Getting an ear tattoo is an extremely delicate process. The shape of the ear is funny and cumbersome for tattoo artists to deal with. Many prefer to use a stick and poke method to tattoo the ear as opposed to a tattoo gun. That’s true for most mini or micro designs. The method allows for much more accuracy and control.
Most of the tattoos on this list are going to be a machine-free or hand-poked design. You’ll notice plenty of dotwork, not just for shading. The ear is such a beautiful part of the body to decorate because the decor compliments our faces. If you’re someone who is over pierced ears and want to take your ear style to a whole new level, consider getting an ear tattoo! Here are 25 examples of exciting ear tattoos we hope will inspire and wow you.
25. Leaves of Change
Just wow! Look at these tiny maple leaves. Somehow the tattoo artist has managed to utilize a wide variety of colors ranging all the way from green to red and even purple. This is so impressive.
24. More Love
How cute is this tiny red heart? We love a red ink tattoo and this adorable one is super clean and very neat. We imagine most people mistake this ear tattoo for a stud earring.
23. A Brushstroke
According to the person who captioned this photo, the line across the ear is supposed to represent a brushstroke. The tattoo is a tribute to his grandfather who was an artist. A sweet, touching, and really fresh looking tattoo.
22. A Tiny Moon
This super-duper small crescent moon tattoo in the inner ear is easy to look past. If you’re looking for an ear tattoo that doesn’t draw too much attention, consider a similar placement inside the folds of the ear.
This very delicate leaf tattoo creates the illusion that it’s coming through the ear. This very smart and effective design you’ll find a couple more times on this list.
20. For an Elf
The person who posted this photo said she got this tattoo of leaves “for an elf.” It’s a magical thought considering this very small leaves would be the perfect size for a mini, mystical creature.
19. Big & Decorative
This tattoo is so fashionable. The design looks almost like jewelry which creates an overall polished look.
18. Spread Happiness
A cheerful smiley face is always welcome to the party! We love this tiny little smile and how it’s slightly hidden within a fold of the ear. What a pleasant surprise.
17. Lots o’ Dots
The tattoo that sits in front of the ear is the ever-popular cobweb. Beyond that, you’ll find a super fun mandala-inspired design that’s been achieved by tons of tiny dots.
16. Swooping Lines
These spooking lines look like they’ve fallen across the year. It’s an ambitious design that the tattoo artist managed to pull off. You’ll see two things a lot when you look at ear tattoos: abstract patterns and flowers.
15. Baby Snake
Snakes are so gross! But, this one manages to charm. Using a stick and poke method lends to very fine, sharp lines. It’s been expertly applied here.
14. A Splash
This handsome ear tattoo comes from Poland. This abstract design is the perfect decorative touch!
13. A Blossom
It’s amazing the amount of detail the artist was able to get on this flower tattoo. Unlike the more subtle designs, you can tell exactly what this one is. It’s so cute!
12. Tulip Dream
How is this even real? This super tiny tulip tattoo looks just like the real deal! This probably took forever with a single needle. It was definitely worth the effort!
11. Dripping Ink
This tattoo covers a lot of the upper ear and looks more like an abstract painting than anything else. The lines extending to the face also give the design a futuristic aesthetic.
10. More Leaves
Blue ink always looks so wonderful on warm skin tones. The only downside to this tattoo is that it’s going to make the ear look even redder if they get flushed. These delicate leaves are simple and very pretty.
9. Rad Colors
These wavy lines of bold, neon color are unique and stunning. They almost resemble little flames.
8. Flower Power
These charming black and purple flowers look almost like a pattern you would find painted on china. Purple and black always go well together. This is such a cute design.
7. Red Ink
This very stylized daisy tattoo dazzles in red ink. This picture was taken right after it was finished, but the tattoo will look more subdued once it is healed.
6. Webs We Weave
You can’t come to a tattoo listicle and not find a web tattoo somewhere. This very cute little web is perfectly placed to compliment the shape of the ear.
5. A Snake Passing Through
We applaud bold choices! This psychedelic snake has a galaxy-themed body with plenty of colors to make it stand out. We realize that getting a snake across the face is not going to be for everyone, but we wanted you to know the creative places you can take an ear tattoo.
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Nothing is more glorious than the sunrise. We often take it for granted but it’s a magical moment we enjoy every single day. This stick and poke tattoo beams with energy.
If you’re more of a moon person, here’s a tattoo that captures celestial bodies from space. It’s another example of a stick and poke that uses many tiny dots to form the shapes of the stars and planets.
This is what happens when a tattoo gun is used to tattoo the ear. You get a heavier line and less detail. While we do like the white ink that’s been used to highlight, this tattoo looks heavyhanded.
MORE TO EXPLORE: 31 Beautiful Ear Tattoos That Are Better Than Piercings
1. Rainbow Color
This very cute rainbow tattoo makes the most out of the limitations of ear tattooing by only using simple dots and fine lines. We love all of the colors on display here.
There you go! 25 ear tattoos prove that ink is sometimes better than a piercing. We hope you enjoyed these tatts and are inspired to explore interesting tattoo locations and designs.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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