The dragon is a "classic" tattoo motif, popular with both men and women. As a tattoo design the dragon shows the profound influence that Japanese and Chinese culture have had in Western tattooing for nearly two centuries. In the Far East, the dragon represents the Four Elements - Earth, Wind, Fire and Water - and the four points of the compass - East, West, North and South - and dragons are simultaneously a symbol of Water, Earth, Underworld and Sky. The dragon is a culturally far-ranging character whose apparent bad temper should be interpreted as simply amoral, neither good nor evil. The forces of nature are not human-hearted, representing as they do the cycle of life and death, followed again by birth and renewal. Nature nurtures and nature destroys. So too, does the dragon.
By the looks of them, dragons have been around since the dawn of time. These giant, winged, fire-breathing lizards are reminiscent of the prehistoric creatures - dinosaurs, no less - that once roamed the earth millions of years ago, but the fact is, the dragon grew out of the human imagination. However, the genesis of the mighty dragon may have been helped in no small part by the discovery in China and other parts the world of the fossil remains of dinosaurs and other gigantic reptiles. The dragon came to represent both the beneficent and malevolent elements, depending on which part of the world it breathed its fiery breath.
Below you will find a gallery of inspirational images that will help you in your quest of creating the perfect dragon tattoo.