133 Awesome Bear Tattoo Designs – Unique and Cool

A symbol of confidence and commanding authority, a bear tattoo design ranks at the top of the food chain. You can find all kinds of bears while roaming the wild, such as the grizzly bear, black bear, brown bear, and polar bear. And now, DNA analysis has confirmed the Giant Panda bear is officially a bear as well.

The bear is an ultimate symbol of strength and confidence, although for the softer souls there is always the teddy bear tattoo. The mama bear is a nurturing and caring animal yet still willing to protect its young at any cost.

The bear can also symbolize solitude, rest, relaxation, and transformation, which is why a bear tattoo idea is often associated with medicine and healing and has a strong connection to Native American folklore.

No matter what the bear may mean to you – whether it’s a cute bear tattoo or a fearsome roaring bear – you’re sure to enjoy this collection of the Cool 133 Bear Tattoo Design Ideas.

Check Out More Tattoo Designs

1. Black and Grey Bear Tattoos

Black and Grey Bear Tattoos

This incredibly detailed shoulder piece mimics the effect of charcoal drawing. It uses bold shadows to complement the dynamic scene and deliver feelings of conflict and awe, by Bora Mesut Palas. (@boramesutpalas on Instagram).

2. Polar Bear Tattoos


The polar bear is a complex creature, used in body art to embody the tenacity of spirit needed to survive a barren landscape alone. The has a spiritual quality unmatched by nearly every creature in the tundra and beyond.

3. Watercolor Polar Bear Tattoo


In recent years, the polar bear has also become a symbolic bear design representing the damage human beings have done to our planet. If you feel a deep connection to nature, there is no better way to show it than with the unfortunate mascot of climate change.

4. Polygon Multicolor Bear Tattoo Design For Women

Polygon Multicolor Bear Tattoo Design

5. Bear Claw Tattoos


A boisterous bear claw tattoo is a cool insignia and popular ink choice.

Bear claw tattoos are rambunctious and righteous!

Bears are renowned for their size and strength, but often people want to take a slightly different tack and take on a bear claw or bear paw tattoo.

6. Forest Tree Bear Claw Tattoo Design


The pointed tips promise brutal intensity, implying a freshly shredded victim, all you have to do is throw in a little blood. Grisly carnage may also be presented for a defiantly deadly portrayal of the animal‘s strength. The visage of a roaring bear can grimly finalize the bombastic fury.

This type of illustration can look cool in a range of tattoo styles, and allow bear paw tattoos to show an interesting degree of application techniques in color or black and gray.

7. Bear Silhouette Tattoo

Bear Silhouette Tattoo

In this design, the bear’s silhouette is used cleverly as an outline for an image of the woodlands, using different shades and textures to create a realistic look, by Tyler ATD. (@tyleratd on Instagram).

8. Native American Warrior Bear

Native American Warrior Bear

In this piece, a Native American warrior wears a bear headdress, a symbol of protection, courage, and leadership, by Alexander Primera. (@alexanderinkartist on Instagram).

9. California Bear Tattoos




A California bear tattoo combines geographical patriotism with a bold bond to one of Earth’s most ferocious creatures. These grizzly bear tattoos carry plenty of austere symbolism that anyone from the west coast of Cal will admire, and that tattoo artists of all experiences should have in their portfolio.

For ink that packs a furious punch while also delivering an environmental message, guys everywhere are partaking in the brilliance of California bear body art. A lifelong affinity to the state is also enshrined by boldly reveling in the region’s most dominant creature.

10. Bear Tattoo for Upper Arm

Bear Tattoo for Upper Arm

In awesome detail, this upper arm tattoo features the bust of a Native American warrior wearing a bear headdress in the woods. By using advanced shading techniques and mastery over negative space, Felipe Labrin wows us with this hyper-realistic piece, by Felipe Labrin. (@felipelabrintatuajes on Instagram).

11. Mama Bear Design

Mama Bear Design

In this piece, the artist depicts bears in their gentler states. A mama bear looks into the distance, smiling while in the company of her curious cubs, by Dimitrihk Studio. (@dimitrihkstudio on Instagram).

12. Traditional Bear Tattoos




Traditional style tattoos have started to focus more on depictions of wild animals. Bears are a particularly common subject, and they are frequently depicted in the middle of a ferocious roar or as a spirit animal.

The thick coat and wide teeth of a bear work well in the traditional style, and the contrast between dark fur and a red mouth is very striking.

They definitely look cool, but a traditional black bear tattoo does more than just show off your animalistic side. Tattoos of these creatures actually contain a lot of symbolism in traditional artwork.

Norse mythology believed that Odin, the god of healing, knowledge, battle, sorcery, and death, often wandered the world while accompanied by a bear, and it’s a potent spirit animal in Native American tribal culture.

13. Blackwork Bear Tattoo

Blackwork Bear Tattoo

Blackwork Bear Tattoo 2

Blackwork Bear Tattoo 3

Blackwork Bear Tattoo 4

This eye-catching blackwork bear tattoo is done in good old American traditional style. Its fur is drawn using multiple thick strokes and depth is created using smooth black to white gradients. Its eyes give off a rawness only seen in the expression of a hungry wild animal, by Gustavo Castro. (@gcastrotattoo on Instagram).

14. Tribal Bear Tattoos


Source: @davythompson via Instagram Source: @@loudinktattoo via Instagram


Source: @shaun.hotrodtat2 via Instagram


Source: @montana_boulanger via Instagram

15. Bear in a Calm State

Bear in a Calm State

This tattoo features the bear in a calm state. The artist masterfully shades the fur to give it a realistic touch while still sticking to their contemporary style,, by White Bluff Tattoo Company. (@whiteblufftattoo on Instagram).

16. Bears in Geometric Tattoo Art




Since the bear is also a highly aloof creature which hibernates in solitude during winter, the geometric tattoo can be a way of expressing the bear‘s introverted nature.

The type and design of bear or bear paw you pick for your ink can also be a way of further customizing the meaning of your tattoo.

A geometric bear tattoo is the perfect way to encapsulate a “gentle giant” of nature through the sleek, vibrant linework and use of color and shape.

17. Bears in Modern Times

Bears in Modern Times

Bears in Modern Times 2

Bears in Modern Times 3

Bears in Modern Times 4

The bear, as a symbol, is the most common form of art in tattoos these days as they portray different meanings. Tattoos are all about revealing your identity, the type of person you are, etc. People use bear tattoos to show a sign of strength and masculinity while others believe it has the power to heal.

18. Head of a Roaring Bear

Head of a Roaring Bear

Head of a Roaring Bear 2

Head of a Roaring Bear 3

Head of a Roaring Bear 4

This blackwork upper arm tattoo shows the head of a roaring bear. The shadows in this piece are as bold as this creature is pissed, by Natasha. (@natallitattoo on Instagram).

19. Bear Skull Tattoo Idea




Due to its fiercely protective nature and natural rhythms of hibernation in the winter and timely spring awakening, the bear has come to represent a powerful connection with the earth’s forces.

And just as death is as natural as birth, many have adopted the bear skull tattoo as a totem of strength in life as in death.

Often worn by solitary souls with an unwavering sense of social duty and ancestral pride-no matter where they hail from-the bear skull tattoo can be as ornate or simple as the wearer wishes.

20. Bear Stands Upright Forearm Tattoo

Bear Stands Upright Forearm Tattoo

In this forearm tattoo, the bear stands upright as if scanning the distance for its next destination. The background is filled with simply drawn trees and an expansive mountain range, by Emil. (@emil.pluvia on Instagram).

21. Neo Traditional Bear Tattoos




Though it honors an animal of ancient spiritual value, the neo bear tattoo is absolutely in the moment and of the moment style-wise.

Defined by a look and feel that could be lifted from any number of today’s on-trend illustrations and graphic novels, the neo traditional grizzly bear tattoo design is anything but primitive or outdated.

Native Americans believed that the bear represented courage, and stubbornness, and the mama bear represented unquestioning protection.

If the bear‘s likeness appeals to you, then you are surely a person with similar principles and strengths.

22. Ornamental Bear Tattoo

Ornamental Bear Tattoo

This upper arm tattoo features a bear with its mouth wide open, accompanied by various ornamental elements, by MINO & RUDY TATTOO. (@minorudytattoo on Instagram).

23. Celtic Bear Tattoos





Celtic tradition honors the bear as the incarnation of the Primal Mother, to whom we are all children and therefore under her eternal protection and guidance.

The Celts followed a faith that was tied to the earth and seasons; just as the bear takes to hibernation in winter so too did the Celtic people pass the cold, barren months in rest and reflection.

24. Bear Woods Design

Bear Woods Design

In this piece, the bear’s head blends into the background of the woods, by Kevin owen. (@cosmetic_ink_ireland_ on Instagram).

25. Thrill Bear Tattoo

Thrill Bear Tattoo

If you’re a fun lover or a thrill seeker, perhaps you’ll like dressing your bear tattoo up with different accessories. This bear tattoo placed on the back of the forearm uses a vintage comic style and shows the bear wearing some white shades reflecting the gorgeous city skyline, by Madstatus. (@madstatus on Instagram).

26. Bear with Axe

Bear with Axe

In this piece, the artist draws a bear in extraordinary detail alongside an axe with intricate Celtic patterns. The clever use of depth, shading, and color really make this hyper realistic upper arm piece a memorable look, by F E R N A N D O GRÜTZMANN. (@fernandogrutzmanntattoo on Instagram).

27. Boxing Bear

Boxing Bear

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the bear tattoo symbolize?

Bear tattoo has traditionally symbolized strength, independence and courage. They have been represented in almost every culture, from the Old Testament and ancient Norse mythology, as well as extensive representation in Native American folklore.

Bears are admired for their physical strength as well as being representatives of both the brutal and gentle aspects of nature: the mother bear is a tender parent, but fierce protector of her cubs. These enigmatic creatures are also associated with leisure, natural medicine and wisdom.

What is the meaning of a bear paw tattoo?

Traditionally in Native American cultures the bear was a symbol of power and was often worn by those who felt a deep connection to the animal as well being used as a form of protection. Siberians viewed the bear or karhu to be one of their forefather’s spirits, while Korean mythology has been said to see bears as past ancestors. In early Ainu and Chinese cultures, some even worshiped this spiritual animal. For the Sioux, the bear symbolizes healing and the honor of a successful hunt.

What are the most popular bear tattoo designs?

A tattoo artist and collector have plenty of ideas when choosing to ink a black bear tattoo or grizzly. Some of the most popular design styles include:

  • American Traditional
  • Cartoon Bear tattoo designs
  • Teddy bear tattoo ideas
  • Realistic bear tattoos
  • Bears in the forest tattoo art
  • Roaring bear ink
  • Cute bear tattoo designs


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