Water lilies are not only captivating flowers that adorn the surfaces of ponds and lakes but also inspiring elements in the world of body art. Rooted in ancient mythology and cultural symbolism, the water lily is more than just a pretty flower. It’s a symbol of life, love, and a search for truth. Water lily is also a perennial favorite among both tattoo enthusiasts and artists, offering a wide range of design possibilities. In this article, we will learn about the enchanting world of water lily tattoos, shedding light on their symbolism. And we will also explore 40 unique designs and their meanings.
The Symbolism of the Water Lily Tattoos
The water lily, floating serenely on the surface of ponds and lakes, is a symbol of purity and divine birth in many cultures around the world. Here’s a look at what this beautiful bloom stands for:
Tranquility and Peace
The serene image of a water lily floating on calm waters makes it a universal symbol of peace and tranquility. It represents a sense of calmness and serenity, making it a popular choice for people who desire a reminder of inner peace.
In Buddhism, the water lily, particularly the lotus, is a symbol of spiritual enlightenment and the unfolding of one’s spiritual journey. The flower’s growth, from muddy waters to a beautiful bloom, mirrors the journey of spiritual growth from ignorance to enlightenment.
Love and Attraction
In Ancient Egypt, the water lily, known as the blue lotus, was associated with rebirth, but also with love and attraction. It was often used in love spells and potions.
The Art of Water Lily tattoos
With its rich symbolism and aesthetic appeal, the water lily has found a special place in tattoo art. This flower suits a variety of styles and placements and can stand alone as a simple yet powerful design, or be incorporated into a larger, more complex piece. Its symbolism of tranquility and enlightenment often attracts those seeking a deeper meaning in their body art, or those wishing to convey an air of calm and serenity.
Unique Water Lily Tattoo Designs
In the realm of body art, water lily tattoos offer a unique fusion of aesthetic appeal and profound symbolism. From realistic designs to simple line work, let’s explore the artistry and meanings behind these stunning tattoo designs.
A turtle carrying a water lily
A unique and colorful design features a turtle carrying a water lily on its shell. This enchanting thigh tattoo, perfect for girls, combines the steadfastness of the turtle with the tranquility of the water lily, symbolizing patience and peace.
Realistic water lily with dew on the back
One of the most appealing aspects of a water lily is the dew that glistens on its petals in the early morning. This tattoo design captures this fleeting moment with three realistic water lilies, each adorned with droplets of dew. Placed on the back, this design can symbolize clarity, awakening, and the fresh start of a new day.
Realistic water lily with wheel gear
This unique design combines the organic beauty of a vibrant water lily with the rigid, industrial aesthetic of mechanical gears. The juxtaposition of these elements can symbolize the harmony between nature and technology, the balance of softness and strength, or even the beauty of complexity.
Realistic water lily
Water lilies, as aquatic plants, are often seen with their reflections mirrored on the surface of the water. A tattoo design capturing this spectacle can add depth and realism to the piece. Located on the forearm, this design speaks to introspection and self-awareness, mirroring the duality of our inner and outer selves.
Simple water lily line work on the back
Sometimes, less is more. A simple line work design of a water lily can be a minimalist yet impactful way to express one’s love for this elegant flower. Its simplicity can signify purity and grace, making it a beautiful and feminine choice for a back tattoo.
Simple water lily on the shoulder
Pink water lilies, in particular, symbolize love, romance, and friendship. A tattoo design featuring a single pink water lily on the shoulder can be a delicate and romantic expression of these feelings. Its solitary nature can also reflect self-love and personal growth.
Single water lily on the forearm
A single water lily tattoo design on the forearm, enhanced with shadowing, adds dimension while maintaining simplicity. This design can symbolize the journey of growth from darkness into light, reflecting the water lily’s growth from the depths of murky waters to the surface where it blooms in the sunlight.
Sketchy water lily on the wrist
For those who prefer a more subtle and artistic style, a sketchy water lily design in light black and grey on the wrist can be a perfect choice. This discrete design can represent creativity and individuality, capturing the transient beauty of a water lily in a sketch-like style.
Small water lily tattoos
A small water lily tattoo design, embellished with watercolor and geometric elements, can be a contemporary and creative expression of personal style. The watercolor can bring a splash of vibrancy, while the geometric shapes can add structure, symbolizing the harmony of chaos and order, creativity and logic.
Three water lily: From Bud to Bloom
A tattoo design featuring three water lilies on the forearm, each at a different stage of growth from bud to bloom, can signify personal transformation and growth. It’s a beautiful testament to the journey of life, with each stage holding its unique beauty and significance.
Vintage larkspur and water lily tattoo on the back
Pairing a water lily with larkspur, a flower representing love and lightness, in a vintage style can create a nostalgic and romantic tattoo design. Placed on the back, it can symbolize carrying the past with grace and cherishing the lessons and memories that shape our journey.
Water lily and koi fish in Japanese style
Water lily and koi fish in Japanese style
In Japanese culture, koi fish are symbols of perseverance and strength. This tattoo, pairing a water lily with a koi fish symbolizes triumph over hardships and personal development. This design mirrors the koi’s upstream journey and the water lily’s bloom from the mud, visually representing resilience and transformation.
Water lily and frog
The frog, a creature that lives both in water and on land, is a symbol of transformation and adaptability. Choosing a tattoo design that pairs a water lily with a frog can symbolize adaptability and the ability to flourish under varying circumstances. This combination mirrors the transformative journey of life, reflecting our capacity to evolve and grow.
Water lily and mandala spine tattoo
A mandala, with its intricate geometric patterns, is a spiritual symbol of the universe and self-realization in Hindu and Buddhist cultures. A spine tattoo featuring a water lily and a mandala can reflect the journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth. The spine, being the body’s central support structure, is a highly symbolic location for such a profound design.
Water lily in realistic style
Opting for a tattoo design that showcases a water lily stem, complete with its reflection in a pond, truly captures a slice of nature’s serenity. Rendered in a realistic painting style, this design beautifully transposes the tranquility of the natural world onto your skin. This design can signify introspection and tranquility, echoing the serene environment where water lilies thrive.
Water lily in the waves
Three water lilies amidst big waves can make a striking back tattoo, especially when rendered in the traditional Japanese style. The turbulent waves contrast with the serene water lilies, symbolizing resilience and peace amidst life’s storms.
Water lily line work
A water lily line work tattoo above the elbow merges simplicity with elegance. The minimalist design can represent purity and grace, embodying the essence of the water lily with just a few precise lines.
Water lily mandala foot tattoo
A stylized mandala water lily foot tattoo marries the spiritual symbolism of the mandala with the natural beauty of the water lily. This design, placed on the foot, can symbolize the journey of spiritual growth and the importance of staying grounded during this journey.
Water lily Graffiti tattoo
For those who love the vibrant and dynamic style of graffiti art, a water lily graffiti tattoo can be a perfect choice. This design infuses urban energy into the traditional symbol of the water lily, symbolizing creativity and the fusion of nature with urban culture.
Water lily with a colorful koi fish
A tattoo design featuring a water lily and a colorful koi fish in a pond can be a vivid and meaningful piece of art. The koi fish is a symbol of perseverance and strength, making it a fitting complement to the water lily’s symbolism of growth and transformation.
Water lily with a quote along spine Always remember us this time
A water lily tattoo along the spine, combined with the quote “Always remember us this time,” can be a poignant reminder of shared moments and enduring memories. The water lily adds a touch of beauty and sentiment to this personal message.
Water lily with dragonfly and frog
A black and grey tattoo design featuring a water lily, a dragonfly, and a frog can be a charming and symbolic choice for women. Both the dragonfly and frog are creatures symbolizing transformation, aligning with the water lily’s symbolism of growth and change.
Water lily with its root
A tattoo design featuring a blue water lily with its root, placed on the forearm, is a unique take on water lily tattoos. By including the roots, this design can symbolize groundedness and the importance of acknowledging our origins and growth journey.
Watercolor water lily and violet tattoo
A watercolor tattoo design combining a water lily and a violet can be a colorful and artistic body art choice. The violet, a symbol of faithfulness, adds an additional layer of symbolism to the water lily’s meanings of purity and spiritual enlightenment.
Watercolor water lily
A watercolor water lily tattoo on the shoulder blade can be a vibrant and eye-catching piece of body art. The watercolor technique adds a touch of whimsy and creativity, making the tattoo look like a beautiful painting on the skin.
Waterlily line work on the wrist
A water lily line work tattoo on the wrist is a minimalist yet meaningful choice. This delicate design can serve as a daily reminder of personal growth and transformation, reflecting the journey of the water lily from murky waters to full bloom.
Yellow water lily on mandala backdrop
A yellow water lily, symbolizing joy and happiness, against a mandala backdrop can create a visually compelling and symbolic tattoo design. Placed on the back or shoulder, this design can signify the pursuit of joy and spiritual growth.
A butterfly perch on the blue water lily
A tattoo design featuring a butterfly perched on a blue water lily can be a beautiful and symbolic choice. Both the butterfly and the water lily are symbols of transformation, making this design a testament to personal growth and the beauty of change.
Black and white water lily and larkspur
The water lily and larkspur, both considered July flowers, make for a meaningful black and white tattoo design. This combination can symbolize purity and light-heartedness, reflecting the traits of those born in July.
Black and white water lily in minimalist style
Sometimes, simplicity is key. A minimalist black and white water lily tattoo design embodies elegance and grace. It’s a subtle yet impactful way to carry the symbolism of this aquatic flower with you.
Blue water lily in minimalist style
A blue water lily, often associated with wisdom and knowledge, rendered in a minimalist style, creates a striking tattoo design. This flower tattoo can serve as a reminder of one’s pursuit of enlightenment and the value of self-discovery.
Colorful water lily on the ankle
A pink water lily, symbolizing love and friendship, set on a watercolor backdrop can create a vibrant and artistic ankle tattoo. This design channels the beauty and vibrancy of life, adding a splash of color to your skin.
Crayon drawing water lily
A tattoo design featuring waves and water lily flowers in a crayon drawing style is a playful and creative take on traditional water lily tattoos. This whimsical design can capture the joy and spontaneity of childhood memories, echoing the free spirit within.
Feminine koi fish on water lily backdrop
A feminine koi fish swimming amidst water lilies creates a serene and beautiful tattoo design. This combination symbolizes resilience, strength, and the beauty of overcoming adversity, making it a fitting testament to female empowerment.
Geometric water lily outline on the forearm
A geometric outline of a water lily on the forearm is a modern and stylish tattoo design. The geometric elements can add structure and balance to the softness of the water lily, symbolizing harmony and the blending of different aspects of life.
Japanese water lily and koi fish tattoo
A traditional Japanese tattoo featuring a water lily and a koi fish is a classic choice. It signifies perseverance, strength, and spiritual growth, reflecting the journey of the koi swimming upstream and the water lily rising from the depths to bloom.
Koi fish and water lily dot work
Dot work, a unique tattoo technique creating an image with numerous tiny dots, can give a different touch to the classic combination of a koi fish and a water lily. This design, intricate and detailed, symbolizes the beauty of resilience and the journey towards personal growth.
Minimalist water lily ankle tattoo
A minimalist water lily tattoo on the ankle is a delicate and subtle choice. Its simplicity can symbolize purity, growth, and spiritual awakening, embodying the essence of the water lily with just a few precise lines.
Purple water lily on the hand
A purple water lily, often associated with enchantment and mysticism, inked on the hand, can be a captivating tattoo design. It’s a constant reminder of the magic and mystery in everyday life.
Purple water lily with a butterfly
A tattoo design featuring a purple water lily with a butterfly perched on it is a beautiful and symbolic choice. Both the water lily and butterfly symbolize transformation, making this design a testament to personal growth and the beauty of change.
Realistic water lily on shoulder blade
A realistic tattoo design featuring a water lily with leaves on a transparent pond can turn your shoulder blade into a piece of art. This design, detailed and lifelike, captures the serene beauty of a water lily in its natural habitat, symbolizing tranquility and introspection.
Placement of Water Lily Tattoos
The versatility and adaptability of the water lily design allow it to fit almost anywhere on the body. Larger, more detailed designs could be placed on the back, chest, or thigh, while smaller, simpler designs could be inked on the wrist, ankle, or behind the ear.
The placement can also carry meaning. For example, a water lily on the upper arm or shoulder might symbolize carrying peace and tranquility with you, while a design on the foot could represent a foundation of calmness or enlightenment on your life’s journey.
Water lily tattoos, with their serene beauty and deep symbolism, offer a unique way to express personal growth, tranquility, or spiritual journey. Whether you’re drawn to a simple, traditional design or a vibrant, abstract piece, the water lily is a powerful symbol that can beautifully capture your story and beliefs. Remember, the best tattoo is one that resonates with you personally—each water lily design carries its own significance, influenced by style, elements, and placement. Explore your options, consult with your tattoo artist, and you’re sure to end up with a piece that’s not only aesthetically pleasing but meaningful to you.