Shoulders represent one of the most common areas for tattoos. That’s because many tattoo models look spectacular in this area. At the same time, shoulder tattoos are easy to hide – so, whether it’s for a formal event or professional environment, covering it will be a piece of cake.
When it comes to the model you should get, there are many ideas you can settle for. Some people who decide to get inked go for popular pieces, others give their tattoos a unique twist, and some come with their own creations to be tattooed on their skin. But if you want to see some cool artwork on your shoulder yet you can’t make up your mind, you could use some inspiration.
In this shoulder tattoo story…
- Tribal Shoulder Tattoos
- Geometric Shoulder Tattoos
- Angel Wing Shoulder Tattoos
- Skull Shoulder Tattoos
- Eagle Shoulder Tattoos
- Flower Shoulder Tattoos
- Dragon Shoulder Tattoos
- Upper Back Shoulder Tattoos
- Small Shoulder Tattoos
- Lion Shoulder Tattoos
- Tiger Shoulder Tattoos
- Colorful Shoulder Tattoos
- Clock Shoulder Tattoos
- Front Shoulder Tattoos
- Star Shoulder Tattoos
- Wolf Shoulder Tattoos
- Shoulder to Bicep Tattoos
- Angel Shoulder Tattoos
- Portrait Shoulder Tattoos
- Shoulder Tattoos on the Shoulder Blade
- Demon Shoulder Tattoos
- Warrior Shoulder Tattoos
- Japanese Shoulder Tattoos
- Phoenix Shoulder Tattoos
- Cross Shoulder Tattoos
- Funny Cartoon Shoulder Tattoos
- Pegasus Shoulder Tattoos
- Color Splash Shoulder Tattoos
- Movie-Inspired Shoulder Tattoos
- Diamond Shoulder Tattoos
Luckily, in this post, you will find different exciting designs that would look amazing on a man’s shoulder, so keep reading to find out the best shoulder tattoos for men in 2023.
Tribal Shoulder Tattoos
There’s no doubt that tribal tattoos are very popular and have been for a long time. The shoulder is a very common placement for these thick, curved lines, mainly due to how well they fit in this spot. Your artist can help you choose shoulder tattoo ideas that hugs your shoulder perfectly.
Geometric Shoulder Tattoos
One trend that seems to have risen in popularity over the years is the geometric shoulder tattoo. What makes these tattoos so great is that they can either have a deeper meaning or they can simply be abstract shapes. Besides, they create a cool effect on the shoulder, and they don’t go unnoticed.
Angel Wing Shoulder Tattoos
The rounder shape of the shoulder makes it perfect for wing designs, especially if you can work on something more unique with your tattoo artist. Wings can not only symbolize freedom or serve as a commemoration for a loved one, but they can also represent protection or faith.
Skull Shoulder Tattoos
Skulls find themselves inked on people’s bodies quite frequently, not only because they look good, but also because they can be added to the most complex tattoo models. Whether you go for a human or animal skull, the cool part is that you can make it fit your shoulder perfectly.
Eagle Shoulder Tattoos
One design that would look perfect on your back of shoulder tattoo is the eagle wing. If you choose your tattoo artist carefully, they can create something majestic for you. What’s even better is that eagles are symbols of independence, power, and bravery.
Flower Shoulder Tattoos
Although flowers are often seen as shoulder tattoo ideas for women, they can also look great for men’s shoulder tattoo ideas, especially if you enjoy old-school designs. Roses can be added to different designs, and due to its rounded shape, the shoulder is the ideal placement for such a flower.
Dragon Shoulder Tattoos
Because dragons are complex creatures, they can have all sorts of forms and colors, which makes them great elements for any tattoo. A dragon would look great around your top of shoulder tattoo, and it would symbolize your power, strength, or wisdom.
Upper Back Shoulder Tattoos
If you have broad shoulders and you’re quite muscular, then you can go for something that emphasizes both your shoulders and back. Upper back shoulder tattoo designs have become very widespread lately, and they allow you to add more elements to your tattoo in the future if you want to.
Small Shoulder Tattoos
Although the shoulder is wider and could fit larger designs, you can also go for a small tattoo. That’s especially the case when you want something more discreet or when you’re not sure that you want to cover your entire shoulder. Quotes work best in this regard. Tattoo ideas for men’s shoulders can vary widely, and it’s essential to take your time to find the perfect design that resonates with you.
Lion Shoulder Tattoos
Lion shoulder tattoos for men make great pieces, particularly for powerful men who are not afraid to show who they are. If you’re a natural leader with lots of strength and masculinity, the roaring lion is perfect for this part of your body. Besides, you can even pick from different designs and styles.
Tiger Shoulder Tattoos
Just like lions, tigers are powerful felines, and they’re known as good predators. Any powerful man would feel proud with a tiger tattoo on his shoulder – as he should. If you want to show off how fierce and strong you are, then this is the perfect tattoo idea for you.
Colorful Shoulder Tattoos
Colorful shoulder tattoos can look as good and masculine as a black and white one, especially if you choose the right design to go with them. What’s better is that they can also make great for a half sleeve – especially if your arms are larger and more muscular.
Clock Shoulder Tattoos
Clocks are powerful – they are not only a symbol of time, but also of life and death. Someone who likes to make the best of their time on this planet will appreciate a clock shoulder tattoo. You can combine it with different other elements of your liking to make it more meaningful.
Front Shoulder Tattoos
Do you want to be a badass in your group of friends? A tattoo that extends from your arm and shoulder to your chest can achieve this. It can include different symbols and elements, making it more detailed and attractive.
Star Shoulder Tattoos
Star shoulder tattoos for men are pretty common. They represent faith or guidance, and they can be drawn in different styles. You can go for a single star on your shoulder, or opt for a trail of multiple stars, depending on the message you want to send.
Wolf Shoulder Tattoos
Someone who works out and has wider shoulders can fit many designs on that spot – even a powerful wolf. Wolves are predators, but they are also very loyal animals. If you’re a man who loves his family and is dedicated and strong, the menacing wolf will be a great design for your shoulder.
Shoulder to Bicep Tattoos
Even if you are excited to get a shoulder tattoo, you don’t have to limit yourself to the shoulder alone. Extending your shoulder piece to the bicep can make the design look cooler. It also gives you more space for complex art.
Angel Shoulder Tattoos
People who are religious love to represent their faith through tattoos – and you may be the same. An angel is a great way to show that you love God, but it can also represent a loved person who is no longer among the living.
Portrait Shoulder Tattoos
A portrait is a common choice among those who get their shoulders tattooed. You can get the portrait of a loved one, such as a parent or child, but it could also be of a fictional character or a celebrity. However, you should be careful: tattooing a partner can be tricky if the relationship ends.
Shoulder Tattoos on the Shoulder Blade
While other parts of the shoulder are a bit more bearable when getting tattooed, shoulder blades can be more painful. Still, these tattoos can look great, especially if you get matching ones on each shoulder blade. Because they add symmetry and balance, they are a popular pick.
Demon Shoulder Tattoos
Demon shoulder tattoos for men might be a bit controversial, and you’re bound to have someone point their finger at you and judge you for your choice. But if you don’t care what others think, demon tattoos on a shoulder will show how fierce and determined you are. You can also easily cover the piece in some circumstances if necessary.
Warrior Shoulder Tattoos
Unleash your inner warrior by getting one tattooed on your shoulder. Men frequently pick this type of design, and you can settle for different types of warriors. Traditional Spartan warrior tattoos are a common choice.
Japanese Shoulder Tattoos
Most tattoo lovers appreciate Japanese tattoos. The good news is that they are also great for the shoulder area. You can get inked with beautiful colors and designs, whether you settle for tigers, koi fish, warriors, a geisha, or any other Japanese element.
Phoenix Shoulder Tattoos
Everyone knows that the phoenix bird represents rebirth and renewal. A phoenix is reborn from its own ashes, and this is a great way to symbolize a stage that has ended, making room for a new one to begin. This amazing, magical creature will look incredible on your shoulder, especially if you also add some splashes of color.
Cross Shoulder Tattoos
For many men, religion and faith are important. They are committed to Christianity, and they want to show this to the world. A wonderful way to do this is by getting a cross tattoo on your shoulder. The area is not only convenient, but it also allows you to show off the new piece whenever you want to. And if coverage is necessary at times, you can easily hide it.
Funny Cartoon Shoulder Tattoos
Not all men opt for huge, complex pieces to cover their entire shoulders. Some prefer getting something small, cute, and funny, like a cartoon character. It doesn’t make you any less of a man but rather shows that you are not afraid to stand out and that you are committed to something long-term. For example, you could get a tattoo of the character you loved the most as a child.
Pegasus Shoulder Tattoos
A Pegasus is a majestic creature. With its large, powerful body, and amazing wings, the Pegasus will make you want to show off your shoulders more often. This tattoo allows you to show everyone that you are strong and brave and that you have control over your own life.
Color Splash Shoulder Tattoos
Colors can add more personality and style to a tattoo and can bring more attention to this part of your body. However, unlike colorful tattoos, color splash shoulder tattoos only require some colorful accents here and there. For instance, adding a red splash to a black-and-white tattoo can show that you have a big heart and lots of emotions and that you are not scared to admit it.
Movie-Inspired Shoulder Tattoos
Many movie fans dream of the day they are going to get a tattoo representing their favorite production. Whether you like Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, Avatar, or another movie, you can easily use your shoulder as the canvas for one of the characters or movie scenes. There are many other designs that you can add here, which makes this location more convenient.
Diamond Shoulder Tattoos
Why not show everyone what a shining personality you have? A diamond shoulder tattoo is a great way to show this. It’s one of the best shoulder tattoos for men because you can get it in a more realistic design as well as in various colors.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shoulder Tattoos
Do shoulder tattoos hurt?
Shoulder tattoos are pretty “harmless” when it comes to pain. Due to the thicker skin and fewer nerve endings, the outer part is not that painful. For this reason, most people can handle a tattoo session in this area. The shoulder blades are usually more painful, though.
Are shoulder tattoos expensive?
Prices for shoulder tattoos vary. In general, you can expect to pay a minimum of $200-$500. However, if the tattoo is large, complex, and covers the entire shoulder, you will most probably have to pay much more.
How long does it take for a shoulder tattoo to be done?
The amount of time it takes for an artist to complete a shoulder tattoo varies. If the piece is large, it can take several hours. If it’s a half-sleeve, it may take at least 2 days. Small tattoos or tattoos that cover less skin take less time, though, and may be done in one or two hours.
There are many designs you can get tattooed on your shoulder. Choose one of the shoulder tattoos for men on this list, and you’ll be eager to show off your tattoo during summertime.
Find the most popular tattoo ideas for men.
Angel Shoulder Tattoo Source: @Anarchy16Tattoo via Instagram
Sunflower Shoulder Tattoo
Source @aligzuel via Instagram
The petals of a sunflower are the most prominent feature. Proper shading creates depth and makes the sunflower look more realistic, while highlights bring out the brightness and natural luster of the petals. You could include complementary background elements like subtle swirls and vines to create a cohesive composition.
Butterfly Shoulder Tattoo
Source @fateandfortunetattoostudio via Instagram
This tattoo can be executed in either a realistic style, resembling an actual butterfly, or an illustrative style with artistic flourishes and creative liberties. It can also be personalized with initials, names, or symbols incorporated into the tattoo to give it a unique touch.
Armour Shoulder Tattoo
Source @angerinktattoo via Instagram
Explore different styles of armour, from historical medieval designs to futuristic cyberpunk aesthetics. The tattoo’s connection to medieval times and the historical significance adds a nostalgic charm. It resonates with those who appreciate classic symbols of bravery and heroism.
American Flag Shoulder Tattoo
Source @truegrittattoo via Instagram
The central element of the tattoo is the American flag, representing the United States and its values of freedom, unity, and patriotism. In addition to the flag, you could incorporate other patriotic imagery, such as the Statue of Liberty, the bald eagle, or even military insignia.
Sun Shoulder Tattoo
Source @inkologyegypt via Instagram
This tattoo is a radiant and symbolic design that celebrates the power of the sun and its vital role in nature. It can be depicted with warm, bright rays and may include other elements like clouds or stars. Play with various shades of yellow and orange to replicate the sun’s warmth and brilliance.
Rose Shoulder Tattoo
Source @gwansoontattoos via Instagram
The rose is a symbol of love and passion, making it a meaningful choice for men looking to express their emotions and sensitivity. It showcases your appreciation for the finer things in life. Experiment with different rose colours, from classic red to soft pink or purple, to match your style.
Snake Shoulder Tattoo
Source @gush.like.kush via Instagram
This one is sure to leave most gazers spellbound. There’s no denying it—this tattoo is edgy and gives off strength and a hint of danger. Whether the snake is coiled around your arm or cascading down your back, the way it wraps around your shoulder adds a mysterious vibe to the design.
Octopus Shoulder Tattoo
Source @jessicavije via Instagram
Highlight the octopus’s unique appearance and anatomy by adding elaborate details to its tentacles and suckers. The tattoo can be infused with personal storytelling. It may represent an unforgettable underwater encounter, your love for marine biology, or fascination with the ocean’s mysteries.
Biomechanical Cyborg Shoulder Tattoo
Source @inkedmag via Instagram
The main visual components of this tattoo are the biomechanical elements like the gears, wires and robotic parts. It is a great choice if you are interested in technology, science fiction or the intersection of human and machine.
Mandala Shoulder Tattoo
Source @blackdot.tattoos via Instagram
Discover variations in mandala styles, such as traditional, dotwork or ornamental designs. Floral elements add a touch of grace, and the balance of filled spaces and negative space creates a design that breathes life. The strong lines and geometric patterns resonate with the muscularity of the shoulder, making the tattoo appear powerful.