Once the Christmas season passes, trees and string lights are replaced with decorations colored with pink and red. Candy, hearts, and bouquets of flowers take center stage everywhere from grocery stores to tattoo parlors. Cheeky phrases emblazoned across heart-shaped candies, lovable characters framed with cutesy hearts, and timely red roses are among some of the most common Valentine’s tattoos. Valentine’s themed ink is naturally popular in the month of February with artists compiling dedicated flash sheets and clients feeling love in the air, but Valentine tattoos are actually popular year round. Because these designs often make use of many traditional elements — thick lines, bright colors, familiar shapes, and bold script — it is not uncommon to see heart-framed designs and cheeky candy hearts outside the month of February.
Hearts and flowers are everywhere at the beginning of February. Pink and red boxes of candy shaped like hearts stock the shelves of many stores. The imagery can be overwhelming, but this Valentine’s chain captures timely symbols in a traditional style. The bold character of American traditionalism in black and grey allows the holiday theme to remain present but subdued. The tattoo clearly takes the holiday as inspiration, but the muted colors allow the tattoo to look less like a Valentine’s novelty and more like a timeless traditional.
The popular anime series Dragonball is not exactly known for cute couples inspiring relationship goals. Packed with action and powerful characters, Dragonball is popular among dedicated anime fans and casual watchers alike. Throughout the series, various characters fall in love and have children. This Valentine’s tattoo depicts the fan favorite couple — Bulma and Vegeta. Bulma, a human without superpowers, plants a kiss on the cheek of her husband Vegeta, the prince of all Saiyans and one of the strongest heroes in the series. Framed with a cute pink ribbon and script referencing a notable line from the Dragonball series, this tattoo shows the client’s love for the fan favorite couple.
Valentine’s Day inspires divisive feelings, so not everyone feels the love on February 14th. Some people find the plethora of pink hearts and public displays of affection embittering because they can serve as an unpleasant reminder of one’s relationship status. This set of Valentine’s Day flash tattoos captures the spectrum of anti-Valentine’s feelings, ranging from exasperation and annoyance to total indifference.
Hearts and flowers are quintessential Valentine symbols, but are also significant images in the American traditional style, so it’s not uncommon to see little conversation heart tattoos throughout the year. Conversation hearts are especially popular Valentine tattoos because they can be cute, funny, raunchy, or romantic. Frequently sarcastic, many conversation heart tattoos have sayings that depict an attitude quite different from the cutesy phrases on the actual candies. While some people may take the Valentine’s holiday to spend time with a loved one, others use this time to focus on self-love.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of PainfulPleasures.