20 Phoenix Tattoos That Show Off a Woman's Inner Fire

Joe Osborne | Nov 15, 2019 Beauty & Style
20 Phoenix Tattoos That Show Off a Woman's Inner Fire

imarowski / Instagram

The fiery phoenix is a product of ancient Greek mythology generally intended to symbolize life-changing concepts such as life and rebirth. In the legend, the phoenix is a fiery bird that lives for about 500 years, only to combust into a pile of ash. Soon after, the incredible phoenix inexplicably is reborn from those ashes in a burst of flame, to live again for another five centuries. Over the years since its conception, the phoenix has come to represent the cycle of life in all living things. Generally, the phoenix has been depicted as a red, orange, and yellow bird with flaming plumage and in majestic, inspiring, and powerful poses. With that, it's perfect fodder for some truly sweet and inspiring tattoos to represent strength and the circle of life. 

So, we've scoured the depths of Instagram to find the coolest, most interesting, and most awe-worthy phoenix tattoos -- in our humble opinion. There is, of course, no shortage of ink that pays homage to the phoenix on the internet, but allow us to curate ideas for readers' next or first pieces of ink. From incredible watercolor styles to ink inspired by traditional Japanese artwork, there are plenty of angles from which to adapt the legendary phoenix into an incredible piece of ink. We've also found a few more offbeat expressions of the mythical creature, like differently colored fire birds and Americana-inspired takes. With that, browse our top 20 picks for some ideas to drive that next (or first) tattoo that honors this mighty bird.

  • Phoenix With a Complex Palette


    We're loving this phoenix piece for its incredible use of color. Inked by Detroit-based Melise Hill, it's definitely inspired by Japanese-style tattoos -- of which readers will find lots on this list. We also adore the figurative interpretation of the phoenix's flames being an extension of its feathers.

  • Infinite Tail Feathers


    The line art in this black-and-white is simply excellent, with a painterly quality. The work was done by an artist in St. Petersburg, Russia, named Oksana Pec and makes an interesting statement on the size of the phoenix: not much larger than a flower, but no less majestic.

  • A Phoenix Full of Feathers


    This piece is chock full of feathers, which must have been tough work for the artist at Hair and Ink Studio in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It may be unfinished in this photo, but we can already tell that this is going to be a brilliant piece -- extra points for the inspired color choices.

  • Fiery Watercolor


    We love the watercolor-style ink in this piece by Daan Van Den Dobbelsteen of Dice Tattoos in the Netherlands. Also, taking heavy inspiration from the peacock in this phoenix ink is just brilliant. It's going to be tough to keep this from affecting our concept of a phoenix whenever we see them in fantasy work in the future.

  • Phoenix Meets Will-o'-the-Wisp


    We're loving this piece by artist Piotr Jankowski for both its nods to Japanese artwork and Western folklore, particularly the will-o'-the-wisp: a light spirit that's said to appear in woods and swamps to lost travelers. What a regal and mysterious piece of tattoo art.

  • Figurative Phoenix


    This work by Sabil Mohan in India has generated an incredible figurative symbol for the fire bird. We could imagine this symbol emblazoned on a tabard or shield to represent something like, say, The Order of the Phoenix (teehee). 

  • Happy Phoenix


    Here's a decidedly different take on the phoenix. Not only does it incorporate nearly every color of the rainbow, but it's a clearly joyous piece. The happy eyes and smile on the phoenix add a bit of whimsy to the otherwise stalwart symbol of rebirth -- kudos to artist Dorobantu Marius of Bucharest, Romania. 

  • A Splash of Fire


    This is an absolutely brilliant take on the whole watercolor tattoo style, taking almost a Jackson Pollock approach to the phoenix here. The line work is expertly crafted, but the splashes of color simply make this piece come alive. Italian artist Federico Nannini is clearly a master of watercolor tattoos.

  • Fiery Intensity


    The incredibly intense stare of this phoenix may be either a bit much or just the right level of intensity, depending on a person's aesthetic. The color in this piece is also absolutely vibrant and sharp, and make us think of Suzaku, the Japanese interpretation of the Vermilion Bird in Chinese folklore. This one comes courtesy of Las Vegas tattoo artist Rich D.

  • Feminine Phoenix


    Not only is this piece another excellent example of the watercolor style, but is likely the most feminine expression of the phoenix on this list. It's demure expression instills a feeling of mystique about the creature, which is oddly fitting given its place in the pantheon of fantastical beings.

  • The American Classic Phoenix


    It's hard not to appreciate this blending of American classic tattoo style and the symbol of rebirth in the phoenix. The color and shading work on this tattoo by Italian artist Rinor Marku is simply expertly done. What an incredible fusion of styles and inspirations.

  • Storybook Phoenix


    This piece by an artist based in Singapore known simply as Jynk Ink on Instagram is actually a temporary piece of ink art known as jagua. Regardless, this is a black-and-white piece that we'd undoubtedly get as a piece of permanent ink. Just look at that expert, wispy line work.

  • A Massive Statement


    We love this gigantic piece inked by Seattle artist Suzy Todd, especially for its incredible color work and vast detail. This phoenix has simultaneously a fantastical feel and almost textbook appearance. We also love the look of eagle-like confidence in the phoenix's eyes.

  • A Phoenix Named Fawkes


    Readers honestly couldn't expect us to go this whole list without addressing every nerd's favorite modern phoenix: Fawkes from the Harry Potter series. Here is a beautifully rendered bust of that same fire bird, done with stunning realism and attention to detail by André Tenório in Brazil.

  • A Truly Fiery Phoenix


    This phoenix really leans into the fire element of the fantastical creature, depicting the bird surrounded by red-hot flames. The color and shading work here, by Arizona studio Ink Bomb Tattoos, is spot on. Plus, the straight-on look that the phoenix is giving us is awfully intense.

  • A Fighting Phoenix


    Of course we couldn't get through a list of tattoos without somehow finding a dragon to squeeze in there somewhere. For someone looking to get a little more action into a piece of ink, this exciting depiction of a dragon battling a phoenix in mid-air should do the trick. Thanks to Ogden, Utah artist Jonathan Machado for a truly epic tattoo.

  • Firebird Noir


    The line and shading work in this piece by Jake LaPierre of Vancouver, Canada, is simply superb. The flames billowing from this phoenix's tail feathers look truly hot. Plus, we appreciate the juxtaposition of the white-hot flames emanating from a relatively small-looking bird.

  •  A Phoenix of Smoldering Intensity


    This piece by German artist Isabella Marowski truly captures the regal and mysterious nature of the mythical phoenix. Focused on realism and popping color, this ink is definitely aspirational. Plus, we love the tail feathers that look like flames but aren't quite on fire -- a meticulous touch that makes the creature seem that much more real.

  • A Phoenix of the Far East


    Here's a phoenix tattoo that's clearly inspired by the Japanese ink art style. Looking as if it were stamped straight from a wood block painting, this work by Italian artist Fabrizio Di Benedetto captures the godly nature of the phoenix. It's single side-eye cast down upon the mortals just looks so downright cool.

  • A Phoenix For Everyone


    This phoenix piece seems to blend several different artistic styles into a single work of ink. Done by an artist known as Adèle Magpies, the piece brings together watercolor style, Japanese inspiration and line art to make a truly diverse piece of ink art.


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