3D tattoos are mind-boggling and eye-catching. They present an opportunity to express your creativity, share a bit of yourself with the world, create small reminders of experiences that shook you to your core. Not to mention the fact that they’re fun and extremely attractive. Getting inked, however, is permanent. While you can remove a tattoo later on if you feel like it no longer represents you, the procedure is costly and time-consuming. You want to be certain that you will enjoy your chosen design for a long period of time before heading up to the tattoo parlor.
To give you a head start, we’ve gathered a few amazing 3D designs from around the Internet to show just how provocative, beautiful, and sometimes crazy this type of tattoos can be. Maybe you will stumble upon something that will inspire you to get inked ASAP.
The amount of detail in this tattoo is simply astonishing. The artist deserves some serious praise. Plus, this is the perfect tattoo to get if you want to express strength and courage.
Life surely did a number on the owner of this tattoo. The nails look so realistic that we’re almost compelled to rush him to a hospital for a quick checkup. If you’ve had some difficulties along the way that left a mark on you and allowed you to become the person you are today, this is the type of design that will give you the chance to pay a subtle homage to those experiences.
Ripped skin tattoos are fairly popular, and you can see why. Combine them with a script tattoo and the end result will be astonishing.
Cracked skin, beautiful sky, birds flying away… What do you think the owner of the tattoo wanted to suggest? Maybe they’re looking to escape from a mundane routine, or maybe they just like that awesome shade of blue. We might never know for sure. One thing is clear though: this design is fantastic.
Getting such a big tattoo is a huge undertaking. If you’ve never gotten inked before, we suggest you start with something smaller to make sure you will be comfortable with a larger design later on.
This eye is so realistic that just picturing one of those flies approaching it is giving us nightmares.
The perfect tattoo for a superhero fanatic. If Superman isn’t your cup of tea, this type of tattoo can be done with other superhero logos as well. Flash, anyone? Batman? There are endless possibilities.
Can we pet its nose? Pretty please?
If you’re a fan of horror flicks, you will surely appreciate this masterpiece. We’re currently trying to get rid of goosebumps.
Incredible technique makes for an amazing tattoo design. We’re in awe.
Music lover? What better way to convey your passion than by getting a representative 3D tattoo? Those shadows are to die for.
Get a similar tattoo and people won’t be left with any reason to doubt your undying love for Converse shoes anymore (wink).
If spiders don’t freak you out, this is a more subtle, but still amazing 3D tattoo to try. Fair warning – it might make people with arachnophobia keep the distance.
A bigger spider makes for an even more badass – and more frightening – 3D tattoo design.
A paw can be just a paw, or it can turn into a work of art, as showcased above. Eye-catching tattoo for sure.
A 3D mouth beneath your own mouth? If you’re daring enough to pull it off, it can work.
Bloody eyes can only be sported by the truly confident, so proceed carefully.
This skull is utter perfection. The shape, the shades, the location – lovely.
Such amazing attention to details and such great technique. A unique 3D tattoo will easily make you stand out from the crowd, so make sure your tattoo artist has the chops to master your desired design before heading over to the salon.
May we interest you in a bionic hand? Not only does this tattoo look awesome, it’s also a great conversation starter.
You don’t have to be a sailor to get an eye-catching anchor tattoo. In fact, it’s a known fact that an anchor puts roots deep into the sea and holds ships in place, so this symbol is usually associated with strength and stability. In other words, getting an anchor tattoo can mean that there’s a special something that provides you the strength needed to hold on no matter what life has to throw your way. If we’re talking about a 3D anchor, even better.
A lovely, feminine design for someone who loves butterflies and flowers. The colors are great, and the butterfly is so realistic that it seems ready to fly away at a moment’s notice.
We have no idea about the connection between the girl and the turtle, but we can’t help but gush over the colors of this tattoo. Truly mesmerizing.
The mermaid’s hair made us think of Ariel. Plus, the shades are glorious and the tail is incredibly well-designed.
This actually looks like a legitimate leg bracelet. You need a lot of skill for that.
A butterfly makes a special appearance, and we can’t help but gush over its perfection.
A delicate flower for a delicate 3D tattoo.
Another tattooed leg bracelet with an eye-catching design.
Thanks to the art of 3D tattoos, you can now royally wear jewelry on your shoulder.
Pink is one of our favorite colors, so naturally this design went straight to our hearts.
We had the bionic hand already, so here’s a bionic foot. We can’t decide which one we like best.
Are you considering getting a hidden third eye? Then you should know that the third eye is a mystical and esoteric concept referring to a speculative invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sigh. Pretty cool.
OMG, how did you manage to make those butterflies fly so close to you? Oh, never mind.
Face tattoos are tricky. That said, if such a daring tattoo truly represents you, go for it. Staying true to who you are and putting yourself first is basically the only way to thrive in this world.
This cute blue frog looks ready to jump of the girl’s shoulder. It doesn’t get more realistic than this.
A 3D tarantula is a bold – and beautiful – choice.
Maybe the frog has a friend?
Another awesome example of shattered skin revealing some thoughtful writing. Those are truly some values to live by.
An extremely powerful 3D tattoo. It’s true that images can speak louder than words sometimes.
Thornes may symbolize pain and difficulty. Plus, you know, they look very cool.
Dragon enthusiast? Dracarys!
How awesome is this? Perfect if you have a deep love for all things photography.
The subtle shadows make this tattoo utterly charming. And that deep green is wonderful.
You’ve got the key to all of life’s problems? Tell the world!
Spiders seem to be all the rage nowadays. Here’s another great design for spider lovers looking to get inked.
Why settle on getting a tattoo of a snake when you could get a tattoo of a snake coming out of your back? That is the question.
Tattoo artists are always testing their limits and often put no bounds to their creativity, so there’s no wonder that these 3D designs are catching on. People have become more open in recent years to the idea of using their bodies as a canvas and choosing tattoo designs that tell a story – even though that story can be interpreted differently by people around. It allows them to express themselves in a beautiful way and to show the world their scars, their hopes, or their values. 3D tattoos are also growing in popularity because they look so realistic on your skin, as if the real thing is actually on your body. If the artist is skilled you can end up with a masterpiece painted on, as you could see above.
If you’re looking to get inked as well, there are a few things you should know before taking the plunge. This is a permanent change you will be making to your body, so you have to be 100 percent certain that you won’t get bored with the design in a couple of years. Only once you’ve mulled over the idea for a while and considered all the downsides you are truly ready to make an appointment with a tattoo artist. To give you a hand, we’ve gathered 10 surefire signs that you are truly ready to get inked for the first time. Some of these are obvious, while some might not even have crossed your mind. Go through them point by point and be honest with yourself. This is in no way a decision you should rush into.
1. You thought about the design carefully
This one should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway. Don’t make a tattoo design decision on a whim. The tattoo will be there with you for the rest of your life, so you want to make sure you don’t get something you might regret later on. The list includes your one-month girlfriend/boyfriend’s name, a meme, a misspelled Chinese idiom, and so on and so forth. Ideally, you should pick something you think it’s beautiful and which has some personal, deeper meaning for you – whether that’s an arrow, a lyric, or a 3D tiger.
Once you have a somewhat vague idea about what you’re looking for, browse the Internet for inspiration. There are thousands of designs out there to help you figure out exactly how you would like yours to look like. You can also get in touch with a designer who can help you come up with a unique design based on your preferences, or you can reach out to a tattoo artist, explain what you’re after, and ask for their help. The more research you do on the subject, the better.
2. You know where you want your tattoo to be
You’ve already picked a place for your future tattoo you’re comfortable with. When making this decision you should also think about external factors that might impact your choice – like your professional life. The ugly truth is that some companies just won’t hire people with visible tattoos (face or hand tattoos), so this is something you must consider if you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder in the future. Tattoos can be covered up with makeup, but are you sure you’re willing to do that every day?
Moreover, it’s perfectly OK to start small. If you’re new to tattooing, getting inked in a more subtle place is a good idea. It’s the perfect way to give yourself a chance to learn the process, analyze how your skin takes ink, and figure out how comfortable you are once your body heals.
3. You are sure about your decision
Only get a tattoo if you’re absolutely positive this is what you want. Never for any other reason. It doesn’t matter if your friends all proudly wear tattoos. Or that it would drive your parents crazy. Or that your significant other would really like you to get one. Getting a tattoo is a deeply personal experience, so you should never do it for someone else. Only head out to the tattoo parlor when you know, without reservations, that this is what you want to do.
Many people get tattoos in their teens and then wake up ten or twenty years later regretting their decision. Don’t be one of them. Carefully weigh the pros and cons and only go for it once you’re sure this choice is right for you. Don’t do it to belong to a group, to piss off someone, or to “make someone love you more”. Do it so you could make you happy. Your opinion is the only one that matters in this case, so it’s perfectly OK to be a little selfish.
(On the same note, not getting inked because of those around you can be just as bad.)
4. You’ve done your research
You should research not only the design you want to get, but the parlor and the tattoo artist as well. It’s important to look up different tattoo shops and artists before settling on one. More and more people get inked these days, so more and more people are tattooing. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the training required or that they handle the proper techniques to master the design you’d like, especially if we’re talking about a 3D design. Everyone with money can open a shop, but that doesn’t mean they know what they are doing.
Your best bet is to look at portfolios online. A reputable shop or artists will have one with clear, readable photos. Most artists also have Facebook pages where they upload their work and also tag the people they inked in the photos – why not reach out to one of their clients and ask about their experience? It will give you a better idea about how the tattoo artists deals with clients and about what to expect.
5. You already talked to the tattoo artist face to face
Finding the perfect parlor online is great, but you should also pay the parlor a visit prior to your appointment to look around and meet with the artist face to face. Pay attention to their surroundings – the shop should be clean and preferably display some of the artist’s work so you can get a better look of what they can do. This is also a time where you should rely on your gut. If it’s telling you that something isn’t in order, it’s best to keep looking. If you feel comfortable there and you connect with the artist, it’s a clear sign that you have found a great place.
You should also take this opportunity to ask the artists about all your concerns. If they have confidence in their work, they will be willing to take the time to answer all your questions. Instead, if they pressure you to get a tattoo then and there, you should probably look for someone else. As we’ve said before, this isn’t the kind of decision you make on a whim. It’s your body, and nobody should feel entitled to pressure you to make a change to it you’re not fully comfortable with yet.
6. You have the money
This isn’t the kind of activity where you price shop or look for deals. Quality work costs, and if you want your tattoo to look awesome you will have to pay up. It’s OK to buy clothes on sale and ramen in bulk; when it comes to art that goes on your body though, you don’t want to skimp. It’s best to save up for your tattoo for a couple of months and go to an established professional than to get one for $40 from a shady guy you found on Craigslist. As a side note, never haggle and don’t forget to tip. If the artists gave you exactly what you wanted, they deserve it.
7. You understand that it will hurt
We’re talking about needles poking your skin deeply and quickly, so of course it will hurt. Don’t expect it to feel like kittens licking your skin. The pain is worth it, but be ready to face it. Also, keep in mind that some areas of the body hurt worse than others. If you’re a particularly sensitive person don’t choose ribs, elbows, the spine, backs of knees or groin areas for your first tattoo.
8. You know how to behave on the day in question
When the big day arrives, you’re ready to handle yourself responsibly. Don’t show up drunk to muster up some courage or numb the pain. Trust us, you want to feel that pain. Not to mention the fact that no decent tattoo artist will accept to alter your body if you’re under the influence. We never understood that episode of “How I Met Your Mother” when Ted gets a tattoo while very, very drunk. And if you’ve seen the show, you also know that it took him a lot of sessions to get said tattoo removed.
Additionally, don’t show up at the tattoo parlor with a posse. It’s OK to bring a friend, especially if you’re nervous, but don’t bring your entire squad. They will be disruptive and they might even influence you to change your mind about the tattoo, despite the fact that you’re the only one who can decide what goes well on your body. It’s also a good idea to eat something before showing up for your appointment. You don’t want to pass out.
9. You have an idea about after-care
You understand that you will have to care for your tattoo until your skin heals, which might mean applying protective cream and protecting the area while showering. Your tattoo artist will be able to give you more details about after-care, but you have to be ready to follow their directions.
10. You understand that some people might judge
Certain people will make your tattoo their business, especially if it’s in a visible area. They will ask about and they might even judge you for it. They will want to know what it represents or what it stands for. You’re aware of this fact and you know you will be ready to ignore the haters.
3D tattoos are often breathtaking, beautifully executed and utterly cool. At the end of the day though, you are the one who has to live with the tattoo for the rest of your life. Carefully weigh the pros and cons and take some time to really mull over your decision. If you want to get the tattoo for yourself, give it to yourself. Research parlors, make an appointment, and go for it. You will feel incredibly empowered and badass afterward.