The chest is an expansive, blank canvas that offers nearly endless possibilities for creative body art designs.

Chest tattoos are often:

  • Large
  • Eye-catching
  • Meaningful

More Canvas to Work With

Size, the area of skin the artist has to work with, is the most obvious factor that separates chest tattoos from most other body art. 

Although usually smaller than back tattoos, the wide space available across the chest means the artist can create large, impactful pieces with a level of detail that wouldn’t work well on smaller parts of the body.

Extending the designs to the shoulders or integrating the chest tattoo with existing shoulder tattoos further increases the amazing design possibilities.

Large Tattoos Mean Commitment

Like other large, intricately designed tattoos, chest tattoos require a level of commitment to reach completion of the design—multiple sessions in the chair and a fairly high price tag.

You should give some thought to these points before getting started. 

Location, Location, Location

Getting a large chest tattoo is highly popular among those who put effort into developing a well-toned, muscular body. 

A great chest tattoo draws people’s eyes to the chest, abdomen, and shoulders, so if you’ve put considerable effort into shaping your upper body, a chest tattoo can add to your vibe. 

On the other hand, you don’t always have to show off a chest tattoo. You can keep it hidden under clothing until you choose to make it visible. 

For some, keeping their meaningful artwork and its private message concealed is an important aspect of its meaning. 

Popular Chest Tattoo Themes

Some people find chest tattoos appealing because of their close proximity to their heart, and that connection may directly influence their design choices.

Popular chest tattoo design elements include:

  • Wings—Due to the wide space available, wings extending to the shoulders are highly popular designs that can symbolize freedom, free will, or communicate that you go where you will and cannot be confined. The wings of angels are used as symbols by many religions and in classic literature, as well.
  • Hearts—The location makes this a popular choice. Heart tattoos can symbolize an appreciation for health or almost any deep feeling or emotion you choose.
  • Phrases and Sentences—Due to the wide, horizontal “canvas” longer phrases can be inked large enough to be seen from a distance.
  • Portraits—Similar to back tattoos, the large space allows for the detail necessary to create realistic portraits, some so intricate they are mistaken for photographs.

Click for more information on popular symbols used in tattoos.

Chest Tattoos—What to Expect

It’s important to mention that chest tattoos are often painful due to the bony surface just below the skin (particularly near the sternum or clavicle). 

Many people getting ink on other parts of their bodies rely on deep breathing to manage pain while sitting in the artist’s chair, but your chest expands and contracts as you breathe, making it difficult for the artist to work.

It’s important to have a solid grasp of your own personal pain tolerance and what you need to do in order to hold still and control your breathing during the lengthy chest tattoo sessions.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

You’ll want to avoid excess caffeine. Added anxiety increases your breathing rate and may cause you to fidget, both making the session significantly harder.

On the other hand, using alcohol to calm yourself for a tattoo session is NEVER a good idea. In fact, it’s illegal to tattoo somebody who’s under the influence. 

Alcohol consumed in the 24-48 hours prior will thin your blood and possibly cause excessive bleeding that may negatively affect the quality of the work or even make it difficult to finish the session.

We have additional advice for making your sessions more productive and go more smoothly—click here.

Chest and Back Tattoos —Hannah Specializes in Large Pieces

Hannah stands out from other artists when it comes to producing large, intricate pieces of body art—chest tattoos, back tattoos,  and other complex pieces.

She has an excellent reputation for both the design and the needle work that’s required to create the visually impactful work of art you’re looking for.

Taking these chest tattoos and other major projects from design to completion is one of her passions, so if you’re looking for the right artist to take you through the process from start to finish, visit our webpage and fill out our contact form