Elephant tattoos look good on both men and women. In fact, elephant tattoo ideas are so versatile that these majestic and beautiful animals can fit anywhere on the body.
From small and simple to tribal, realistic, geometric, watercolor, or like a cartoon, there are many elephant tattoo designs to choose from. Plus, you can always get these amazing creatures tattooed with a flower for an elegant feminine look or focus on a black and white African elephant face for a bold finish.
Whether you want? an elephant sleeve, forearm, shoulder, chest, back, ankle, hand, foot, or arm tattoo, here are the top design ideas for women and men to explore. Discover the best elephant tattoo ideas with these cool designs and drawings.
Elephant Tattoo Meaning
An elephant tattoo can mean and symbolize different things, depending on the design. Generally, the meaning of an elephant tattoo can relate to wisdom, prosperity, luck, power, strength, dignity, family, and character.
Elephant tattoos can come in all sizes and styles, from cute cartoon figures to large realistic depictions of the animal to intricate geometric shapes and designs. Elephants are visually stunning creatures, and they can hold great cultural significance.
Both the aesthetic possibilities and the inherent symbolism make elephants a popular subject for tattoos.
While elephants are large, these amazing animals are also frequently described as “gentle giants” thanks to their generally even temperament. As a result, tattoos modeled on elephants frequently portray them as calm, knowing, and happy creatures.
In Hinduism, the god Lord Ganesha has the head of an elephant. People who practice Hinduism associate Ganesha with success, and believe that he brings good luck to those who are pure of heart. Moreover, Ganesha is considered to have great wisdom, which may contribute to people’s general belief that elephants themselves are wise creatures.
Elephants have a really interesting tribal dynamic. Socially, they are matriarchal: male elephants tend to wander around on their own, while female elephants will band together and raise their offspring together, sometimes creating very large herds.
Some cultures also revere elephants as a symbol of fertility, while others regard them as a sign of chastity.
Generally speaking, elephant tattoos are often associated with concepts like prosperity, determination, compassion, and happiness.
Cool Elephant Tattoo Ideas
There are many cute elephant tattoo ideas to pick from. You can opt for something simple and small or colorful detailed designs. Your favorite elephant tattoo will ultimately dictate placement. Here are the best design ideas to consider!
Small Elephant Tattoo
Just because elephants are large, it doesn’t mean an elephant tattoo has to be. As long as you don’t plan to get anything too ornate, you can get a small and unobtrusive design. An outline-only tattoo or a silhouette style are both excellent options.
Simple Elephant Tattoo
Sometimes basic is beautiful and a simple elephant tattoo may just be the perfect design for you. Many popular elephant tattoos are adorable simple outlines, which means they can be quite small because they don’t need to include too much detail. This kind of tattoo is easy and cheap to get; you’ll be in and out of the chair within the hour.
Elephant Outline Tattoo
There are several approaches you can take to doing an elephant outline. You can do a cute cartoon elephant tattoo, or one made up of geometric shapes.
Watercolor Elephant Tattoo
A watercolor elephant tattoo combines the clean lines of an outline tattoo with the abstract aesthetic of a watercolor tattoo.
This colorful tattoo has a distinct visual flair for something relatively simple to execute.
Black and Grey Elephant Tattoo
Elephants lend themselves very well to a black and gray tattoo, as elephants are gray. Whether you’re going for a realistic interpretation or an intricate and culturally-significant design, you can get a surprising amount of detail from such a limited color palette.
Elephant Back Tattoo
If you want to get something more ornate or detailed, the back is a perfect location. There is plenty of room on the back to do a large design, which means your tattoo artist can pack in a lot of details and get creative.
The back is also easy to cover up if you have a job that doesn’t allow tattoos, but it’s easy enough to find a placement that allows you to show it off on the weekends.
Elephant Tattoo, Meaning, Symbolism
Elephant tattoos are especially popular among people who otherwise feel deeply connected with nature and who have a deep belief in animal significance. By tattooing such symbols, they feel that they are better connected to Mother Nature, which greatly matters to them.
The elephants symbolize a lot of things, and these are some of the most important symbols:
Power– they are bigger and stronger than most animals and they can create a new order in the way they feel may benefit them. However, elephants rarely do this, and if they decide to be mean, it is because someone else is trying to take something theirs away
Strength– they are strong. Obviously, an animal of that size has to be strong and powerful.
Patience – they are not impatient, they can wait until they succeed in reaching their goal. This symbol is connected to them because of the fact that it is hard for them to make some things in the nature because of their size.
Honor – they respect each other and want do anything against each other. They have a really strong connection going on between them too.
Wisdom – the patience they have and their calm character brought them wisdom and often times it turns out that the wise animals win, not the strong ones. Thankfully, elephants are both of these qualities.
Memory – they can memorize things for decades, as mentioned above.
Dignity – they are aware of their superiority but choose not to impose; they live in dignity. This is something that is really important for them and it shows that Mother Nature didn’t create powerful things to rule others.
Intelligence – they are more intelligent than we think, especially when they need to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Longevity – they can live very long, but are still going extinct.
Family– this is their most sacred thing and therefore it makes them very vulnerable when they are being torn apart.
Success – they always reach their goal, no matter the time it takes them.
Happiness – they are happy no matter how hard their life is, just as long they are together in a big family.
Spirituality– this is something people decided to put upon them
New beginnings – it was always considered than an elephant means something deep, maybe a new beginning or a happy start. Many people get this tattoo in order to remind themselves that they can always start fresh.
It is known that elephants never forget and that their longevity must have been endowed with wisdom.
This magnificent mammal is also known for its big grace, which is exceptional because the animal is very heavy and it is not easy for an elephant to move around.
The elephant is considered as a universal symbol of strength, loyalty, and trust. As one of the wisest and most intelligent animals, the elephant has a divine title.
If you are looking for a truly symbolic tattoo, you cannot go wrong with an elephant tattoo.
Whether you choose a small tattoo for your wrist or a big for your back, it will be a good canvas for this magnificent animal, be sure that this tattoo will mean much more later on.
Elephants, except the above, also symbolize compassion, and the exceptionally strong link between elephants and Buddhism shows how much this virtue is valued.
It is believed that Buddha has chosen this animal for a reason. He has chosen a rare white elephant as an image of his incarnation.
The white elephant also has an extraordinary maternal symbol, symbolizing fertility that is linked to motherhood but also symbolizes great wisdom.
That’s why the white elephant is a wonderful choice for a mother tattoo that can show your love and protective strength.
Although a white tattoo loses shine and color over time, it is not intended for a demonstration for other people but as a reminder for you.
Tattoo fans who want to tattoo an elephant to protect their romantic relationships and community put this tattoo as a sign of fidelity and loyalty that never disappears or stops.
Trust and loyalty are the key things for a good relationship.
The elephant tattoo can also represent both power and strength, but not in a disgraceful sense, but in the patriotic sense because the elephant is long associated with that sign.
The meanings of elephant tattoos
Power and peace
The elephant is a huge animal with great power, but it is very quiet and calm. The elephant never attacks unless it is provoked. It shows that that they are very loving.
The elephants will react nervously only if they feel like they are in danger. Otherwise, they are very calm, and this tattoo is ideal for people who are relaxed and conscious of their power.
Success and Happiness
In Hindu religion, the elephant is considered a symbol of success, and the famous Hindu god Ganesha is depicted with the head of the elephant.
It is believed that this god brings happiness to those of pure heart.
He is also known as a ward of science and art, and he considered elephants to be symbols of great wisdom.
Elephants are known for their protective and honored character. In elephants, a hierarchy can be observed in the herd. The females and offspring travel together in a big crowd while the man is traveling alone.
Some cultures consider elephants as a symbol of fertility. Due to the size and strength of this animal, the elephant has become a symbol of strong libido, with them becoming very angry when the female is unavailable. It is believed that their raw sexuality comes to the surface at that moment.
Purity and patience
The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle considered elephants as an example of purity.
He was also convinced that they are animals who hold deeply about their honor and have mutual respect within the herd.
Indians and Tibetans believe that in ancient times the elephant played an important role in the creation. Their ancient books interpret how the elephant kept the entire universe on it. This can be seen on their painted buildings full of elephants that keep the world on their backs.
Elephants are animals known for their longevity, and for this reason, the Romans have highly appreciated and believed that they are the symbol of immortality and a symbol of harmony with nature.
Elephant Tattoo Design and Ideas
These are some ideas for designing an elephant tattoo design.
There are more detailed designs, simpler designs, silhouettes and a lot more.
The elephant is also very important in Buddhism, so people of this religion decide to tattoo it.
The white elephant in Buddhism was considered the most sacred animal and was the Buddha’s incarnation.
The white elephant is an excellent choice for a female tattoo because it is considered a symbol of fertility and deep wisdom. This is related to the legend that Buddha’s mother dreamed that the white elephant entered her womb.
The elephant tattoos are equally popular amongst men and women. It is one of the rare animal tattoos that isn’t connected to one gender more than the other one.
Tribal elephant tattoo
Frequently, symbols of tribal art are used for elephant tattoos. Often, there are also details of folk Polynesian and Maori history and art. People that used to live in areas where a lot of elephants were or are, usually feel this connection more.
Children of native people usually get this tattoo in order to show respect to their parents.
Elephant Family Tattoo
An elephant family tattoo is also very interesting. It is a beautiful tattoo of elephants who travel together as a family, holding one another tails so they won’t get lost.
This tattoo (besides family) can also symbolize friendship and loyalty.
Some people even decide to involve initials or full names, but this can be very tricky later in life when relationships and people change, so many suggest that you get this one only if you are sure that you will stay close to those people.
One-colored small elephant on the wrist
This minimalist tattoo is great for all elephant lovers who love simplicity and clean lines.
The most common tattoo on the hand, especially on the wrist, is very simple. Occasionally there are flying birds above the elephant tattoo.
People who like minimalism usually go for this and they decide that it is very vulnerable for them to talk about this too.
Big elephant tattoo on the back
This tattoo on the back is an excellent choice for the adventurous types. Since the tattoo is large, it is filled with many details and patterns.
If you want to be noticed and show that you are different, this tattoo is an excellent choice.
Creative elephant tattoo
This tattoo is made with black ink and is extremely decorated with geometric details.
Those who are brave usually get this in color too, but you need to be aware of the fact that you will spend more sessions in the tattoo parlour because of this.
Flower elephant tattoo
For all women who love floral patterns, there are elephant tattoos full of flowers in beautiful colors and mostly bright tones.
This is a unique tattoo that fits onto each part of the body and looks particularly beautiful on the shoulder.
Two elephants with a heart
The nice black tattoo is very interesting and shows two of the best elephants ever. These two elephants, one larger and one smaller, are facing each other and are connected with waves.
Above the place where the waves are merged, there is a little heart.
These elephants are a symbol of the love you share with someone, and they are a great family symbol, a symbol of love and friendship.
Creative origami tattoo
If you want a creative tattoo, this origami tattoo is your choice. If you are an origami lover, you will adore this tattoo. Even teachers love it because it is related to creativity and something a bit childish and innocent.
The origami paper can have a pattern on it.
Divine mandala elephant tattoo
We all know the beautiful mandala samples. This fantastic elephant design is the right choice for everyone.
Beautifully animated elephant tattoo
Young girls especially love this sweet elephant tattoo that seems to come from an animated film.
The elephant on the tattoo is seated and holds a flower or a balloon in a bright color while the rest of the tattoo is made in black.
The elephant tattoo watercolor
Are you watercolors lover? Then this is a wonderful tattoo for you. Choose your palette of colors and get a tattoo that will look like an artwork.
Tattoo of an elephant head with a flower crown
This tattoo only fits on the back because it is quite large, and the point of this tattoo is that elephant looks directly at someone behind you.
A beautiful animal with a crown of flowers in the hair is a sign of motherhood and femininity in you and will be a reminder for the rest of your life.