Be Unique: 50+ Neo-Traditional Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women

neo traditional tattoo
50+ unique and trending ideas for men's and women's neo-traditional tattoos. More than 10 different groups: women's portraits, Japanese-themed, skulls, and more.
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Japanese and American traditional tattoos have always been timeless and their popularity has not decreased. However, now they have a very serious competitor – neo-traditional tattoos. They allow you to embody the most daring ideas using bright colors and stylish drawings.

Before choosing a tattoo idea, you should be sure to read the cautions and contraindications.

Why Is Neo-Traditional Tattoo a Good Choice?

neo traditional tattoo

Neo-traditional tattoos are a logical development of traditional tattoos. They allow you to embody any idea and theme just like the traditional ones but with several significant differences. 

  • 🌈 Bright colors. Neo-traditional tattoos are more like illustrations. To create them, they use bright colors in the same color scheme.Β 
  • πŸŒ„ Volumetrics. In them, there is an effect of darkening. This allows you to create a three-dimensional drawing.
  • πŸ’ͺ Emphasizes musculature. The volume of the picture can emphasize the relief of your body and focus attention on the musculature.
  • πŸ“‰ Clear lines. Neo-traditional tattoos use lines of varying thicknesses. Because of this, the pattern is better readable from a distance.
  • πŸ’‘ Live drawing. The composition can include a light source as a design element that will make your tattoo more lively.

Neo-Traditional Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women

neo traditional tattoo

We’ve collected 60+ neo-traditional tattoo ideas for men and women and highlighted the 10 most popular categories:

Bonus: for each symbol or composition of the neo-traditional men & women tattoos, we’ve compiled the meanings so you don’t have to look them up again.

πŸ’‘ Let’s get to choosing!


Neo-traditional animal tattoos look favorably on any part of the body. However, most often they are done on the arms from shoulder to elbow or from elbow to wrist. Among the most popular ideas of female neo-traditional tattoos are bunnies, squirrels, and cats. Men prefer to get tattoos of tigers, bears, lions, and even deer.

Below we list interpretations of the most popular male and female neo-traditional animal tattoo ideas.

🐰 BunnyTenderness, carelessness, innocence.
🐿 SquirrelAccumulation of wealth, profit-making, household, housekeeping.
🐻 BearJustice, courage, strength, power, confidence.
🦌 DeerNobility, elegance, life, divine power.
🐈 CatIndependence, freedom, passion for adventure, nocturnal lifestyle.
🐯 TigerModesty, a sense of self-worth, power, strength; beauty.


Neo-traditional bird tattoos are also often done on the arm (up to the elbow and above the elbow). Girls prefer to do such drawings on the hips, emphasizing the lines of their bodies. The most popular birds are tits, crows, bullfinches, and ducks.

In general, the tattoo of the bird always means something sublime – the desire for vast expanses of the sky, daydreaming, a tendency to daydream, a sense of flight, and weightlessness. In most cultures, the bird is firmly associated with freedom, the divine will. 

🐦 BluebirdCourage, endurance, ability to adapt to any conditions, loyalty, fairness.
🐦 RavenMilitancy, courage, wisdom.
🐦 BullfinchFreedom, confidence, fortitude, agility, independence, courage, confidence.
🐦 DuckIntegrity, simplicity, sensitivity, resourcefulness.

Women’s Portraits

Women’s porters in the non-traditional version look very elegant. The lines of different thicknesses emphasize the contours of the face and make the picture more expressive. Such tattoos are also mostly done on the hands of both men and women. 

The prototype of a female portrait can be anyone: a character from literature, a movie, a deity, and just a beautiful girl. 

A neo-traditional female portrait tattoo can have the following meanings:

  • πŸ‘© Beauty;
  • πŸ‘© Inspiration;
  • πŸ‘© Virtues;
  • πŸ‘© Inner Power;
  • πŸ‘© Love;
  • πŸ‘© Patronage of the Muses;
  • πŸ‘© Modesty;
  • πŸ‘© Responsiveness.


Neo-traditional Japanese-style tattoos are bright and deep in color. The most popular ideas for such tattoos do not take folklore as a basis but simply concentrate on the visual style and presentation. Most often you can find tattoos with a snake, flowers, skulls, portraits, birds, and animals.

We have already described the meanings of these elements in the article, so you can check out the links above.


Neo-traditional skull tattoos are complemented by other elements. These can be flowers, daggers, animals, and so on. The use of lines of different widths also makes the drawing look like an illustration. In the case of skulls, this is a huge plus as the composition will look more coherent and contrasting.

The neo-traditional skull tattoo is a symbol of sacrifice and forgiveness. This meaning is borrowed from Christian canons. However, such drawings can also have the following meanings:

  • πŸ’€ Power;
  • πŸ’€ Protection;
  • πŸ’€ Power;
  • πŸ’€ Significant change of life;
  • πŸ’€ Overcoming a great calamity.


Flowers are one of the most popular ideas for neo-traditional tattoos. This is because the very idea of flowers in the form of a tattoo is very popular, and the fact that in the neo-traditional version they look more refined and elegant. Such drawings can be done on the arms, legs, shoulders, on or under the breast. 

The main leitmotif of the colors is joy and vitality. They are always associated with springtime and the beginning of a new life. In some cases, flowers can have the following meanings:

  • 🌺 Love;Β 
  • 🌺 Passion;
  • 🌺 Freshness;Β 
  • 🌺 Unity;
  • 🌺 Vitality.Β 


The idea of the butterfly tattoo has a deep history. The Indians believed that this insect was a reincarnation of the soul of fallen warriors. Therefore, such a tattoo has always conveyed the connection between close people

Now the neo-traditional butterfly tattoo is chosen because of the bright and symmetrical coloring of the animal. It allows you to take a picture that will attract people’s eyes. 

Neo-traditional butterfly tattoos can have the following meanings:

  • πŸ¦‹ Independence;
  • πŸ¦‹ Freedom;
  • πŸ¦‹ Courage;
  • πŸ¦‹ Determination.


The neo-traditional dagger tattoo is often complemented by other elements. For example, a snake, flowers, skull, and so on can wind around the dagger. Such tattoos are done by people with strong and strong-willed characters, as the dagger symbolizes the desire to protect themselves and others.

In some cases, neo-traditional tattoos with a dagger can have the following meanings:

  • βš”οΈ Determination;
  • βš”οΈ Power;
  • βš”οΈ Brutality;
  • βš”οΈ Honor;
  • βš”οΈ Courage;
  • βš”οΈ Fortitude;
  • βš”οΈ Willpower.


In a separate category, we put the neo-traditional tattoos of owls as men and women do them more often than any other pictures of birds. 

Tattoos with an owl are most often done by men on the chest in the form of a complete composition with other elements. For example, in addition, you can depict leaves, flowers, swords, and so on.

Such tattoos can have the following meanings:

  • πŸ¦‰ Wisdom;
  • πŸ¦‰ Knowledge;
  • πŸ¦‰ Life experience;
  • πŸ¦‰ Prudence.


Neo-traditional snake tattoos, like the owl tattoo, are often complemented by other elements. For example, a snake can be upholstered around a blade, skull, flower, or even a deity. 

Such a drawing has contradictory meanings. For example, in the Bible the snake symbolizes temptation, and in medicine – wisdom and knowledge.

Neo-traditional snake tattoos can also have the following symbols:

  • 🦎 Serenity;Β 
  • 🦎 Poise;
  • 🦎 Protection;
  • 🦎 Nobility;
  • 🦎 Wealth.

Expert Tip: What Part of the Body Is the Best for Neo-Traditional Tattooing?

neo traditional tattoo

One of the most important factors in selecting a tattoo site is painfulness. The pain threshold is different for men and women. It is scientifically proven that girls endure pain more easily because their body is more prepared for such a phenomenon. Below we will provide you the table, which describes in detail what places of the body it is painful to do a tattoo, and much less.

πŸŸ₯ High🟨 Medium🟩 Minimal
Head ❗️

Face, earlobes, and skull area
Abdomen πŸ”Έ

On average, tattoos on the abdomen give little discomfort
Head βœ…

It is also on the first list, but here we mention exactly the tattoo, which is often a regular procedure for ladies
Neck ❗️

The front, the back, and the area above the clavicles
Back πŸ”Έ

The shoulder blades and lower back. You can get used to it in a couple of hours
The mucosa βœ…

This refers to tattoos that are done in the mouth on the inside of the lip
Chest, torso, and back ❗️

Tattoos on the nipple aureoles, in the rib area in front, and under the shoulder blades will be a hassle
Chest and torso πŸ”Έ

In the clavicle and chest area
Lower back βœ…

The sides under the ribs will even be a little ticklish
Arms ❗️

Armpits, elbows, back of elbow, and wrists
Arms πŸ”Έ

Prepare for medium soreness as you score your hands and fingers
Arms βœ…

Shoulders and forearms
Hip ❗️

Intimate tattoos will not be enjoyable
Hip πŸ”Έ

Tattoos on the buttocks and just underneath. It will hurt, but it's bearable
Hip βœ…

The sides and again the buttocks make the list, tattoos on which are a mere trifle for many
Legs ❗️

The inner side of the thigh, the knees, the knee bend at the back, and the front of the shin
Legs πŸ”Έ

The front side of the thighs, calves, and the instep of the foot
Legs βœ…

Side of the thigh, side of the shin, ankles, and foot

Cautions & Contraindications: Must-Known Points Before Going to the Tattoo Parlor

neo traditional tattoo

Before going to the tattoo parlor you should read the cautions and contraindications of tattooing. This will protect you from unforeseen complications and unnecessary pain in the process.


  • 🍺 Do not drink alcohol. It makes the blood thinner. Because of this, the pigment will be harder to absorb.
  • 🍫 Eat light foods. It is desirable to eat sweets because sugar reduces soreness.Β 
  • πŸ‘— Wear comfortable clothes. It will be easier for tattoo artists to do their job if they have immediate access to the tattooing site.
  • 😁 Take your friends with you. The session can last up to 10 hours, so you may get bored.
  • 🌞 Do not sunbathe. You should not sunbathe before the session, as the tattoo site may leave micro burns. This will increase the painfulness of the process.


  • ❗ Allergic and another dermatitis;
  • ❗ Allergy to metals and their chemical compounds (as a rule – metal oxides);
  • ❗ Diabetes mellitus;
  • ❗ Infectious skin lesions;
  • ❗ Predisposition to skin and other tumors (changes in pigmentation, a steady increase in the number of moles, birthmarks of variable configuration, etc.)
  • ❗ Poor blood clotting;
  • ❗ HIV or hepatitis virus;
  • ❗ Pregnancy;
  • ❗ Women’s critical days.


neo traditional tattoo

The neo-traditional style of tattooing allows you to make any drawing as an illustration because of the bright colors and volume effect. Clear contours of varying thickness will turn the tattoo into an attention grabber because it will be visible even from a distance.

Men and women can easily find a suitable idea for a neo-traditional tattoo because you can embody absolutely any idea. To make your search easier we gathered 60+ neo-traditional tattoo ideas for men and women, clarified why neo-traditional tattoos are a good choice, pointed out where on the body it is best to get a tattoo, and listed the cautions and contraindications of tattooing.

😻 Be always in the center of attention and catch the eye of the crowd!


πŸ” What Are the Most Popular Male and Female Neo-Traditional Tattoo Ideas?

The most popular male and female neo-traditional tattoo ideas are animals, birds, women’s portraits, Japanese-themed, skulls, flowers, butterflies, daggers, owls, and snakes.

πŸ€” Why Is a Neo-Traditional Tattoo a Good Choice?

The creation of the neo-traditional tattoo artist uses a bright palette of colors, clear lines and contours of different widths, and the effect of volume. Such a tattoo will be visible even from a distance.

πŸ€• Where on the Body Is the Least Painful To Get a Tattoo?

The least painful places are on the shoulders, forearms, sides under the ribs, side of the thigh, side of the shin, ankles, foot, and inside of the lip.


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