Tattoo Ideas

Not sure what kind of tattoo is right for you? While every tattoo is unique to the wearer, here are some broad categories that may get your creative juices flowing about what tattoo is right for you. Come in to our shop to browse our extensive collections of tattoos and discuss getting a tattoo with one of our artists.



Whether its the courage of a lion or the intelligence of the octopus, tattoos of animals are often wonderful universal symbols that people can relate to. Sometimes the inherent beauty of the animal is enough, too!

Arab Tattoos

Tattoos in the Middle East, especially for women, have been of growing popularity for a while now. It is a way that a woman can express herself in an otherwise oppressive society. Especially in private situations, women display these tattoos proudly.

Biker Tattoos

For generations, bikes and tattoos are two peas in a pod. Where one goes, surely the other will follow.

Bio-mechanical Tattoos

Bio-mechanical tattoos were all the rage in the 80's and 90's, and have experienced a resurgence of late. The idea of blending biological elements with mechanical elements in a tattoo is a statement in more ways than one. All statements and symbolism aside, they just look really cool, which is often enough for a really great tattoo.

Black and Gray Tattoos

Many of the strongest tattoos you'll ever see will be black and grey pieces. The idea of working with value alone and no color gives the art total focus on line and shading.

Borneo Tattoos

Tribal tattoos from Borneo. Of all the tribes in Borneo the Iban tribe is the most heavily tattooed with designs copied from the Kayan Kenyah and Bakatan tribes. The most common tattoo designs were the throat motif called the katak. Wrist tattoos called inkut were also common. They were believed to stop the soul from escaping the body.

Celtic Tattoos

The intricacy of Celtic knotwork defies literal translation and its meaning is to be found at a deeper level. The repeated crossing of the physical and the spiritual are expressed in the interlace of the knots. The never ending path of the strands may represent the permanence and the continuum of life, love and faith and for these reason Celtic tattoos have become so popular.

Chinese Tattoos

But before you run off to the studio to get one done you should do your research. Selecting a Chinese tattoo deserves careful study and attention. It should have less to do with style and more to do with your character, work, and values. It's permanent, so it's a pretty important decision in your life. In the end, it is important to choose something of lasting appeal not something faddish.

Color Portrait

With the development of more subtle pigment colors and better tattoo machines, artists have taken control of portraiture in tattoos. You can get realistic and dynamic color portrait tattoos from any Starlight studio.

Music/Celebrity Tattoos

From Jim Jones to John Mayer (John Mayer's arm pictured), more and more artists are getting tattoos.Whether you want a memorializing tattoo of Tupac or the same shoulder piece as your favorite artist, you can do it at Starlight.

Haida Tattoos

The Haida tribe is considered one of the oldest traceable populations in the New World. Although most impressively expressed in large monumental totem poles, this highly disciplined design is applied to a wide range of materials, including the human body through tattooing.


The written Japanese and Chinese languages are composed not of individual letters but of ideographs or pictographs, which represent an idea or thing. Some characters consist of more than 30 strokes. Kanjis are NOT really a traditional Japanese tattoo BUT more a style of tattoo. If you are getting a kanji be sure that what you are getting done is something that means a lot to you and is translated correctly.

Japanese Tattoos

Japanese tattoos are referred to in Japanese as irezumi which literally means the insertion of ink under the skin leaving a permanent mark or tattoo. Tattooing in Japan is thought to extend back to at least 10,000 years. The Ainu people, the indigenous people of Japan, are known to have used tattoos for decorative and social purposes for many thousands of years.


Sometimes the best way to say what you want to say with your tattoo is to just spell it out! Starlight Tattoo artists in New Jersey and Las Vegas specialize in lettering and can tattoo virtually any style of lettering for you.

Samoan Tattoos

Samoan "tatau" tattoos are created through the traditional method of tapping the skin with inked needles. Beautiful and intricate, very clean geometric patterns emerge, giving Samoan tattoos their unique character and distinction. Tatau artists do guest spots throughout the year at both Starlight Tattoo locations so book a tatau session in New Jersey or Las Vegas today.

Military Tattoos

Military tattoos are popular throughout the entire military and include everything from pin-ups, flags, unit patches, eagles, dog tags, and more.

Maori Tattoos

Ta moko - Maori tattoos, or "ta moko", are tattoos that traditionally require a lot of thought and consideration within the Maori tribes. Maori tattoos took months of approval and planning on the part of the elders and other family members. First the elders decided whether one was worthy of receiving a moko. One of the questions they need answered with an unwavering yes was: "are they committed to wearing their tribal identity on their body for the rest of their life?" Then the design process would begin by taking into account the tribal history, which was the most important component of the moko. A lot of non-Maori people are getting moko designs tattooed on their faces as well as other parts of their body, many of which have improper significance. Robbie Williams and Mike tyson have gotten Maori tattoos much to the annoyance of many Maoris.


From zodiac symbols to greek gods and goddesses to mermaids, there's something to be said for ancient stories still carrying weight with us today. Constellations, mythical creatures like unicorns, centaurs, and mermaids, all have special meaning and significance, some of which are universal, and some that may be personal just to you.

Old School Tattoos

Generally known for their military and nautical themes as associated with the Navy, old school tattoos of pinups, anchors, and battleships can be most easily regonized by their limited color palette and thick bold lines (due to the limitations of the inks and the tattoo machines being used). Old school tattoos are stylish even after the advancements in inks and machines because of what they represent and their unique look.

Polynesian Tattoos

Pacific Island style tattoos. Similar to other tribal tattoos and tatau patterns, Polynesian tattoos are unique in their use of curvature and shapes. The difference is a subtle but important one!

Spiritual Tattoos

Spiritual tattoos have always been popular and probably always will. What's more permanent than someone's belief system? Christian tattoos, buddhist symbol tattoos and other eastern religious symbol tattoos are all very common and generally regarded as a positive reminder of faith.


Tebori is the ttraditional Japanese hand-poking method of tattooing. Some say that these tattoos are the best and brightest tattoos achievable on earth. They are also slow, and can be agonozingly painful. Although some people report that the hand-poking method is virtually pain-free by comparison to tattoo machines. Tebori style tattoos are often seen as full body suits on the japanese and can take several years to complete.

Tribal Tattoo

Tribal tattoos have been been practiced in one form or another for millenia. While the practice may be somewhat different nowadays there are still many who get tribal tattoos for reasons which could be described as neo-tribal in their quest to belong to a 'tribe' (either neo-tribal or traditional) even if it is on a subconscious level. Most simply get tribal tattoos because of their striking appearance.

Ready to discuss your tattoo with one of our artists? Contact us today to find out about booking a tattoo session with Starlight Tattoo.

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