Tattoos are an important part of the goth look – representing that special kind of subculture that developed simultaneously in Europe and the United States in the 1980s as a reaction against the colorful disco era. Contrary to what some people think, goths are not morbidly fascinated with death or the occult – but they do tend to be highly creative, artistic people with a strong intellectual bent.
Gothic tattoo designs reflect this tendency. Though many different designs could be considered goth, gothic tattoos form a category all their own. One thing is for sure: gothic fashion includes a lot of black: black clothes, black makeup, dyed black hair, ... A certain style of body modification complements this style: tattoos are one part, but other body art such as piercings are just as characteristic.
Goth Tattoo Designs
What types of design are typical for gothic tattoos?
Here’s where it gets complicated. People who are part of goth culture have very eclectic and imaginative tastes and interests, a fact that is fully reflected in their tattoos.
One of the main influences of the gothic subculture are horror movies. That's where their interest in religious imagery comes from: crosses, rosary beads, angels, roses...
Another great influence are the medieval and romantic times. The images tend to be fantastical, as much of the mythology of the time was: fairies, dragons, demons, vampires, ...
Another category of gothic tattoos is influenced by the occult – images relating to Wicca (white witchcraft):
- The Tarot
- The pentacle (a five-pointed star)
- Black cats
- The athame (a double edged blade used in Wiccan rituals)
- Symbols related to the four elements – earth, air, fire and water.
- Viking Runes and other mystic crafts and oracles.
- The Grim Reaper
None of these occult crafts is evil, they have nothing to do with Satanism for example. They are ancient religions that were practiced before Christianity, and then they had to go underground. Gothic tattoo designs actively seek out and celebrate these images.
To conclude: gothic tattoos are extremely varied because they reflect the various interests of people who see themselves as part of the goth culture and lifestyle.
If you're into Gothic, you'll also like our Skull Tattoo Designs