Star tattoos are popular designs because they can vary widely yet are not tied to a single interpretation. As semi-abstract patterns, they can be designed with enough flair and individuality to suit any tattoo concept.
Types of Star Tattoos
A tattoo is first and foremost an individual expression, and the type of pattern chosen should reflect that individuality. When most people picture a star, they envision a classic five-point design, but there are many different styles to choose from. A talented tattoo artist can even create a truly unique tattoo design from drawings or descriptions.
The key to choosing any tattoo is deciding if it is the pattern for you. While many people choose designs based on current preferences (television shows, friends, professions, etc.), they may end up regretting those decisions years down the road as their lives change. Stars, on the other hand, are abstract enough to blend with changing circumstances and can be longer-lived designs as a result.
Single or Multiple Stars
Most star tattoos are composed of a single celestial body, particularly more elaborate designs. Multiple stars can be arranged in a cluster, swirl or line that adds more sparkle to the image. A multi-star tattoo typically uses several different sizes of designs with smaller ones being less elaborate and emphasizing a central focal point. The exception is for encircling tattoos, around an arm or ankle for example, where most of the individual tats are of similar size and shape to provide continuity to the overall design.
The larger the tattoo, the more detail there can be in the design. There may be dimensional lines to give a 3-D effect, multiple colors or additional accents to suggest shining or twinkling. Naturally, larger tattoos are more expensive, and a very large star design may be undesirable because it becomes too bulky and unrealistic.
Tattoo color varies widely, although the base color should be chosen with respect to the individual's skin tone in order to show up as vibrantly as possible. Black is the most popular color and tends to fade less, while brighter inks add visual interest and uniqueness to the design. Stars may be solid black (particularly in multi-star designs), outlined or filled in with a variety of colors including white. Lighter colors tend to fade quicker when exposed to sunlight, and that should be a consideration when choosing the color and placement of the tattoo.
Where to place a tattoo is another factor of personal expression. If the design is going to be covered (for privacy or professional reasons), more elaborate colors can be used. The size should be small enough to be covered easily by frequently worn clothing. Shoulders, ankles, navels and the small of the back are the most popular locations for star tattoos, depending on the design. Before choosing a final location, also consider the effects of age and body changes on the shape of the tattoo; stars in particular do not respond well to stretching because they rely on symmetry as part of the beauty of their design. Placing a star design around a woman's navel may be an interesting expression at first, but the design may be warped and distorted if her body changes in later years. Weight gain or loss, muscle tone and natural growth can all affect the shape and proportions of the tattoo over time.
There are many popular styles of star tattoos. The simplest patterns involve four to six point stars arranged individually or in a cluster that varies slightly in size and color for greater effect. They may be designed to simulate 3-D patterns or include outlines, shading or other dimensional techniques. Larger, more elaborate "starburst" patterns are often used to surround navels, perhaps highlighting a piercing. These more intricate designs may have a riot of color, including reds, yellows and oranges as associated with starbursts. Small stars can be used to accent other tattoos such as dragons, fairies, words or other fantasy-oriented body art. In some cases, star tattoos literally add new sparkle to old designs.
Star tats are versatile patterns with an incredible range of styles, sizes, shapes and colors. Depending on the placement and use of the tattoo, there are literally as many interpretations of the design are there are stars in the heavens, and the sky's the limit for this personal expression.