Dramatic hair, colorful makeup, exquisite costumes, and glittering glam rock are all trademarks of David Bowie‘s early work when most of the world fell in love with the artist. For Bowie, music and its performance were the ultimate means of self-expression. The singer’s singularity made him an icon and his signature appearance makes for some exceptional tattoo designs. Not only his Ziggy Stardust persona but also his acting roles feature heavily for tattoo inspiration.
In addition to portraits of the many faces of Bowie, fans also get symbols and lyrics from their favorite songs. There’s no shortage of inspiration to draw from, when trying to conceive of a tattoo to pay tribute to this rockstar. We decided to take a look at some of the newer tattoos people have gotten of him to find the most creative and dazzling examples. If you’re looking for David Bowie tattoo ideas, you’re in the right place. We’ve found 25 extremely creative tattoos inspired by all things Bowie. Get ready for some bolts of lightning!
I’m in Heaven
“Look up here, I’m in heaven,” this person captioned the image of their freshly finished portrait. You’ll find similar imagery on many of these tattoos. What made this design stand out was the bolt-shaped frame.
Head in the Stars
Here, we find a tattoo inspired by “Starman.” Not only is this tattoo super cute, but it’s also extremely original. The Bowie t-shirt really makes the whole design come together.
Bowies Goes Burton
This person found a way to marry her two loves: Ziggy and director, Tim Burton. This Ziggy Stardust meets Corpse Bride is certainly unlike any of the other tattoos on this list.
He Found Rock & Roll
For some, the Ziggy-era was peak Bowie. We’d argue that he stayed relevant throughout his life, but we must admit, the portraits and photographs of the star at the time are some of his most memorable. Here, we find a thrilling black and gray design that is utterly haunting.
Black & Pink
You can always go minimal! “Everything we look at and choose is some way of expressing how we want to be perceived,” is a Bowie quote this person shared along with the image. The image that inspired this tattoo comes from the Young Americans era.
Black & Red
Seeing double? This incredible black and red ink design gives you double the Bowie and kind of makes your eyes cross, in the best way possible.
Here, we find a reimagining of the Heroes album cover. Even though this is abstract, you can still instantly recognize it. If you’re after a tattoo with a bit of mystery, consider something similar.
Bowie’s widow, Iman, got a tribute tattoo for her late husband. It’s a small knife with the bolt across the handle. This fan felt they should follow Iman’s lead. This amazing design is so bold and emotive. A truly impressive design!
Just for One Day
But, this tattoo will last longer than just one day! When you see a really good typography tattoo, you realize that sometimes simplicity is best. We love this.
Here, we find an outstanding tattoo from a Korean tattoo artist. The colors, shapes, and clean lines make it an unparalleled Ziggy design.
Underneath the Hood
Wow! The shading on this tattoo makes it look like an etching. The very neat, linear features of the face look excellent against the feathered, smooth hair.
Cat Named Bowie
“Emily’s cat’s name is Bowie so naturally, this has to happen,” the person who shared this design explained. We did not know we needed Bowie as a cat as ice cream, but here we are. How precious!
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No, we haven’t overlooked Labyrinth-Bowie in all of his 1980s glory. This exceptional portrait of Jareth the Goblin King is giving us film-noir vibes. This is a blast!
Here, we find a neotraditional portrait of our 1970s rocker. Although, his face is not a mess in this design. We love this super glam portrait.
We are always here for a kewpie makeover and this adorable one of Ziggy Stardust might be one of the best we’ve ever seen.
Out of Your Depth
“Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting,” is a Bowie quote the person with this dramatic portrait shared. What a stunning photorealistic tat.
Labyrinth Half Sleeve
Someone is clearly a huge fan of the Goblin King and all his minions. This vivid tattoo has everything from minor characters to the most iconic props from the film. You could not ask for more in a half sleeve design.
He Fell to Earth
The Man Who Fell to Earth is a beautiful and haunting sci-fi classic that Bowie completely shined in. This absolutely fantastic design captures many visual elements from the film and is wholly original.
This extremely stylized portrait looks like rainbow sherbet. The image this design is based on is, by far, the most tattooed portrait of the artist. However, of the hundreds we combed through, this is one of the most unique.
Getting some 2001: A Space Odyssesy vibes from this exciting design. We love the way the 2-D helmet reveals a stunningly dramatic face washed in blue and red.
At 29-years-old, Bowie was arrested in Rochester, New York for possession of marijuana. The mugshot from the ordeal has become one of the most beloved celebrity mugshots of all time. This fun tattoo is proof of it.
We’ve heard of watercolor tattoos, but we weren’t aware that this “smoke tattoo” trend was such a thing until recently. This absolutely thrilling tattoo looks great because the artist has “colored outside the lines.” Magic!
In 1995, photographer, Gavin Evans, snapped a famous photo that inspired this portrait tattoo. This design is somewhat unsettling, but we’re getting used to enjoying this hyper-realistic portraits tattooers are able to pull off now. This is unreal!
Just for Jareth
Does this tattoo make you want to do the “Magic Dance”? We love this Labyrinth-inspired design that imagines the Goblin King with pastel-rainbow hair. Yes, please.
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Believing the Strangest Things
This wonderfully weird Bowie-meets alien abduction scene is one of our absolute favorites on this list. Space, aliens, and otherness were all themes Bowie mined throughout his life. This very strange design captures all of it and uses the title of the song, “Loving the Alien” to take on all a whole new meaning.
There you go! 25 David Bowie tattoo ideas that pay tribute to the iconic artist. As you’ve seen, the weirder the better with these Bowie tattoos so pick an obscure reference and run with it!
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.
- 1 I’m in Heaven
- 2 Head in the Stars
- 3 Bowies Goes Burton
- 4 He Found Rock & Roll
- 5 Black & Pink
- 6 Black & Red
- 7 Lines
- 8 Sharp
- 9 Just for One Day
- 10 Stylish
- 11 Underneath the Hood
- 12 Cat Named Bowie
- 13 Goblin King
- 14 Rebellious
- 15 Kewpie
- 16 Out of Your Depth
- 17 Labyrinth Half Sleeve
- 18 He Fell to Earth
- 19 Glam
- 20 Space Oddity
- 21 That Mug
- 22 Smokey
- 23 Shhh…
- 24 Just for Jareth
- 25 Believing the Strangest Things
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