101 Best American Traditional Shoulder Tattoo Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind!

by Jamie Wilson
American Traditional Shoulder Tattoo

Reviewed & updated: June 26, 2023 by Jamie Wilson BA

Looking for some cool ideas for American traditional shoulder tattoo ideas? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Let’s check them out.

American Traditional Shoulders
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The American Traditional Tattoos are a great inspiration idea for the shoulder areas.

Traditional tattoos include various designs and styles. They can be animal tattoos, inanimate objects, abstract figures, etc.

The traditional style tattoos include skull tattoos, portrait tattoos, wolf tattoo, snake tattoos, bald eagle tattoos, bear tattoos, knife tattoos, wings tattoos, flower tattoos and various traditional American symbols and figures.

Since these tattoos are at the most visually open areas of the body which are the shoulders, these traditional-style tattoo designs are the best choices, as they are very iconic and symbolic. There are various portrait tattoo designs that are engraved on the shoulders. However, classics include flora and fauna based tattoo designs. American traditional tattoos on shoulders are mostly black and white so that they look classic and elegant.

The tattoo artist makes sure that the tattoo is placed at the position of your shoulder which is aesthetically pleasing to you. Such tattoos whether they are as large as a bear tattoo or just a small-sized girl tattoo, are all made with intricate detailing and are executed with utmost perfection. Let’s have a look.

The Anemone Flower Tattoo

The Anemone Flower Tattoo
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In this American traditional tattoo, the tattoo artist has used an intricate floral design on the shoulder of this lady. The name of this flower is Anemone famous for its wide-open petals.

The tattoo artist has very artistically used the Anemone flower inspiration and has executed the real-life looking flowers into a black and white sketched tattoo. Apart from the flowers, the leaves have also been detailed with a pointy feature that makes them look stunning.

Overall, the place of this tattoo which is on the shoulders makes this tattoo visually very appealing and beautiful.

The Shoulder-Collarbone Tattoo Design

The Shoulder-Collarbone Tattoo Design
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One of the most simple yet an elegant American traditional tattoos. In this tattoo, the tattoo artist has opted out the inclusion of the flowers, rather has made the leaves, the main hero. The cursive wined leaves with twisting branches looks very flirty and amazing.

This simplistic design is favourable to all those people who like minimal detailing.

Each leaf has been shaded perfectly. The tattoo artist has quite cleverly left out the middle node of the leaf blank which gives it a highlighted effect, rather than outlining that with black ink.

The tattoo artist has also used various polka dots in different places to add more depth and punch to this simple design and has made it very interesting.

The overview of this tattoo looks like climbers that are growing on one’s skin, which is quite fascinating to look at. The addition of a sweet little bird at the last leaf is probably a very creative way to bring different elements into the tattoo. A very beautiful floral design for all.

The Dot Work Mandala Shoulder Tattoo

The Dot Work Mandala Shoulder Tattoo
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In this shoulder tattoo design, the concept of Mandala has been brought into focus. The tattoo artist has used gradient shades of black ink to make this beautiful Mandala piece.

The positioning of this shoulder tattoo is remarkable as it looks like an add on accessory. On the outer borders of the tattoo, the tattoo artist has used the dot style method to make each pattern.

As we start moving towards the inside, we see that there are thin line patterns that have been made with utmost precision. The polka dot method has also been used to decorate the inside of the tattoo design.

In the innermost portion, the tattoo artist has shaded each pattern for a light black effect. Overall, not just a simple American traditional tattoo, rather a highly skilled and sacred work of art.

The Aquatic Sea Shell Tattoo

The Aquatic Sea Shell Tattoo
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A one-of-a-kind among American traditional tattoos. This tattoo pays homage to the sea by making the seashells the main focus of the tattoo. The tattoo artist has been so creative while doing this design. The tattoo is already quite unique in its design but the use of blue ink is like the cherry on top.

A very creative approach that most people fail to notice is the fact that the tattoo artist has drawn each of these shells in a circular pattern which adds a punchy flavour to this design.

It could have been just left as one shell tattoo but the tattoo artist wanted to play with the positioning and the outcome is extraordinary. It has covered the entire shoulder ball socket and would look like an added accessory on the bare skin.

The colour blue is a perfect symbol for water and all aquatic life; therefore, it is representing the aquatic ecosystem splendidly. The details of the shells are very lifelike and unique.

Each shell has been drawn differently from the other to maintain the authenticity and creativity of this tattoo. A wonderful execution by the tattoo artist to portray the American traditional tattoos.

The Floral Snake Tattoo

The Floral Snake Tattoo
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This American traditional tattoo is quite special and unique. Apart from the other shoulder tattoos that we have seen so far, they were all focused on either the floral factor or the animal factor. However, in this tattoo, there is a perfect blend of flora and animals.

The entire shoulder tattoo represents the traditional aesthetic of wildlife. The tattoo comprises various flowers and various animals like snakes, butterflies, etc. the tattoo artist has done an incredible job in detailing each figure so splendidly.

The tattoo has a mysterious aesthetic to it. The snake has been placed inside a bunch of flowers and the head has been popped out as if the snake is trying to peek through it.

The circular scales, the eyes and the pale face of the snake adds a lot of characteristics in just a tattoo version of it which proves to show that it looks very realistic.

Various other creepy crawlies are mixed inside the bunch of flowers that make the tattoo engaging and not boring. The balance of the dark shades used in various portions of the shoulder and making sure that they are not overpowering or overshadowing any specific part of the tattoo, shows that the tattoo artist has paid a lot of attention to each and every detail to portray the American traditional tattoos.

The Rose Portrait Shoulder Tattoo

The Rose Portrait Shoulder Tattoo
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The classic American traditional style tattoo is that of a rose. This is a giant-sized rose with various leaves attached to its stems. The tattoo artist has done an amazing job in making it look real. The shadings of this tattoo are the most unique feature in it.

The shadings are spot on and the tattoo artist has only used one black ink, which is commendable.

A beautiful design that could be tried out by all rose flower tattoo lovers. This is one of the most renowned symbols of American traditional tattoos.

The rose tattoo is probably one of the most loved and intricate traditional style tattoos of all time. The tattoo artist has done great justice to express the royalty and depth of the rose through this amazing tattoo.

Flora And Fauna Inspired Tattoo

Flora And Fauna Inspired Tattoo
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This is a doodle type flower tattoo where the tattoo artist has made various figures and has added various elements to fill this tattoo.

It has an interesting aesthetic to it. The tattoo artist has incorporated a giant symmetrical and well-proportioned flower with leaves and buds branching out and crawling towards the neck.

The figures of bees, owl and other colourful flowers and leaves make it visually appealing with creative colour combinations.

This is one of the most traditional American tattoos which has various animal tattoos incorporated into one. One of the old school tattoos themed designs where the tattoo covers the entire arm, starting from the top of the shoulder to the ends of the wrists.

The mixture of flora and fauna is the best representation of American culture. The traditional American tattoos include splashes of colours, patterns and texture and this tattoo is the perfect example.

Butterfly And Dahlia Shoulder Tattoo

Butterfly And Dahlia Shoulder Tattoo
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This is a unique and quite a stunning masterpiece by the tattoo artist.

The front portion of the shoulder has been covered with this beautiful portrait of an incredibly real like looking butterfly which is flying out towards the flowers and leaves that have been shaded into perfection.

The tattoo artist has used white inks to highlight the key points in the figure which is making a simple figure pop out. The details are amazing and the overall outlook of the American traditional tattoos are just beautiful.

The Chrysanthemum Tattoo

The Chrysanthemum Tattoo
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This is one of the most difficult traditional shoulder flower tattoos of all time.

The figure chosen by the tattoo artist is a chrysanthemum flower, which is quite a complicated design to trace on the skin. However, the tattoo artist has executed the details well.

The flower looks absolutely realistic. The use of just one black ink makes it look very elegant and classy. The entire shoulder region has been covered by its size which is perfect. An great work of American traditional art.

The Angel Wings Tattoo

The Angel Wings Tattoo
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Last but not the least, our most favourite American traditional shoulder flower tattoo is the tattoo of the angelic wings.

The tattoo artist has portrayed these massive wings so perfectly. The use of blue ink adds a beautiful essence to this tattoo.

The tattoo artist has shaded out each feather into perfection. The placement of the wings with a tilted angle makes it look all the more aesthetic. A stunning masterpiece.

These shoulder tattoos are amazing when executed with perfect details. There are certain tattoo designs that fuse other cultures with the American culture which makes it more interesting. Fusions of Japanese tattoo symbols, Chinese tattoo symbols, Australian tattoo symbols and various other designs make these American traditional tattoos shine through and look more aesthetic tattoos.

Some other American Traditional Shoulder Tattoos for your reference are listed below:

  1. The Bald Eagle Tattoo
  2. The Dagger Tattoo
  3. The Wolf Tattoo
  4. The American Traditional Shoulder Ship Tattoo
  5. The American Traditional Bear Tattoo Design
  6. American Traditional Skull Tattoos

Feature image from Pinterest

What is an American Traditional shoulder tattoo?

A Traditional American shoulder tattoo is a type of tattoo that has been popular in the United States for many years. It is characterized by bold, bright colors and often includes patriotic symbols such as the stars and stripes. This type of tattoo is typically seen on the upper arm or shoulder, but can also be placed on the chest or back.

How much does an American Traditional shoulder tattoo cost?

The cost of an American Traditional shoulder tattoo will vary depending on the size, complexity, and location of the tattoo. Generally, smaller tattoos will cost less than larger ones. Simple designs may start at around $100, while more elaborate designs can cost several thousand dollars.

How do I care for my new American Traditional shoulder tattoo?

After getting your new tattoo, it is important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your artist. These will typically include keeping the area clean and dry, applying a light layer of petroleum jelly or lotion, and avoiding exposure to sunlight. It is also important to avoid picking or scratching at the tattoo, as this can lead to infection.

What are the most common American Traditional shoulder tattoo designs?

There are many different American Traditional shoulder tattoo designs, but some of the most popular include patriotic symbols such as the stars and stripes, eagles, and Lady Liberty. Other common designs include skull and crossbones, lions, and tigers.

What should I consider before getting an American Traditional shoulder tattoo?

When deciding if an American Traditional shoulder tattoo is right for you, there are a few things to consider. First, think about the size and location of the tattoo. Smaller tattoos can be easily covered up if desired, while larger ones may be more difficult to conceal. You should also consider the pain tolerance of the area being tattooed – the shoulder is typically a fairly pain-sensitive area. Finally, be sure to research the meaning of different American Traditional shoulder tattoo designs to find one that is right for you.

Are American traditional tattoos still popular?

Yes, American traditional tattoos are still popular today. The bold lines and bright colors of the style have a classic appeal that many people find attractive. Additionally, traditional American tattoo designs often carry deep cultural or personal meaning for those who choose to get them. As such, they remain an enduring and popular choice for many tattoo lovers.

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