Sunflower, accordingly with its name made up of sun & flower, in tattoo artwork is used both in floral patterns and as a symbol of the sun.
It is a flower adored by many for its bright color and easily identifiable shape. It is famous for its distinguishing ability to follow the sun turning towards the sun rays all day long. It is also called “the happy flower” and considered the most positive symbol among the florets. With its radiant yellow to reddish petals in a round circular shape, it resembles the sun thus it is usually associated with warmth, happiness, and hope.
As a very beautiful flower, its use is versatile, being used as an inspiration for weddings, interior decor, garden landscapes, as well as a tattoo adornment on people’s bodies. Its nature is unique and the symbolism great what made them one of the most popular choices for tattoos. They have an alluring quality and an aesthetic value of their own. They have deep meaning and they are pleasant to the eye, what gives people and tattoo artists the inspiration for many different ideas and combination of patterns and colors to be intertwined in a unique sunflower tattoo for different parts of the body.
Besides being used in combination with other famous flowers in tattoo art, it is commonly used also as a symbol of the sun and what the sun symbolizes.
The sunflower has been associated with the sun since ancient times. There is an ancient Greek myth about a water nymph named Clytie who was in love with Helios, the Greek God of Sun.
The story goes that although they were in love, one day Helios abandoned her for another woman. Clytie was furious and told the father of this girl about the affair after what the father had to bury his daughter alive in the sand because she was defiled by Helios. Clytie hoped that she will win Helios back now that the girl is dead, but he was only angrier and left with his chariot towards the sun high in the sky. She then decided to take off her clothes, sit naked on the rocks, without any food or drink, to wait for his return, always gazing towards the sun.
She was sitting like that constantly looking up to the sun, hoping for her one true love to return and forgive her so that they can be reunited. After nine days hoping and mourning the loss of her beloved one, she transformed into a sunflower.
The first natural sunflower was noticed in Mexico back in the time of the Inca Empire in pre-Columbian America (1438-1533). They used to believe that their God is The Sun, so they worshiped the flower that looked exactly like the sun. According to them, the sunflower was representing God.
The Native Americans, later on, were also worshippers of the sunflowers. To them, the sunflower symbolized good and abundant harvest. They believed the sunflower was what they needed for a good harvest as they connected it to energy and fertility after they had noticed the sunflower had a strong relationship with the sun. The Native Americans knew that without the sun, the harvest can be scarce, so the sunflower was a cherished part of their culture.
During the 16th century, the sunflower was imported to Europe and other parts of the world.
In Eastern cultures, it was always related to good health, joy, and luck.
In China, the yellow color represents intelligence and self-awareness, happiness and positivity, and, energy and vitality. The sunflower symbolizes good luck and longevity, therefore it is also considered to be therapeutic. Because of its vibrant yellow color, it is closely connected to the chakra therapy or the color healing therapy (a non-invasive holistic treatment). The yellow color of the sunflower is here related to the solar plexus chakra, Manipura, related to the forces of intelligence and self-awareness of a human being.
In Christianity, the sunflower is a sign of God or God’s love for his people. According to Esoteric Christianity, it is a symbol of spiritual love and a sign of spiritual attainment. It represents the strong faith in God, the unchanging faith of the good Christians that could guide their souls to heaven when they die.
Among the Dutch people, it is a symbol of a loyal and devoted person.
Similarly, with a modern interpretation, sunflowers represent gratitude and eternal devotion.
A pair of sunflowers becomes a symbol of two beloved ones, so it is sometimes the perfect choice for couples in love meaning that the tattoo shall bring their love throughout all their lives.
The sunflowers reborn every year what symbolizes new beginnings, new periods of success and reaching goals both in career and personal life that result in a much happier life.
In nowadays modern tattoo art, the depicted sunflower on the body usually stands for some of the symbolism mentioned above and more: happiness, warmth, longevity, vitality, religion, remembrance, faithfulness, gratitude, grace, intelligence, as well as charm and femininity.
Sunflowers make gorgeous tattoo designs, as single flower designs with or without modifications and added details, or as a part of a bigger flower or other patterns. With their unique appearance and rich meanings associated with them, it gives great inspiration to the tattoo artists and a possibility to play with the shape or look of the petals and the inner circle, by shading or adding colors, in order to create a special tattoo design for every single customer according to their own distinctive believes in the sunflower symbolism.
As a tattoo design, the sunflower is adored mostly among women, but it can be shaped and suited also for men.
It is said that people that want to engrave a sunflower tattoo on their body usually give justice to it. In other words, the people who perfectly wear sunflower tattoos with confidence are flower lovers, positive thinkers, fun-loving individuals who just love the sunshine and life in general.