You don’t have to be a goth girlfriend to get a bat tattoo. I mean, have you seen their adorable little faces? Before you schedule the appointment, check out the meaning behind this tattoo.
Bats are symbols of rebirth, the night, familial ties, and witchcraft. Some believe seeing a bat means you have a physical or spiritual journey ahead of you. The animal has been associated with the occult as far back as Shakespeare’s Macbeth and beyond. Fruit bats often symbolize prosperity and health.
It sounds like there’s a lot to unpack there. This article will explore the history, meanings, and designs behind fruit bat tattoos.
What is the History of Fruit Bat Tattoos?
Bats have had recorded myths surrounding them since the Native Americans and Aztecs.
In Apache and Cherokee tribes, they see bats as tricksters or gods designed to upset the world’s natural order. The Aztecs believed them to be decay and destruction.
Bats as tattoos began to originate in the western world when Hollywood released Dracula in movie form during the 1930s. As for fruit bats, they made their way into the tattooing scene as people began to see bats less as terrifying and more as adorable.
What Do Fruit Bat Tattoos Symbolize?
What don’t bats symbolize? The interpretation will change depending on the culture and time period. In western culture, people see bats with negative connotations like death, occult, tricksters, and shapeshifters. This is primarily thanks to Dracula.
In eastern cultures, they see bats with positive connotations like family, good luck, rebirth, and wealth. This is because the bats don’t bother humans (unless you’re a fruit farmer) and eat most bugs we don’t like.
Fruit bats as tattoos have become a more specialized section of the overarching “bat tattoo,” and the symbolism for a specific type of animal can be challenging to determine.
But from what we know about fruit bats, we can assume the tattoos symbolize something sweet (no pun intended).
What Do Fruit Bat Tattoos Mean?
Just like always, every tattoo means something different to each client. However, we love to take some guesses.
Fruit bats can mean various things depending on what other elements you include in the tattoo.
Bright and colorful fruit bat tattoos could mean good times, a love for the animal, and sweet yet mischievous energy.
Black and white bat tattoos have a more somber or horror feel and could mean you love classic horror movies.
Tattoos of five fruit bats mean prosperity and wealth, while two fruit bats represent connection and partnership.
Because the bat symbolizes family, you may get a matching fruit bat tattoo with a sibling or a parent. Perhaps the meaning is as simple as you love bats.
For some, it can mean a reclaiming of heritage. Many indigenous cultures hold bats in important status in stories, myths, and songs.
When combining the tattoo with different styles of artwork, the fruit bat can become a connection to ancestors or culture that was taken away or whitewashed.
Characteristics of Fruit Bat Tattoos
Because most people aren’t bat experts, you’ll probably want fruit in the tattoo with your bat. I know if I saw someone with just a bat on their arm, I wouldn’t know the difference between a hoary bat and a fruit bat. While bat tattoos are usually dark and dramatic, fruit bat tattoos are almost always bright and colorful.
Many fruit bat tattoos will have adorable, sweet faces looking up while holding slices of oranges or small grapes. Artists often incorporate flowers into the tattoos, as well as the moon or a symbol of nighttime. The tattoos either have bats hanging upside down or in flight.
Some fruit bat tattoos take the name literally and have lychees or peaches as the bat’s body with wings sprouting off either side. It’s entirely up to you.
Styles of Fruit Bat Tattoos
You’ll see a lot of Neo Traditional fruit bat tattoos because bats are familiar images in older cultures. The style features thick, black lines and deep, rich interior colors. The style of the image also changes from something more realistic to a more exaggerated or dramatic appearance.
As hyperrealism has become more popular, we see more and more animal tattoos in this style. This is not the same as photo realism. Hyper-realistic tattoos create a 3D impression of your tattoo on 2D skin. These tattoos take longer, often have more appointments, and can be expensive.
Where Do Fruit Bat Tattoos Usually Go?
Fruit bat tattoos can go just about anywhere your heart desires. Two of the most popular locations are the back of the shoulder for a bat in flight and the forearm or upper arm for a bat hanging upside down. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.
I’ve seen bat tattoos across the lower back, thighs, and even wrapping around someone’s calf as if the bat was holding on to them. One of my personal favorites was a chest piece done on a woman where the wings came up and across her chest while the bat’s body was tattooed between her breasts. It’s one of the largest bat tattoos I’ve seen.
How To Choose an Artist for a Fruit Bat Tattoo
Choosing an artist will depend on what style you want. If you want to check out a Neo Traditional style, go to an artist with a good portfolio of Neo Traditional. If you’re interested in hyperrealism, your search will be a little longer and more complex, and you may have to travel further.