From a cautionary tale to a story of hope, an Icarus tattoo can mean a lot of different things. You should know all the options available to you before you get such a tattoo.
As an artist and a fan of Greek mythology, I have designed many tattoos like this, including those focused on the Icarus myth. Due to this, I can open your eyes to the different kind of Icarus tattoos you can get.
Let's get started.
It's important to understand the meaning behind any tattoo you wish to get. So, what is the Icarus tattoo symbolism?
As you may be aware, Icarus is a Greek myth. The story begins when King Minos traps an inventor, Daedalus, and his son Icarus in a tower. To escape, Daedalus created wings made from wax and feathers.
Before their escape, Icarus' father warned the boy about flying too close to the sun.
After taking flight, though, young Icarus forgot about his father's warning and began flying higher. The closer he flew to the sun's heat, the more the wings melted. Icarus eventually fell into the ocean and drowned.
Well, taken at face value, the Greek mythology behind Icarus is about the dangers of hubris or of being over ambitious. Many people see it as a cautionary tale.
However, this isn't the only way to think of Icarus tattoos. An Icarus tattoo could also be a good reminder of balance - to find stable footing between your ambition and other elements in your life.
Others see the Icarus story and tattoo as a warning against instant gratification. It could be a cue to think things through to the end without acting on your impulses.
Some also use an Icarus tattoo to show that they subject themselves to a higher power or those who are wiser than they are.
Of course, if you are simply a fan of Greek mythology, you don't have to worry about the Icarus tattoo meaning as much. It could simply be a symbol of your passion for an ancient art form.
Here are the Icarus tattoo designs you should consider for yourself:
This is the most common type of Icarus tattoos. While such a tattoo appears to have a pessimistic meaning, just look at how beautiful these renditions are, particularly the Icarus arm tattoo designs.
It proves that the Icarus tattoo can simply be a way of enjoying art rather than only considering the symbology behind the Greek mythology.
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This is a more complete yet sometimes heartbreaking rendition of the Icarus tattoo. This piece shows Icarus as well as his father.
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This is a completely different take on the classic Greek mythology. These Icarus tattoos show Icarus flying instead of falling.
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The Icarus tattoo meaning here is one of ambition. With a tattoo like this, you choose to focus on the part of the myth that came before the fall. It is also a way of accepting that failure is sometimes a byproduct of ambition.
In this Icarus tattoo, it appears that Icarus flew to the moon instead. This can have a dual meaning. First, it could mean that by pushing past his limitations that Icarus was able to reach new heights.
It could also be an indication of how only under the right circumstances that people can succeed. In this case, Icarus was able to fly higher as he did so by the light of the moon.
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This is a beautiful tattoo where the look of hope is evident on the man's face. There is a lot of peace about this ink as well. It is ideal for anyone who would prefer an optimistic Icarus tattoo design.
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In this depiction, Icarus is flying towards knowledge:
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Here are some colorful renditions of this unique tattoo design:
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If you are a true fan of Greek mythology, you will find this Icarus tattoo to be a truly inspired one.
Here, the tattoo artist has done up the Icarus tattoo in a similar fashion to ancient Greek art. It is a proper tribute to the myth and a wonderful tattoo design.
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This tattoo design works well as an Icarus symbol for the story. Just the wax wings with missing feathers are shown here but it is still a meaningful and haunting tattoo.
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Maybe you prefer Icarus tattoo designs that told the whole story. If this is the case, these Icarus tattoos are certainly options to consider.
They depict the story of Icarus in the proper order. This give greater meaning to your Icarus tattoo.
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The great thing about an Icarus tattoo with a phrase or a saying inked alongside the image is that you control the message.
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As I have already mentioned, the story of Icarus can mean different things to different people. The saying can clearly indicate what your tattoo means to you.
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These tattoos are emblazoned with phrases about not being afraid to fall. This is a beautiful message for anyone who is afraid of flying too high or attempting to achieve their dreams.
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In this case, you are acknowledging that Icarus did fail. However, you are also telling yourself that his goal wasn't impossible - you can reach the sun, you simply have to work harder and smarter to get there.
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This Icarus tattoo is all about urging yourself to take a chance. After all, everyone has to fail and everyone's life is finite. It is about taking your chance and going for it.
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If you love Greek mythology, then Icarus won't be the only story that you like. So, why not get a tattoo of all Ancient Greek elements or stories that you appreciate?
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You don't have to stay too close to the Icarus story if you don't want to. After all, tattoo design is all about your own spin on things.
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In this case, the all-seeing eye replaces the sun. This can allude to ultimate knowledge or a higher authority. It can also be a more modern take on the Icarus story.
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With this Icarus tattoo, the artist and recipient has certainly taken a lot of creative license. However, it has led to a truly beautiful and hopeful rendition of the myth.
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A lot of Icarus tattoos tend to be large affairs and this is understandable - this is a pretty epic story! However, if you are looking for something smaller and more discreet, here are a few ideas you can borrow from:
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Apollo as a tattoo can be an indicator of power, knowledge, art, prophecy, or even purification of guilt.
An Atlas tattoo can symbolize strength, determination, and endurance.
This kind of tattoo is a sleeve tattoo where the subjects are typically unrelated.
The Icarus tattoo is an epic one that tells a story that has transcended generations. If you want to do this ink justice, you now know all the tattoo designs you can get. Choosing the right one should be a breeze so go ahead and get started!