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Shoulder Tattoos: The Benefits You Need to Know Plus 50+ Design Ideas for Men and Women

By Jason Hamilton / December 26, 2018
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Decades ago, people considered tattoos a taboo. Before, getting a tattoo means a life of discrimination even if many cultures have already been practicing it.

Regardless of the design, there are others who are quick to judge people with tattoos. For them, such body art could be related to a gang or criminal group. However, those days are long gone now. Today, more and more people consider tattoos as a form of art. Because of this, many people are getting their own tattoos too.

Back when tattoos still had a bad reputation for them, people had them placed in areas that are rarely seen. These include their chest, thighs, back, ribs and more. However, as the public opinion on tattoos began to take a turn for the better, people became more daring and they began placing tattoos in visible areas. The most popular of which are the shoulders.

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Understanding Shoulder Tattoos

The truth is, there are a few different places on the upper body that are counted as part of the shoulder. In hindsight, it is the part of the body that connects the shoulder to the torso. It is a huge canvas for tattoos but people should first understand what part of the body is considered as the shoulder by tattoo artists.

There are three areas in general. The large flat area on the upper back is one. It is basically known as the shoulder blade and of all three parts, this is the one that offers the most space for design. Moreover, the more common area that is referred to as the shoulder is above the chest and around the arm joint. This area is perfect for tattoos that go around or for designs that can start off a wicked half-sleeve. Last, but not the least, is the top portion that runs from the neck to the joint. There are not many tattoos placed here considering the awkward size but if the artist is good, then he will be able to do wonders with it.

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Benefits of Having Shoulder Tattoos for Men and Women

To Show Off or to Shy Away?

The shoulders are a great area for a tattoo for an array of reasons. First and foremost, they are easily seen but they can also be covered with pieces of clothing if needed. It is the perfect choice for people that want to get tattoos but are still unsure about whether or not they are okay to be seen with on in public.

The Pain Scale

Another reason why getting a shoulder tattoo is best for beginners is that it has a fairly low pain level based on the pain scale. Every tattooed person will tell you that getting inked means having to go through intense pain. This is because the process of getting a tattoo requires getting ink under a certain layer of the skin. Doing so means having to get pricked again and again.

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Regardless of a tattoo’s placement, there will be wincing involved on part of the person getting it. Also, that very same pain will be experienced even if the person has already gotten several other tattoos. The good thing about this is that there are varying levels per body part and the nerves have got something to do with it.

For shoulder tattoos, newcomers have their work cut out for them if they get inked at the front around the collarbone. The top part up to the sides of the shoulders will yield less pain as well. They shouldn’t feel too confident, though, as pain will still be present. If the tattoo moves near the armpit area, the pain will significantly increase. The same can be said once the work gets to the back.

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Versatility

What also makes the tattoo a great spot is that it is a huge canvas and it is versatile. People can get an array of designs for the shoulders and the options are near limitless. The area also serves as a great starting point for tattoos that will become increasingly large. For example, the shoulder tattoo can be connected to other designs placed on the arm for a full sleeve. It can also be connected to the chest area which is more popular. One celebrity that sports an iconic shoulder to chest tattoo is Dwayne Johnson.

Shoulder tattoos are also viable for both men and women. It is one of the many parts of the body that both genders can use to full extent. There is an endless array of designs to choose from and since the shoulder area is large, the artist can get really creative.

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Ideal Patterns for Shoulder Tattoos

If tattoos are an art form then the body is definitely the canvas. The human body is vast and there are various areas we can get tattoos in but for beginners, they should definitely give shoulder tattoos a shot. It can end up being a wonderful piece of art on their body and they do not have to go through excruciating pain to get it. If you are one who’s looking for ideas for your shoulder tattoos, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some designs that you might want to consider.

Shoulder Tattoos for Women

For women, floral patterns such as peony tattoo and cherry blossom tattoo designs are the most common because it gives off a more sophisticated aura. Quotes and names are also one of the patterns that many women opt for.

Shoulder tattoos of a bee and a vividly colored sunflower on the upper back part of the shoulder

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Cartoonish shoulder tattoos of a sunflower and a bee on the top portion of the shoulder

A combination of a monarch butterfly and cherry blossoms shoulder tattoos

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An elegant tattoo of a peony flower in black ink on the top area of the shoulder

A combination of peony and mandala shoulder tattoos in 3D

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A beautiful shoulder tattoo of peony flowers placed on the shoulder cap

A detailed peony tattoo in black and gray ink drawn on the shoulder cap

A peony flower mixed with several types of other floral patterns made as shoulder tattoos

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Multicolored watercolor images of roses placed on the shoulder cap that stretches to the collarbone

A watercolor tattoo of a rose in magenta placed between the shoulder cap and the collarbone

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A combination of a name and roses shoulder tattoos on the back portion of the shoulder that stretches up to the shoulder cap

A name tattoo placed on the top part of the shoulder

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Another name tattoo on the top part of the shoulder but this time it’s placed on the left shoulder

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A combination of name and an image of a red lipstick used as shoulder tattoos

A name tattoo on the shoulder cap that stretches to the collarbone

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A name tattoo on the top portion of the shoulder

A combination of name and stars as shoulder tattoos on the shoulder cap

A combination of name and a ladybug image as shoulder tattoos

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A name tattoo with a closed-winged image of a butterfly on the back portion of the shoulder

A name inked over an image of a diamond situated between the collarbone and the shoulder cap

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A quote that says “I carry your heart” placed on the top portion of the back of the shoulder

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A script tattoo that says “happiness is a mood, not a destination”

An inspiring script tattooed on the top portion of both shoulders

A typewriting quote tattoo on the upper part of the shoulder

A quote on the upper part of the back area of the shoulder written in Hebrew

A name with a heart tattoo placed just below the collarbone that stretches down to the chest

A mix of butterfly, stars, and name shoulder tattoos placed just above the shoulder blade

A flower tattoo with a name used as a stem placed just below the collarbone stretching up to the shoulder cap

An elegant and realistic rose tattoo on the shoulder cap

An elaborately designed heart tattoo with a name on the center situated between the shoulder cap and collarbone

Shoulder Tattoos for Men

Unlike women, most men prefer their shoulder tattoos bigger and have more details. Additionally, they mostly opt for black in tattoo designs that stretch to either the chest or on the arms. In this way, the tattoos would accentuate their chest or their biceps.

A Roman soldier chest piece that stretches up to the shoulder and bicep

Shoulder tattoos of a clock and an owl that stretches down to the chest

A heavenly dove and rosary sleeve tattoo that starts on the shoulder cap

A realistic dove tattoo placed on the upper part of the back of the shoulder

A combination of an image of Jesus Christ, an anchor, and a steering wheel on the shoulder blade

A 3D samurai half sleeve tattoo that starts on the top of the shoulder

A Celtic tattoo of a tree placed on the shoulder cap

A combination of trash polka clock and birds shoulder tattoos

A Pisces symbol with koi fishes placed on the shoulder blade

An impressively detailed tattoo of a dragon covering the top of the shoulder and on the shoulder cap

A heavily inked tribal tattoo placed on the shoulder cap

A detailed shoulder tattoo of a jellyfish that starts on the collarbone

An image of a Kraken on the shoulder cap that stretches down to the chest area

A richly detailed image of an eagle placed on the shoulder blade

A detailed image of an armor as a half sleeve tattoo starting on the shoulder cap

A tribal-inspired drawing of a wolf on the shoulder area that’s also covering the bicep

A nicely detailed eagle tattoo covering the entire shoulder area

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson sporting a combination of different symbol of shoulder tattoos resembling a tribal design

A medieval armor shoulder tattoo in 3D on the right shoulder

A combination of different symbols as shoulder tattoos stretching to the bicep

A 3D shoulder tattoo that seems as if the skin is ripped

A 3D armor tattoo on the entire shoulder area with a Celtic symbol

An impressive image of a hornet tattooed on the shoulder blade

Shoulder tattoos are great. Placing tattoos on the shoulder area is a good choice, especially if you want a piece that will accentuate your shoulders. Additionally, for women, it can add more sophistication. Which of these shoulder tattoos for men and women is your favorite? Tell us in the comment section below.


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About the author

Jason Hamilton

Jason has been an avid fan of tattoos for over 13 years now. He is currently 35 years old, and he got his first tattoo at the age of 22. Since then, he has added over 20 tattoos to his collection. He is also into writing, which is why he decided to celebrate both of his passion and hobby through tats ‘n’ rings. Jason dreams of having his very own tattoo parlor soon. Jason would be very happy to answer any questions about tattoos that you may have! Leave a comment below and he’ll answer it for you right away!


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