With World Oceans Day upon us (June 8) now is a great time to take a look at one of the most historically significant tattoo designs in Western culture. Anchors initially became a popular in this capacity during the 18th century, as sailors emblemized their wartime experiences with an anchor to symbolize their desire for stability at sea along with the hope of return home safely. Today, some pay homage to their family’s naval heritage with this tattoo, while others associate anchors with their deep seeded love for the deep blue sea. Some request it because of what an anchor signifies (stability). Whatever the motivation may be, our studios get a significant number of ongoing requests for anchor tattoos, and because of this we can immediately answer one part of your question. Where to get an anchor tattoo? If you live within or are visiting the Greater Vancouver or Toronto area, Adrenaline Studios is where you want to navigate to. View the reasons right here.
Now what about those of you wondering where on the body to get the design done? To be honest, anywhere works when it comes to anchors and the never-ending styles and renderings it can be done in. But alas, we can certainly provide some insight for those that could use a little nudge in the right direction. Let’s dive in.
Where On Your Body to Get an Anchor Tattoo
Back of the Calf
This is one of the most poplar places to get an anchor tattoo because the shape and contours of the calf is welcoming to the design. The shank runs down from below the back of the knee towards the crown of the anchor where each arm extends out (left and right) to match the concave found at the bottom of your calf muscle – a thing of beauty!
Having this tattoo done on your lower extremities is also analogous to the concept, as a deeper meaning of the anchor symbol is steeped in stability, and being grounded. Thus, the lower legs simply make sense.
The inner region of the upper limb between the elbow and wrist, where your flexor muscles lay in wait to make your tattoo pop is a great spot for an anchor to come to surface. With a twist of the wrist you can show it off or admire it on your own.
Freakin’ Popeye, that’s why.
Nape of the Neck
This is a juxtaposition of being bold and subtle at the same time. A neck tattoo is daring, yes, but even conservative folks will appreciate it because it’s a traditional maritime design. Plus, by positioning the tattoo a little lower on the back of the neck, you can hide it behind your locks or collar when need be, and let the oceanic flag fly when you’re feeling free.
Hands and Feet
Both hands and feet work. For one, hands/wrist and feet are prime for small tattoos, and anchors work better than most designs for such compact concepts. That said, you may be looking to add some more drama to your anchor tattoo, which works well in either extremity too. For example, you can have a nautical rope or chain running through the anchor head’s ring, winding up your lower leg or arm towards your torso for greater effect.
Again, if you’re set on getting a timeless anchor tattoo, we can make it work on any part of your body. Simply contact a studio near you for a consolation and we’ll help you come to a custom and seaworthy solution.
Recent anchor tattoo by our Granville (Vancouver) artist, Alex Prachthauser.