Need a hot destination for red tattoos?

Bali, Indonesia might be your answer. This tropical island should be a bright red beacon for anyone with a wild heart and an attraction to body art. In the balmy beach towns of south and west Bali, showing off some skin is a given and the more #inkedup the better. There are hundreds of tattoo artists in Bali to choose from. For many visitors, the allure of getting a Bali souvenir tattoo is an ever-present and easily-satisfied temptation.

There’s always plenty of fresh ink to see around here and a variety of tattoo art keeps heads turning, but you’ll also notice popular Balinese tattoo designs and trends too – trendy tatts can be tattoos of a certain thing, Bali volcano tattoos have erupted for example, or a specific tattoo placement like ‘sternum’ tattoos which you very suddenly notice again and again. And again.

The Red Tattoo Trend 

red kiss tattoo
Photo: Bali/Australia model @Talleigha

Trends are funny because they start out as something unusual, so attractive that you might think OMFG I NEED THAT.’  Like does everyone reading this want a lipstick smooch ass tattoo, or is it just the ladies at TATTLAS?

Careful. Because when a trend becomes too popular, it loses its magnetic magic power. Examples. Remember when it was common to get a little red devil tattoo? Or the Playboy Bunny logo? Hell yes? Well, zero requests these days. If you actually HAVE a naughty lil’ demon stamp and are less than 50 years old, we’d love to hear from you because we’re intrigued to say the least. Chances of that one actually making a comeback are higher than ever before because, guess what. There’s a tattoo trend you’re guaranteed to see everywhere from Kuta to Karangasem that wasn’t there before. … Red hearts. Red mandalas. And more red tattoos.

RED TATTOO GALLERY  

Curated collections of recent and rediscovered red Bali tattoos.

There’s nothing we l<3ve more than red ink right now, except possibly the versatility of this tattoo trend. So jump on board with the new wave  – it’s easier than riding the swell at Echo Beach. For anyone pursuing a red tattoo in paradise, this blog post is a haute resource. TATTLAS Bali Tattoo Guide has done lots of research! We hope you’ll be glad you “red” this…

 

Here, Even TATTOOS Get Red Tattoos

American traditional tattoos with red ink made by Gunz – Hundred Brothers Social Club

This artist is pretty much on fire for everything old school.

 

More tattoos with their own red tattoos – from Fandem Fay at Bali Famous Ink

This guy has ‘RED’ tattooed on his back. No seriously, he does. 

 

Small Red Tattoos

red chili pepper tattoo
From Tie at Be No Square

Small but spicy.

 

Lipstick Print Tattoos

Lipstick mark butt cheek tattoo by Triblack Tattoo and Piercing
Lipstick mark by Triblack Tattoo and Piercing

What is the meaning of a lipstick print on your butt?
Our answer: I don’t care what you think.
In other words: Kiss my ass, bitch.

 

Red lips tattoo by Putu at Sunrise Ink Bali
Red lips tattoo by Putu at Sunrise Ink Bali

Muah.

 

funny tattoo man butt crack
Bali West Ink Tattoo is responsible for at least one of these stamps.

So that’s why he’s so hard to find.
This image needs a very dark vignette. Or maybe we’ll just delete it very soon.

 

kiss tattoo
This one is old work from Dodoyesyou! Now at West Coast Ink Bali

Sorry, the ring means she’s taken.

 

and Rolling Stones Logo Tattoos

rolling stones tongue tattoo
Wrist tattoo of the Rolling Stones logo made by Rian Pranata in Bali

OK so this red tattoo (a cover-up) has a black outline, but rock n’ roll tells us to break the rules.

Adweek.com explains the story behind The Rolling Stones’ logo like this:
When 24-year old John Pasche was offered £50 to make a design, Mick Jagger’s mouth inspired him to create “Hot Lips.” It debuted on the 1971 LP Sticky Fingers and later became one of the biggest rock n’ roll icons of all time.

 

rolling stones tattoo gradient
This one was made by Goper Ink at Two Guns Tattoo Bali

Hell, let’s break the rules again. It’s for The Stones, man.

 

Red Heart Tattoos

Tiny tattoo of a red heart outline Bali Star Ink Kuta
Tiny tattoo of a red heart outline posted by Bali Star Ink Kuta

If I tap this, will it become a solid red heart?

 

Tiny heart by Gubuk Tattoo
Tiny heart by Gubuk Tattoo

Love thyself. 

 

red heart by dodoyesyou
Some love from Dodoyesyou! West Coast Ink Bali

When love gets messy.

 

I heart Bali tattoo
I heart Bali tattoo – Tattoo 88 Ubud Ink

Aww, that’s cute. I 🍷Bali.

 

red heart jewel tattoo by kenyoz baliken art two guns bali
Realistic ruby heart tattoo Kenyoz Baliken Art at Two Guns Tattoo Bali

Exactly what both my eyes look like when I see this. What a gem.
Wearing a ruby may have healing powers. Learn all about rubies on this page of CrystalVaults.com.

 

Red Flower Tattoos

Red rose tattoo Seminyak
Red rose tattoo by Sawitra Tattoo

Is that from ClipArt? No Mate, it’s from Bali.

 

Tattooed in tiny lines by Erwin at Mason's Ink
Red rose line tattoo by Erwin at Mason’s Ink

Smallest rose we’ve ever seen. See more: Rose tattoos from Bali

 

only red tattoo on heel of foot
Red foot tattoo by Sideline Tattoo Studio in Ubud

This red tree tattoo on the heel reminds us of something we read at SensationalColor.com. Red is the color of the Root Chakra, Muladhara. It’s located at the base of the spine and allows us to be grounded and connect to universal energies.

White and red lotus tattoo Bali
Lotus wrist tattoo from Ink by Alice at Be No Square

How did she make it SO pretty? We’ll let you in on the secret: there’s white ink in action here too. 

 

red flower tattoo stomach linework
Red flower linework by Tridatu Tattoo in Kuta

A big red piece by someone who almost never does color tattoos. Red is SO special. 

 

roses tattoo only red
Roses by Dodoyesyou! of West Coast Ink Bali

Romance with red shading right here. 

 

Red Lettering Tattoos

red line tattoo script
Red cursive lettering from  Sideline Tattoo Studio in Ubud

A little reminder never hurts (oh right, unless it’s a tattoo). 

 

the lords prayer tattoo red lettering
The Lord’s Prayer Bible quote tattooed in red script by Tattoo 88 Ubud Ink

Amen. 

 

Red cursive lettering tattoo by Mother Ink
Red cursive lettering tattoo by Mother Ink

Think they meant “Mirella’s Foot.”

 

red tattoo by Guerilla Ink Bali

red ink typewriter tattoo
Red lettering by Guerilla Ink – Canggu

Who knows?

 

Red Travel Tattoos

Red Tattoo Passport Stamp by Bali Star Ink
Red Tattoo Passport Stamp by Bali Star Ink

Make mine say 3018 pleaseandthankyou.

 

Tattoos by Agus Bali Ornament tattoo arts
Travel stamps via Tattoos by Agus at Conscious Arts, Ubud

This leg had an epic 2017.

 

World Map Tattoo by Indigo Tattoo Parlour
World Map Color-As-You-Go Tattoo shared by Indigo Tattoo Parlour

Indonesia: check.
Americas: nah. 

 

Red tiger tattoo by I Wayan Eddie Wirtawan
Red tiger tattoo by I Wayan Eddie Wirtawan at Wolfpack Tattoo Bali

The extinct Bali tiger returns.  

 

Red Geometric Tattoos

Red mandala tattoo by Indra Nice Art Tattoo
Red mandala tattoo by Nice Art Tattoo Dream Ink

His dotwork hits the spot. 

 

Geometric sleeve tattoo with red ink by @iclawyou Altar Tattoo Berawa
Dark red geometry sleeve by @iclawyou – Altar Tattoo in Berawa

Something different from the decorated blackwork and geometric tattoo experts of Altar Altar Altar. 

 

Red sleeve tattoo by Wahyu Webe
Red sleeve tattoo by Wahyu Webe

Special thanks to:
those Bali shrooms. 

 

Black and Red Tattoos

Balinese Ongkara Tattoo in Red by Padma Tattoo Art - Grace Ink Bali
Balinese Om Symbol in red by Padma Tattoo Art – Grace Ink

Tattoos of a Balinese om symbol (ongkara) promise balance and protection.

 

Buddha and Om by Temple of Ink
Happy Buddha Tattoo by Temple of Ink in Legian Bali

Not too sure, but I think the red thing above this Buddha is the international symbol for “I’ve been to Asia.”

 

For BALI Tolak Reklamasi tattoo by Yogi Suryawan (Ink Art Bali)
Tolak Reklamasi tattoo by Yogi Suryawan – Ink Art Bali

Conservationists unite!  Come on, we can do it ForEARTH.

 

geometric Trash Polka tattoo
Not exactly Trash Polka, this black and red sleeve was made by Jimmy Toge at Two Guns Tattoo Bali

The mix of lines and color blocking with negative space make this a dynamic eye-catching piece. Designs with elements like this are a smart choice for people who want a bold tattoo which does not cover a lot of skin. 

 

trashpolka tattoo realistic heart tattoo
Anatomical heart tattoo by Ali Bastardos

We call this an anatomical heart and not a realistic heart tattoo because it’s super artsy, complete with primary red Trash Polka dots. They kinda look like drops of blood in this context.

 

Indigenous Australian Tattoo The Ink Parlour
Sleeve inspired by indigenous Australian designs at The Ink Parlour Bali

There are three things we love about this. One. We’re drawn to red and black tattoos which also include brown, especially light brown or ‘rawhide’ colored ink. Nice earthy palette. Two. It honors heritage and cultural significance. Three. We love seeing a happy customer – he’s obviously satisfied because there’s fresh ink on his other arm too. 

 

Black and red geometric sleeve by Odhe Angga
Black and red geometric sleeve by Odhe Angga

The geometric pattern in red looks like a variation of the traditional Japanese stitching pattern called shippo. Some people refer to this stuff as sacred geometry. 

 

girl with red bandana tattoo by Nyoman hendra permana at La Familia Tattoo Bali
By Nyoman Hendra Permana at La Familia Tattoo Bali

A red bandana: the perfect accessory, flashy AND functional. 

 

Red geometric tattoo by Endry Dharma
Black and red mandala tattoo by Endry Dharma

He’s one of our go-to guys for ornamental tattoos.

 

black and red mandala calf tattoos by Blur in Bali
Black and red half-mandala calf tattoos by Blur Tattoo

Warning: don’t click this portfolio link unless you’re prepared to spend hours drooling over artistic sketchy tattoo art. 

 

black shark and red shark outline
Shark outlines by Bobby “Baby Tatts” at Loco Ink Tattoo

And the winner is… ?!

 

red and black tattoo of snakes fighting
Red and black snakes by Thom Bonk at Big Rock Tattoo in Sanur

Red on top. 

Flash Tattoos

More red tatts to come? Hope so.

 

The Meaning of the Color Red

Think before you ink. 

Effects:

  • Increases enthusiasm
  • Stimulates energy and can increase blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat and pulse rate
  • Encourages action and confidence
  • Provides a sense of protection from fears and anxiety

Facts:

  • Red is the highest arc of the rainbow
  • Red is the first color you lose sight of at twilight
  • The longest wavelength of light is red
  • Feng shui recommends painting the front door of a home red to invite prosperity to the residents
  • Bees can’t see the color red, but they can see all other bright colors, so red flowers are usually pollinated by birds, butterflies, bats and wind rather than bees

Red has more personal associations than any other color. Recognized as a stimulant, red is inherently exciting and the amount of red is directly related to the level of energy perceived. Red draws attention and a keen use of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element.

The above is quoted directly from Digital Synopsis. Anger, passion, love and life are a few more ideas from Team TATTLAS.

Tattoo Artists of Luxury Ink Bali
Some of the awesome Indonesian tattoo artists of Luxury Ink Bali

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Connotations of Red in Indonesia

It seems to be the country’s favorite color…

The Indonesian flag is two colors; red on top and white on the bottom. What does it mean? To keep things simple and authentic, we’re satisfied by these two responses from our Indonesian staff.

“Indonesian flag has philosophical meaning. RED means courage, WHITE means purity. Red symbolizes human body. White symbolizes the human soul. Creating and perfecting human body and soul to build Indonesia. I know the Indonesian flag meaning from school.”
“Red means blood and white means bone.”
… and a creative force in Bali. 
Balinese Hinduism has a holy trinity of color called tri datu
  1. Red represents Brahma the Creator, originality and bravery
  2. Black revers Dewa Wisnu the Preserver, power and protection
  3. White is for Dewa Siwa the Destroyer, and symbolizes spirituality and goodness

Colors and Balinese symbolism

Balinese also associate colors with directions and other significance.

How do you say “red” in Indonesian? Merah. Pink: Merah mudah. Not pink: Bukan merah mudah. Angry: Marah. Disaster: Mara. 

That’s just for fun. In Bali, there’s a very good chance that your tattoo artist and/or the studio staff speak English very well. This is super important, no matter where in the world you decide to get tattoos: make sure your tattoo artist understands what you want.

Now what color would you like your red tattoo to be?

Shades of Red

Sorry, we’re not going to translate these. 

Shades of Red

It may not have crossed your mind that you should be specific about this. Lucky for you, the creatives at DigitalSynopsis.com made a handy chart of red color names for reference.

How does this translate to tattoo lingo? Um… the name of the red color best for you depends on which tattoo ink brands your artist uses. If they offer color tattoos, then they’ll have plenty more than two shades of red (at least a primary “candy” red and dark red) and they should know exactly what each of their reds looks like after healing.

Red Tattoo Ink

Is it dangerous?

action shot of tattooing a red Balinese Om Symbol

In 26 years of me tattooing I’ve never experienced any problems with red. The only problem with red pigment is that it’s fading faster than the other colors… that I can confirm for sure.” – @Bodhi_Tattoo_Supplies

 

We can’t show you pictures of red tattoos without telling you there’s gossip about them (our mission at TATTLAS is to improve, empower and promote tattoo tourism in Bali). It doesn’t matter where you are – red ink is rumored to contain toxic metals and other ingredients which are health hazards. So, is that true? Don’t ask Google because going down that wormhole is a scary waste of time. We’ve done all the research for you!

Q: Are red tattoos safe? Does red tattoo ink cause cancer or allergic reactions?

A: There is never a 100% safety guarantee when getting tattoos. Today, major tattoo ink manufacturers DO NOT use dangerous amounts of ingredients like mercury and lead as permanent red colorants, and their inks are tested for heavy metal content and other safety standards like sterility. Red tattoo inks are much safer than they were in the past. However, the risk of allergic reactions to red tattoo ink is higher than the chance of skin irritation from other colors.

 

SAFEST RED INKS –  New post coming soon!

 

Want to know more about Bali tattoo safety? Check out this post: GETTING TATTOOS IN BALI

Want to submit your work to our blog? Here’s how:

Last update: 12 September 2018.

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