I’m looking for a predominantly black, heavily geometric tattoo. The plan is for a full sleeve on my left arm with some over my left chest (heart) as well. While I would like the majority of it to be black, I think there is a way to selectively use color. I like some of the work I have seen that blend geometric designs with other art, sort of like collages. Especially if there is a way to incorporate some shadows and depth to the elements.

I’d like to weave in some design inspiration from Ethiopia, Iceland, and India. These are places I have been and mean a lot to me. Ethiopia especially. For Iceland and India, I am thinking about the Vegvisir and Ganesha (examples below). I’m open to other stuff from these cultures. Though, a lot of Viking stuff has been appropriated by hate groups; I definitely don’t want to be confused with that.

Regarding the black work, I am open to suggestions here. A lot of the examples below include stippling or woodcut-style work. I like these a lot. Of course, I also like solid black, but I would love some more depth and nuance.

Specifically, I would like to incorporate the Amharic word for Thank You: አመሰግናለሁ This is the language of Ethiopia. It doesn’t have to be written in a straight block of text. Maybe there is a more creative way to include it? Also, I can find more interesting fonts, if needed.

While I am starting with the left side of my body, I’d like the option to do a similar thing on the right side. So the design over the chest should allow for that. Ideally more geometric work, but with inspiration from other travels, etc. Below is an example of the sort of shape I am thinking about.

This is the sort of overall shape I am thinking about. Starting with the left side.

This is the sort of overall shape I am thinking about. Starting with the left side.


I love Ethiopia. I visited many times, and lived there for several months. It’s profoundly important to me. Because I’d like it to play such an important part of my tattoo, there is a lot of potential inspiration below. The first three are from ancient religious texts. They have some pretty cool geometric designs at the top that could be useful. The following eight are from an actual piece of art that I bought there. There is a photo of a rock-carved church in Ethiopia. Though I’m not religious, it’s a special place to me. I’d like to integrate the nested + sign shapes into the geometric portion. One of the geometric examples below is a cubic plus sign, which is pretty cool.

Geometric Tattoos I Dig

I really love the mix of repeating geometric patterns, combinations of black/line work/stippling, and the use of a shadow effect to draw attention and add depth. I especially love the use of whitespace to draw contrast or break up the work. I think that a mix of patterns is really great too. Additionally, some of the designs where the shapes form a sort of gradient of shapes are super cool too.

I think mandalas are pretty trendy right now - and there are some elements of those in the work below - but I wouldn’t want to lean too heavily on that. That said, it might make sense to accompany the inclusion of a Ganesha portion.

Selective COlor

So far, I only have black tattoo work done. But I am open to incorporating some color. I probably wouldn’t want the color to be the focus. Instead, I’d like it to act as an accent. Or do draw attention/provide contexts. A couple examples I can think of: Ethiopia’s flag is Green, Yellow, and Red; traditionally Hindu deities are shown with blue skin.

Below are some examples I think used a pop or two of color to great effect.


Just some examples of collages I like. Especially the mix of geometric patterns, and mixing patterns with other stuff. I really like how the tiger in the one design is itself very flat and almost a pattern/geometric.

Other Cultures, etc.

Like I said above, I would also like to pull in some design from other places, aside from Ethiopia. I’d like to include the Vegvisir design (the first three pictures). It was originally drawn in a square orientation (second picture) but I also like the round orientation. I’ve seen various interpretations of the design over the years. I’m open to playing with the shape and proportions. But the “end” of the spokes should be somewhat true to form. One idea I had considered was locating the center somewhere and having the spokes radiate out different amounts, abstracting it a little. There is also an example of a Mjolnir tattoo on the shoulder. I love the design. Again, not sure how far down the Viking road I want to go. Fuck Nazis.

The old timey drawings are from Leonardo da Vinci. It was his exploration of the Flower of Life, and some sacred geometry. I like the hexagon one quite a lot. Mostly because it’s something he drew. Might be interested in including it somehow.

Finally, some Ganesha tattoos and a cool minimal design I saw at a museum. I love Ganesha. I love him as a metaphor, I love the symbolism in his representations. It’s also one of the few “real” world things I’d like tattooed. I bet there’s a way we could incorporate him into a geometric-based design really well.