 to $300 per hour, and will all depend on the size – So a huge tattoo results in hundreds of dollars. If a person wants to get a custom tattoo, the price hour can begin from $50 up to $300.

A tattoo’s size is also an important factor when figuring out the price. Size always equals to time. The bigger the tattoo is, the longer the session will be. Tattoos in areas which are more challenging, and designs with lots of complexity and tons of color also cost even more money.

Maintenance Tips After Getting an Elephant Tattoo

Once your tattoo artist is finished with your tattoo design, they will remove all the excess ink with a paper towel and a spray. Depending on your artist, they might cover up the new tattoo with cling film, while others will use a paper towel and tape it in place over the brand new tattoo. The tattoo artist will also give you instructions on how to care for the tattoo, which explains the healing process. The list also provides info about how to take care of your new ink, so make sure to follow the instructions.

Do not sleep on the fresh tattoo. Sleep on your stomach if you got a tattoo on your back. This could not only cause your new tattoo get printed to your clothes and bed sheets, it might also leave a print on your linens. In case you get up in the morning and find that your tattoo has stuck to your clothes – Don’t tear it out. This could also result in ripping off scabs.

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