Fox Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Fox Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Recognized worldwide, Foxes have made their way into our myths and legends and when you look at one, it’s easy to see why. These little guys and gals just ooze cleverness from their paws right up to their perky ears. In this article we’re going to talk about Fox Fascination and it’s place in skin art.

Let’s discuss fox tattoos, their symbolism, meanings, and more, and see if you agree with all of the fuss about the clever and resourceful fox!

What is the History of Fox Tattoos?

Foxes may be found in Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa, and they’ve been around us for so long, that they’ve even crept their way into our myths. Take Japan, for instance, where the fox is considered a supernatural being, whose wisdom and power grows with age.

In this country, there is even a Shinto deity associated with foxes, Inari Okami, who also agriculture and even the drink called Sake! Foxes in Japan even come in strange varieties, such as the fabled Kitsune – a fox with 9 tails!

In Native American myths, Fox is a trickster, often seen with Coyote, an even more famous trickster, and in Africa this myth is shared to some degree, as the Dogon myth paints the fox as a messenger of the gods and the famous ‘trickster of the desert’.

The Celts believed that fox was tricksy, as well, but they also said that this creature was incredibly wise. No matter where you go the consensus seems to be roughly the same – Foxes are among the cleverest of creatures and there is a lot more to them than meets the eye!  


What Do Fox Tattoos Symbolize?

Fox tattoos symbolize a sharp wit, paired with the wisdom of years, who has the skills of a predator but more often than not, prefers to rely on steal and trickery to get their way. Diminutive in size, these creatures can also symbolize such skills as presented in a compact and tiny package.

In some myths, Foxes are also associated with the Sun, and often they are portrayed as having the power of shifting shape, so fox tattoos may also symbolize someone who can ‘think on their feet’ and who can appear easily as something other than who they really are.

While the mythos is certainly rich, Foxes are also depicted in skin art simply for their natural beauty – with no symbolism needed to cloud the message that Nature has created something truly beautiful and lasting in the form of the fox.

There are even dark interpretations when you dig enough, as well. In Greek myth, Dionysus sent the Teumessian Fox to eat the children of Thebes – though in fairness, Foxes were also representative of intelligence beating out brutality, as the Greek fox, in another myth, outsmarted both the wolf and the bear!


What Do Fox Tattoos Mean?

Typically, fox tattoos may serve as a warning to the rest of the world that the owner of this skin art is clever and perhaps a little on the sneaky side, but only vicious when they absolutely have to be.

This is a person who relies on their wits and is not only a quick thinker, but one who is quite capable of blending in when they need to. Fox tattoos don’t have to be about character, of course, but might also be chosen by someone who simply loves the desert.

While we tend to think of this terrain as ‘lifeless sand’, those who have lived in desert states or travelled a bit can tell you that this is far from the truth – Nature has filled these places and a fox is one of the many beautiful animals that you can find there.

People who love Japanese folklore and art may also choose to express this through fox tattoos, as the rich mythology of Japan regarding these creatures means that there are quite a few artistic examples already to draw a little inspiration from, and one might even choose the 9-tailed Kitsune!

What the tattoo really means is something only the owner can say, but with Fox tattoos you have enough options that the actual message may be deeply profound and personal – or just about the aesthetics. Simply put, it’s all up to you and you’ve got a whole lot of options with these clever little tricksters!


Where Do Fox Tattoos Usually Go?

That depends on what you are looking for. The distinctive perky, triangular ears means that even the head of a fox will be recognized for exactly what it is, but they are tiny enough that you could depict the whole creature if you wanted and place in on your outer arm or ankle quite easily.

A Japanese Fox or even an elegant Kitsune might find a nice home on your hip or make for an amazing and unique backpiece. This versatile and well-known animal can be placed pretty-much wherever you like!


Characteristics and Styles of Fox Tattoos

While black and white fox tattoos are certainly out there, many will go with color for this option because there is definitely a chance for your artist to show off and create something amazing. While red is the most common color of foxes, there are also some that are a bit yellow, deeply auburn, or even a fine, frosted black.

For styles, check out some Japanese Foxes before you get too far into your design. Japanese style has quite the distinctive look and with their mythology, they’ve got a bit of expertise where these clever creatures are concerned.

If you want a bit more humor, then New School can add quite some comical depth to these witty little beasts, or you can go photorealistic and even add some Watercolor touches for truly eye-popping colors.

Play with your design and spend a little time looking at artist’s portfolios before settling on your choice.. that extra effort can take a ‘great’ design and upgrade it to a level of perfection that you might not have known was even possible.


Some final words on Fox tattoos

Clever, compact, even magical in some cultures, Nature has certainly created a thing of wonder in the form of the fox. Whether you want to capture some of the mythological aspects or simply love the aesthetics of these sleek little sneaks, it’s easy to see the appeal and Fox tattoos are going to give you lots of options.

If the fox inspires you, then why not share that message or warning) with the world. With skin art, you can keep the clever fox close to you and enjoy this world-renowned little trickster for the rest of your days — in the form of your very unique and completely-your-own fox tattoo!

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