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Sunflowers are universally associated with joy and abundance. In the Xhosa language spoken by Nelson Mandela, the word for sunflowers is jonga ilanga, which means, Look at the sun.
This is because sunflowers are heliotropic, which means they turn their “heads” to follow the sun as it moves. Sunflowers symbolize devotion, making them good markers for new relationships.
Butterflies also represent happiness, hope, and new beginnings, which makes butterflies and sunflowers perfect companions for Sunflower and Butterfly Tattoos.
Sunflowers and Butterfly Tattoo Meanings
Butterflies are seen as symbols of new life, new beginnings, and rebirth. When butterflies are paired up with sunflowers, they are said to represent a commitment to happiness, joy, and nature and even bring good luck.
Like many floral tattoos, butterfly and sunflower combinations allude to femininity, serenity, and innocence.
Best Sunflowers and Butterfly Tattoo Styles
Because butterflies are so uniquely colorful, sunflower and butterfly tattoos are often rendered in various colors, but there are many styles to choose from, including:
Traditional and Neo-Traditional Sunflower Tattoo
Traditional tattoos go back to the early days of tattooing, using bold lines and colors. Neo-Traditional tattoos take their inspiration from the old school tattoo styles but use nontraditional colors and finer lines.
Watercolor Art Style Tattoo
Butterfly tattoos are a favorite among women, as are watercolor designs. Watercolor tattoos have a delicate and feminine feel, with minimal or no outline, so that the colors flow over the skin like a watercolor painting.
Realistic Sunflower Tattoo
Realistic tattoos are exactly what they sound like - they look like their real-life counterparts.
Realist tattoos can be either black and grey or monochrome or full-color, but you need a really skilled artist to execute a realistic sunflower design well as this is a more advanced tattoo technique.
Geometric Sunflower Tattoo
Geometric tattoos use lines and shapes to form elaborate patterns, making them extremely versatile and modern.
Best Designs For Sunflower and Butterfly Tattoos
Modern tattoo artists have really run with the butterfly motif. Whether you want something bold, large and daring, or small and delicate, you can easily find a sunflower tattoo that meets your unique needs
Butterflies have two perfectly symmetrical wings, which is why many people opt for symmetrical or asymmetrical sunflower and butterfly tattoos on their legs or arms.
This cute trend combines half of a colorful butterfly and half a flower or floral arrangement for a striking modern twist on the traditional motif. (Credit: Top Trends Guide )
Tiny Sunflower Tattoo
Butterflies are beautifully delicate, which is why a tiny tattoo of a sunflower losing its petals, presided over by a pink butterfly, makes for a gorgeous design. (Credit: Wild Tattoo Art )
A traditional tattoo uses bold colors and lines to create a much more masculine design that’s a little more moth than butterfly. (Credit: Wild Tattoo Art )
This hyper-realistic advanced tattoo technique makes it look as though the monarch butterfly has landed on a real vibrant yellow sunflower (Credit: Top Trends Guide )
Simple lines can have a big, bold impact on your sunflower and butterfly tattoo, and it can be filled out to cover up other designs with ease. (Credit: Next Luxury) .
This tattoo trend adds an abstract twist to the sunflower and butterfly tattoo design by emphasizing the link between the person and the flower. Sunflowers represent longevity, so this is a great good luck charm. (Credit: Next Luxury )
With Text and Imagery
In this sweet back tattoo design, a motto makes up the stem of the sunflower and butterfly design. (Credit: Top Trends Guide )
What Are the Best Places to Get a Sunflower and Butterfly Tattoo
Butterflies can be placed nearly anywhere on your body because of their unique shape, but there are some spots that work better than others, including:
The Forearm Sunflower Tattoo
Wear your love for sunflowers and butterflies on your sleeve using the optimal space and the natural curve from your wrist to your bicep. (Credit: The Trendspotter) .
The Shoulder Sunflower Tattoo
The Back Sunflower Tattoo
Your back gives you a huge amount of space and freedom to scale your sunflower and butterfly tattoo design. (Credit: Wild Tattoo Art) .
The Upper Thigh Sunflower Tattoo
There’s a lot of space on your thigh to work with if you want something big and bold (that you’d like to cover up every now and again!) (Credit: Wild Tattoo Art )
Full Sleeve Sunflower Tattoo
(Credit: Next Luxury )
Sunflowers and butterflies are a great place to start if you want an eventual sleeve. You can keep adding bees, flowers, leaves and wildlife to your arm over time.
Bear in mind that a sleeve tattoo stretches over time, so discuss with your artist as you might want to add extra floral details later on.
Where to Buy
Choosing a tattoo artist is one of the biggest decisions you have to make…and the consequences of picking the wrong one can be dire.
Other Tattoo Ideas
If sunflowers and butterflies aren’t quite your thing, check out a few of our other pages for more butterfly-based inspiration:
Sunflowers and butterflies represent good things in life: joy, happiness, and renewal. If you are considering a sunflower and butterfly, chances are you are commemorating a new chapter in your life - a good one.