A graceful bird, both while standing and in flight, the crane has inspired humans for centuries. Although there are many birds out there, nothing quite captures the imagination like cranes. Here we have some crane tattoos that we hope will delight and entice. For a favorite icon of tattoo design, we've chosen some pieces done in our favorite styles...Blackwork, Japanese and Traditional, as well as a few Illustrative thrown into the mix. We promise that even if birds aren't your thing, each of these will give you some ideas for your next ink...the incredible designs, techniques, and styles could be applied to anything!
Cranes are, indeed, a very special and traditional icon of tattooing...possibly because art tends to beget art. This particular bird has inspired many legends, songs, folk tales, paintings, and prints, and have been captured in ink for decades. From Sweden's "Queen Crane" fairy tale to the fable of the grateful Japanese crane, it is the personality and beauty of the bird that helps spin these fantastical yarns. The Swedish tale of the crane's magic is all about kings and princesses, and a sheep herder who is helped by a loyal and powerful crane to win the hand, heart, and fortune of a queen to be. There are many different Japanese crane tales, but perhaps the most iconic one is Tsuru no Ongaeshi, also known as The Grateful Crane. This particular fable is less about Kings and Queens and more about helping a friend in need. A hunter removes an arrow from a wounded crane he finds in the forest and sets it free...later the bird inhabits the body of his wife so that she may create a beautiful fabric woven from the threads of soft feathers.
Just like the Grateful Crane story, many of the symbolism behind a crane proves to be of good moral fiber. Cranes are known for their grace...their mating dance is like a ballet, and since they mate for life, they're also a symbol of loyalty and unwavering love. Their stoic nature is also meaningful...many people who get crane tattoos wear the birds as reminders that strength and patience can weather any storm. With their white feathers, they also embody beauty, youth, and good fortune...since, it's pretty lucky to be born so gorgeous as a crane! But not to be outdone by their looks, these birds also signify wisdom. They're pretty much a triple threat...smart, pretty, and talented dancers.
We hope this particular collection of crane tattoos help to spark your need for new ink, and give you some great ideas for designs in the future...we also hope that perhaps we've introduced you to some new talent on our App! If you haven't done so already, download our Tattoodo App so see tons more inspo, events, articles, guides, and even TV! Everything awesome that has to do with the best tattoos, and all just waiting for you to discover it! You can also find brand new artists, book with a studio, or figure out who to travel to next. You can even upload your own tattoo collection! Nothing is better than tattoos 24/7/365.