Many of us grow up in areas where nature is prevalent. Whether we live near the woods or have hobbies that involve nature, nature is a lifestyle. I grew up with many people who are fans of hunting and farming.
Their lifestyle involves many aspects of nature. On the other hand, many friends of mine are into the natural things in life or consider themselves people that worship nature in some fashion.
When looking for a tattoo, people with an appreciation of nature can go a lot of different ways but one tattoo that screams “nature” is the vine tattoo. The vine has a wonderful flow and can be incorporated into many tattoos. The vine tattoo can be the focus of your tattoo or can simply be used as filler around other tattoos.
In addition, the vine tattoo can be put anywhere on the body as it can flow and fill in any spot. Whether they cover your whole back or run up and down your fingers, the vine tattoo is one of the most versatile subjects of tattoos that we have seen.
In this post we will briefly talk about the vine itself, but more importantly we are going to talk about the symbolism of the vine tattoo and what it means to the people that wear it. In addition, we will be going over the different variations of the vine tattoo and it can be adapted to represent many other ideas and symbols. By the end of this post you should have a better feeling for the vine tattoo.
What is a “Vine”
We all have a good idea what a vine is but one thing many aren’t aware of is the vagueness of the vine. By vague we mean that vines grow flowers and fruits or simply grow within shrubbery to support them.
The vine has exhibits a growth that is based on stems that are long. The purpose of this is twofold. The vine may use other plants, rock exposures or other supports instead of using its own energy to reach the sunlight is so desperately needs to flourish. Many plants, both beautiful and invasive, use this method of survival. Some of these include Japanese honeysuckle and kudzu which are North American invasive plants.
Skototropism is something developed by some tropical vines. This means they grow away from the light and allows them to find trees to then climb up to find areas with more light.
Vine Tattoo Meaning
Twining and swirling vine imagery is often used as a representation of a whimsical relationship with nature and the mysterious of the natural world. The vine can be used decoratively, accompanying other imagery, or on its own. Other imagery used is generally elfish, involving sprites or fairies, or other creatures of the forest. The long, stretching ropes of leaves and flowers are often used to cover limbs, down the back, or along the side of the body, enhancing the vine’s natural structure.
The vine tattoo also represents the ability to survive. The vine can grow anywhere. It uses other objects to climb to areas of more sunlight. No matter what, the vine will find a way to get to where they need to be. They refuse to die. The vine tattoo says a lot about a person. Those with the vine tattoo might have experience some sort of trauma in their life and survived to thrive and be better people. In fact, the tougher the environment, the stronger the vine gets. Not only is the vine or person able to thrive in harsh environments, they can end up growing beautiful flowers that exhibit what was hiding all along.
Vines are also always seeking the sunlight. This is a symbol of higher learning. People that have the vine tattoo are avid learners with open hearts. They are always looking for the deeper meaning in life.
The vine must struggle to find the light sometimes. This represents the struggle of life. For those that have endured hard times, it makes it even sweeter when they find the sunlight. They fought through the tough times making them a better version of themselves and by doing so, they know there is still room for growth. They will always seek a level of higher learning or divinity.
When describing the vine, you can say they aren’t easy to get rid of. They have \very tenacious in their quests and they grip on tight to whatever object they have used to get where they are going. The bond between them and their object of stability is a strong one.
You could say the vine can be likened to being an anchor in a storm. No matter the surrounding storm, the vine will stay stuck and which can be a symbol of security. This might relate to the idea of sticking firm to a way of life, an ideal, a belief or a lover. It means you are loyal but might also represent stubbornness.
The person with the vine tattoo is someone you want on your side. They are a loyal friend and will stick by your side even if they know you are wrong. It might not be the “right” thing to do but they are all in.
The vine tattoo symbolizes some other characteristics that might not be as easy to see. We talked about the surface meanings, but the hidden symbolism is important as well.
The wrapping and winding nature of the vine tattoo represents strength, progress, partnership, endurance, promise, survival and friendship. The vine was also viewed as being a sacred symbol in the Christian religion.
Vines that bear fruit symbolize bounty and big harvests. Grapes growing from a vine are symbolic of hard work, fruits of labor, vision and determination. Vines were considered a symbol for life for ancient Sumerians.
Vine Tattoo Variations
Below are some of the different variations of the vine tattoo that we’ve seen. We imagine there are many more ways to depict the vine but below are a few ways that we see it done.
Vine and Custom Leaves
In place of leaves and flowers, hearts, stars, or other shapes are often used to draw away from the forest-like imagery of a traditional vine. The line work of these tattoos are generally more feminine and are representative of a delicate or girly personal style rather than a fairy-like appearance. The vine imagery can also be worked around a shape, such as a heart, to add the natural forest motif to a traditionally feminine image.
Realistic Vine Tattoo
Vine can be rendered realistically, with full, detailed leaves to create a less feminine design. Other forest iconography is sometimes added as well, such as tree branches or even mushrooms, to enhance the theme of wood and nature.
Vines and Words Tattoo
Words and phrases can be added to the vine as well, curling with the curving lines of the plant figure. A handwritten script is often used because of its similar swirling style, blending in perfectly with the form of the vine. Smaller vine designs can be placed on fingers, toes, or anywhere else to create a daintier image.
Vines in Nature Theme
Vines are usually render with a flourish of leaves along its figure, as well as flowers, small bulbs or large roses. Any sort of floral imagery works well with the vine, emphasizing a connection to the woods. Birds and butterflies are often included as well, creating a larger piece with more visual appeal and adding to the woodsy theme. The leaves and other adornments are usually designed minutely to create a sense of delicacy to the image, although any size will work well to complement the vine.
Take your time when looking for your tattoo artist. Make you feel comfortable with the one you choose, and they have experience in the kind of tattooing you are interested in.