Rose tattoos have been around for such a long time that they've become a classic motif. Artist Amanda Rodriguez looks back at this tradition to transform it and give it a nice modern vintage vibe to it.
If you search in google for quotes about originality, you’ll find literally dozens of iconic phrases allegedly voiced by some of the greatest creative minds in history. Basically, all of them agree that there isn’t anything new that doesn’t get inspiration from the past. Why am I mentioning this? We’re always looking for innovative ways to do things in every aspect of our lives. But, isn't it also important to look back from time to time?
Now, getting into the subject we’re dealing with today, the same applies to tattoos. There are so many different trends that we take as very modern and innovative like the geometric or abstract designs. But at the same time, there are also artists who decide to deliberately go back to basics and with their own style and taste create a modern take on these classics. That’s the case of tattoo artist Amanda Rodríguez, who in recent years has devoted most of her style to creating tattoos inspired by the old-school style of tattooing.
Roses have always been rich in meaning and symbolism for thousands of years. They represent love, beauty, passion, devotion, in some cultures masculinity, and in others femininity. All that meaningful and cultural grounding was of course, then adapted into what we know as the old school of tattooing developed around the nineteen thirties, characterized for its thick black lines and high saturation of color.
In a conversation we had with the artist, we talked about her fascination for this tattoo style particularly roses and her choice to base most her designs in this emblematic and symbolic element. I asked about how her style evokes that vintage vibe while remaining really modern and relevant for today’s aesthetics. For her, the main reason is that both “the subject and shape are timeless therefore they will always be relevant and modern”.
This classic style is something tattoo artists will always look back to as a source of inspiration, not only because of its vibrant and appealingly looking aesthetic, but also because it's centered on designs that are symbols of our modern culture. As Rodriguez mentioned, they are timeless for that reason they hold a lot of meaning that at the end of the day, it’s something a lot of people look for when getting a tattoo. So, why roses?
I mean it’s not that she only makes roses, she actually has other mesmerizing designs that center on animals and other botanical themes. But for me, it was clear there was a particular fondness to roses. We tend to believe always in terms of symbolism and meaning, which is very valid when you’re getting a tattoo. We want them to evoke a particular meaning that speaks to us, and roses being very rich in this can be great designs to do so. So, that’s from the perspective of the one getting a tattoo, but what’s the meaning or the purpose of an artist that devotes a lot of her designs to this particular shape? Actually, for Rodriguez, it’s not necessarily a matter of meaning, but rather an aesthetic and visual preference. We tend to have a particular image of roses that are ingrained in our minds but, as she mentions, there’s “a vast amount of shapes and sizes” that can be even more beautiful and vivid than the ones we all know, making it so hard not to be enthralled by them.
Finally, something I’m always curious when meeting a tattoo artist is their perspective on tattoos in general, are they an art form or just body ornaments as some people claim? For Rodriguez, there’s no doubt that tattoos can be artistic expressions. Moreover, she believes they are the ultimate form of art since they move and transform with you with the passing of time. For her, “the way I approach most of my tattoos is that I am collecting a piece of art from an artist who I admire.” Thus tattoos become pieces that are unique and that even if two people have the same design they will transform with them and become unique.
If you liked this artist, don't forget visiting her Instagram page for more designs: @amandatattoos
Here are other tattoo designs you could get inspired by: