Who doesn’t like sunflowers? They’re one of the brightest and simplest flowers you’ll ever see and they are known for making people feel better and happy. Because of their beauty and positivity, sunflowers have gone beyond just being flowers. People have actually chosen to have sunflowers tattooed on their bodies.
History of Sunflower
There is a Greek myth that talks about the origins of the sunflower. In this myth, a water nymph named Clytie was hopelessly in love with the Greek god, Apollo. Apollo is also known as the sun god.
Ever since Clytie had known Apollo, she had always looked up to him. However, after a very long time, she realized that Apollo would never reciprocate her feelings. The gods mourned for her heartache but instead of letting her be, they turned her into a sunflower. This is why the sunflower always follows the sun whenever it shines.
On a more scientific note, the sunflower has a Latin name of Helianthus Annuus. Helios is the Greek name of the sun god (Apollo), while Anthos means flower. So, when the two are combined, they are what you now call as “sun flower”.
Taken from its name, the sunflower is a heliotropic plant which refers to the movement of the plant towards where the sun is shining. Say, for example, the sun shines in the east so the sunflower will be facing the east. The same direction is followed as the sun moves from east to west during the day. However, more research claims that the sunflower does not follow the direction of the sun all throughout the day. Instead, it only faces in the direction where the sun rises.
The sunflower looks a lot like the sun, so its meanings and symbolisms are sometimes taken from the sun’s symbolisms. Here are a few traits attached to this bright flower.
Dubbed as the “happy flower”, the sunflower has always been used to make people feel better. Although the sunflower comes in different colors aside from yellow, this color is the most widely renowned in all the world. Since yellow is the color that is associated with happiness, it comes as no surprise that even a sunflower will take this association. Even the shape of the sunflower adds to the brightness it gives.
A sunflower’s petals are also called “rays” so it follows that the sunflower is known to give rays of joy.
Similar to what the sun symbolizes, a sunflower also means hope. Just imagine what other people used to feel whenever the sun rises. A sun that rises is always a sign of hope and of new opportunities and experiences during the day. When the sun rises, it means that there is always hope for a better future and this is exactly what the sunflower symbolizes. It is meant to give hope to all those who are downcast.
Another meaning well connected to hope is life. A sunflower symbolizes life because the sun gives life to a lot of things. Without the sun, humans will not exist and the same thing happens to plants and animals. Hence, the sunflower is a sign of life even if it’s literally one of the plants that requires the sun to live.
Speaking of life, some cultures consider sunflowers as signs of longevity. So, when some people give flowers to those who are sick, it can also mean that they are praying or hoping for a longer life for the person. This came from the fact that the sun has been in existence for so long.
Taken from the Greek story above, the loyalty of Clytie is symbolized by the sunflower. For so long did Clytie look at Apollo and even if she knew that it was unrequited love, she remained loyal to him. With this symbolism, sunflowers can also be used as couple tattoos.
With all the positive traits of the sunflower, you’d wonder how it will ever be unlucky. But then the sunflower is also known to be a symbol of good luck because of the positive vibe it gives. It’s a good symbol to attract success in career and relationships.
With these meanings added to the beauty of the sunflower, it’s not surprising to know that people want a tattoo of it. Since sunflowers can be hard to come by in some areas in the world, then a sunflower tattoo will be enough to lift anyone’s spirits. It’s a great reminder of joy, life, and hope.
10 Body Placements For Your Sunflower
If you’re wondering where you can put your sunflower tattoo, here are 10 body placements from head to toe that might interest you.
Back Of The Ear
The area behind your ear is starting to become a popular placement for small and simple tattoos. Not only is it a perfect place to hide permanent inks, but it also has a strong appeal to people who see it. If this seems like the right area for you to have a sunflower tattoo, then you should try to keep the design simple. This is because the smaller the area, the harder it is to have detailed tattoos. Besides, this area is very close to the skull and although it’s not sensitive, it can make you feel uncomfortable having a needle so close to the bone.
Similar to the area behind your ear, this place is also very sensitive. Not only is it close to the spine, but this area also has a lot of nerves and placing a tattoo here can be quite painful. If you have low pain tolerance, then this area is not advisable, but if you think you can bear it, then go ahead. In fact, if you can tolerate the pain, this place is a very good area to have a sunflower tattoo because you can add the flower’s stem and let it reach your back. Others choose to have several flowers tattooed similar to a wreath right in the middle of the nape.
Whether you make use of the front area of the shoulder or the back, it’s up to you, but either way, this area provides a bigger canvas for medium- to large-sized tattoos. A bunch of sunflowers will look good here because they will be easily noticed especially when you wear sleeveless clothes all the time. However, having a sunflower tattoo here would look more feminine than masculine.
If you have placements where the tattoo would look “girly”, then there are also places where tattoos will look “manly”. One example of that area is the arm. The arm provides a more horizontal canvas compared to the back, shoulder, and the ribs. However, it is wide enough to fit different designs and if you plan to have a large sunflower here, then you don’t have to worry about it looking too thin.
Another hidden area for small and subtle tattoos is the wrist. The wrist (or the area behind it) is a great hiding place for tattoos that you don’t want to be seen by everyone else. Even if the area is still exposed, you can always hide your tattoo with bangles or long sleeves. But why talk about hiding a sunflower tattoo when it acts like another accessory for your body?
It can be argued that this area is not as popular when it comes to tattoos, but that’s probably because not a lot of people flaunt their tattoos in this part of the body except when they’re at the beach or the gym. Nonetheless, the ribcage is an ideal place because it doesn’t look feminine or masculine. If anything, having a tattoo here is a statement because this area has thin skin. This means that it’s more painful to have a tattoo here as compared to muscular areas.
Below The Ribs
Yes, aside from the rib cage, the area just below the lungs and right above your stomach is a popular spot for sunflower tattoos. This is because you can have horizontal flower arrangements and you can adjust it to fit the triangular space from the middle of the rib cage down to your stomach. Most women who have sunflower tattoos opt to have them in this area because it gives a certain sex appeal and it is well-hidden so they don’t have to worry about other people seeing something important to them. If you plan on having other flowers in the arrangement, make sure that the largest (hopefully that’s the sunflower), is at the center.
The hips are another feminine placement for a sunflower tattoo. This area is not always exposed, so a sunflower tattoo will be well hidden underneath your clothes. However, when you do go to a beach, expect that it will be easy to spot a sunflower tattoo since swimwear often exposes the hips.
This area is wide enough to have large sunflower tattoos. But to add more emphasis, you can also opt to have a small sunflower tattoo with the stem still attached to the flower. In that way, people will wonder more why it’s small.
Another wide canvas is the thighs. Yes, the thighs are perfect areas to put tattoos on especially if you have a low tolerance level for pain. Think of it as a wider canvas than your arm so if you plan on having a very round and large sunflower, then your thighs are better candidates for a tattoo placement.
And lastly, a good place to have a sunflower tattoo is the ankle. People would think that the ankle is too small to have a huge sunflower placed there. However, what they don’t know is that you can always extend the tattoo to your foot just as long as you have the flower on your ankle. Besides, the sunflower itself need not be big because the features of a sunflower already look big. A 2-inch tattoo will fit perfectly in the area and it will still not look squeezed in.
Tips On Making Your Sunflower Tattoo Stand Out
Everyone knows what a sunflower looks like, so if you plan on having a sunflower tattoo, then you can expect people to know what it already looks like and it will be no different from those who already have a sunflower tattoo. So if you want to stand out, try these tips in designing your sunflower.
Add different shades of black.
Since it’s a flower, people would assume that you will have it colored. At the very least, people expect to see a yellow flower on your body. But to change things up a bit, you can opt to have a monochromatic sunflower tattooed on you. Instead of the usual green, yellow, and brown found on sunflowers, why not use different shades of black and grey? The plain colors will add more depth and seriousness to your tattoo which is perfect if you have attached a deep meaning to it.
House it in a shape.
A unique idea you can do is to house the sunflower you want in a geometrical shape. You can have a circle tattoo and the sunflower is right in the middle of the circle. You can also turn the sunflower into a major element of a much bigger tattoo so instead of having a whole flower there, include geometrical shapes to add a more futuristic touch to the design.
Add more sunflowers.
One sunflower might be too bare for you so there’s no stopping you to adding more sunflowers. Some people prefer to have them look like a bouquet while some create a band using sunflowers. You can also add other kinds of flowers to your bouquet and play with different colors so they will look more alive. When designing a bouquet of flowers for a tattoo, it’s best to take time and arrange the flowers as you would with a bouquet.
Add a stem.
Aside from the flower itself, what adds beauty to the sunflower is its long stem. Sunflower tattoos do not need to be big and obvious all the time, so if you want a simple sunflower tattoo, then adding a stem will perfect the bare look. It’s also perfect if you place it at your nape while the stem extends to your back. If that’s too big for you, you can always scale it down so that it can fit some hidden corners of your body like the area behind your ear or your wrist.
Turn it into a band.
Individual sunflowers are nice, yes, but there are so many other things you can make with sunflowers for tattoos. Take, for example, a band. If you plan on putting a sunflower tattoo on your wrist or on your ankle, then why not the design the tattoo as a band? By doing that, your tattoo will no longer look like anyone else’s especially since you have more freedom to think of other things to put on that band. To add to that, a sunflower band on your wrist or ankle can double as an accessory for any outfit!
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Finding The Right Tattoo Artist
So everything is set when it comes to the designs and the placement of your tattoo. What’s missing now is the right tattoo artist that will bring your sunflower to life. If you don’t know who to go to or who to ask, don’t worry, here are some of the traits that will help you spot a great tattoo artist.
The mark of a good tattoo artist is if they have repeat customers and if they have people who openly recommend them to other people. Try asking your friends or family members and if they recommend a tattoo artist, then you can be slightly assured of how great the tattoo artist is. However, it’s still best to look around and go to review sites so that you get other people’s opinion on the best tattoo artist near you.
If you have a few names on your list, it’s best to take a trip to their studios so that you can meet the tattoo artists personally. This is important because you want to make sure you know who they are before entrusting them to poke needles into your skin.
One of the traits that people don’t usually look for is charisma. It’s not enough that a tattoo artist is talented if they cannot accommodate you properly or they can’t explain to you what to expect from the tattoo session you will have. Charisma is important because it will help you feel more at ease especially if it’s your first time to get a tattoo.
Another important trait that the tattoo artist should have is skill. There are tattoo artists who need a pattern in order to make designs, but there are also artists who create directly on your skin. There is no right or wrong in going for an artist who does not do scratches or patterns. At the same time, you should also be wary of artists who don’t use patterns and guides because they might create a design that you do not approve of and you’ll just regret it because it’s already permanent.
You will know if an artist is skilled if you visit them and ask them of their previous works. If they are experienced, they will have a portfolio ready for you.
There are industries where the quote “experience is overrated” applies. This is not the case for the tattoo industry. In making tattoos, you need someone who is experienced because he or she will be handling needles that will make permanent marks on your skin. There are also cases when your skin will bleed. For things like this, you need someone who knows what to do and have experienced putting a good number of designs and skin types so that they don’t get fazed when something goes wrong.
When you visit the tattoo studio, don’t forget to observe the cleanliness of the place and the hygiene of the tattoo artist. Since tattoos deal with needles, you want to make sure that they are sterilized and that the area is safe from bacteria. Although you can never be a 100% safe from bacteria and infection, you can still prevent this by making sure the surroundings are clean. In short, pick a tattoo artist who is hygienic because he will definitely be mindful of your tattoo.
If you have a budget in mind, then you have to take into account the rate of the tattoo artist. People would argue that tattoo artists have the right to charge high, but this is not entirely true. If your tattoo artist is renowned and is located in an urban district, then you can expect a more than average hourly rate for your sunflower tattoo. However, these things are just some that affect the price of a tattoo. The design, the size, and the placement of your sunflower tattoo are also factors.
And lastly, you need to look for a tattoo artist near you or somewhere you can easily go to. This is because it will be much more convenient for you to go back to your tattoo artist if you plan on having a retouch or are getting more tattoos in the future. You wouldn’t want to go all the way out of town to get a tattoo even if the price might be lower.
Although there are a lot of other flowers, nothing stands out like the sunflower. It’s bright and easy to identify because no other flower looks like it. The same goes for tattoos. If this piece has convinced you to get a sunflower tattoo, then feel free to consult with a tattoo artist you trust.