Mockingbird Tattoo Designs

Here’re a couple of designs I’ve done for a friend who wants a tattoo of a mockingbird.  I don’t know if she’ll actually do it, but if she does it’ll be the first time something I’ve drawn will be used for a tattoo.




  1. Chris S says:

    Those are beautiful.

    I had a friend in college say “hey, Chris, can you draw me a tiger?” at lunch. So I drew one really fast on a scrap sheet and gave it to him. Not too bad for a non-referenced, spur of the moment tiger sketch, but not good, either. Anyway, he showed up the next week having gotten it tattooed. I was pretty flustered, ’cause if I’d known it was going to be permanent I’d have put some effort into it.

  2. Ben says:

    Yikes… yeah, that’d freak me out. In fact, anything I’d drawn on someone’s body would be weird I think. I have a bunch of tattoos, but none of them are my own artwork.

  3. Ned says:


    I’m a newly-minted attorney, and I’m seriously considering getting a mockingbird tattoo (because of the book, “To kill a mockingbird”). I’m considering using your image (because it looks good in black-and-white.

  4. Ben says:

    @Ned – Just send me a picture of the finished piece if you do!

  5. insley says:

    was the second sketch inspired by the work of Louis Agassiz Fuertes? i made a block print of a sketch i did using his work. small world!

  6. Ben says:

    It was, somewhat… Although, I incorporated stuff from a bunch of other elements as well. Upon reflection, though, I only wound up finalizing the first sketch since the second one looked too much like the Fuertes at this stage for me to really go ahead with without more reworking to really make it my own. The first one, on the other hand, is an amalgam of all kinds of stuff and is a pretty common “in flight” bird pose.

  7. Susan says:

    I love these! I was looking up pictures of mockingbirds for a tattoo. Thought I was going to have to draw it myself, but the top one it perfect. You wouldn’t believe all the cheesy bird tattoos I have seen. Shameful really. Thanks for your talent. I will send you a picture if I don’t chicken out. Did any of the others follow through?

  8. Ben says:

    @Susan – So far, no one’s followed through. Your tattoo artist would obviously need to simplify that sketch to get it tattoo-ready, but if you do get it, pls send a pic!

  9. ana says:

    Hi :)! got your picture tattooed on me! hope thats alright seeing as others were going ahead with it :) I love it so much!! here’s a link to a pic if you’re interested :) http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/182759_198327290192832_100000466888331_747273_944369_n.jpg

  10. Ben says:

    @ana – Wow, that looks great. Whomever you got to do that did a really fantastic job. Thanks for posting in pic.

  11. Gem says:

    Hi :)
    I did the same as Ana, and saw that people were going to get a tattoo of your drawings, so I got one as well. I hope that’s okay :). It took 3 hours to do the whole thing (bird and words) and I absolutely love it! So thanks for sharing your drawings :)!
    Here’s a link to it, hope you can see it:

  12. Ben says:

    @Gem – That looks great. Thanks so much for posting! Maybe I’m in the wrong line of work? I should go into tattoo design!

  13. Julien says:

    Dear Ben,

    Im concidering to take a tattoo of a mockingbird because it’s very meaningfull to me. Only thing is.., im a guy. I want the tattoo on my left arm, on the inside.

    I like your design (the first) very much. How would you change the tattoo to make it more ‘masculine’?


  14. Ben says:

    @Julien – I think it’s the “in flight” part of that one that makes it a little more feminine. For a guy, my gut tells me to go with a stationary pose–maybe like this: http://www.birdsofwestwood.com/images/birdpics/mockingbird-perch.jpg

  15. Kacey Shoemake says:

    Ohhhhmygosh, I hate to have the same tat as others, but man, this is so beautiful! I’ve been searching high and low for a mockingbird to put on my hands, as I have very close ties with these beautiful birds, and the top one is so perfect! Pics to come, I’m definitly doing this!

    PS- You are such an inspiring artist! I’m studying illustration at Kansas CIty Art Institute, and I think I may have to stalk this blog now. o:

  16. Ben says:

    @Kacey – If you’re in art school, you should design your own mockingbird! But if you don’t and you wind up using that one of mine, do please post a pic or two! Good luck!

  17. Julien says:

    Ben, thanks for your opinion! But i really want a bird in ‘flight’. I will think this over for a little while and let you know!

    Good luck with everything you do.

  18. Andy says:

    Hi Ben,

    I was wondering something similar to Julien. Would you mind designing one something like the picture you posted of the stationary position? I know its a big ask for a complete stranger but I figured you don’t ask, you don’t get. No worries if you’re too busy or don’t want to do it. I’ll be sure to post a picture if I do get it, though there could be a delay in getting the funds!

    They really are brilliant drawings too mate.


  19. Ben says:

    @Andy – Glad you like the designs. I’m afraid I’m keeping pretty busy these days with paying freelance work and I’m pretty much done with the mockingbird design. You can certainly print out the images here and take them to a tattoo artist. He/she may be able to work something up for you, or may even have some flash art on-hand.

  20. Andy says:

    No worries mate. I thought you might be busy since this design was put up so long ago. The rest of the site is great too by the way.

    Thanks anyway, good luck with the work too.

  21. Kimberly says:

    Would you mind terribly if I used your picture for a tattoo? I’ve been looking for a picture like this for ages. I wanted to ask your permission first.

  22. Savannah says:

    Hi Ben, great drawing!! I did not get this tattooed but I did use it for a school project on To Kill a Mockingbird. It looked great and my teacher loved it!! Thanks for the wonderful drawing haha(:

  23. Julie says:

    Love this! Also considering having a simplified version of it tattooed but I’m nervous about how it would turn out..

    @Gem – I know it’s been ages and have no idea if you’ll see this, but could you repost the picture of your tattoo? Facebook said the page was unavailable.

    Alternatively, Ben – is there any chance you saved the photo or have photos of how other people’s tattoos have turned out? The first one looks fantastic but I would be getting a smaller version and I’d love to see a second (or even third!) example of the finished piece :)

  24. Ben says:

    @Julie – I’m afraid I didn’t save any local copies of the finished pieces… although I probably should have.

  25. Gem says:

    Hey Julie,
    I’ve made the album the tattoo picture is in public now, so you should be able to see if if you click on the link again :).
    If not, feel free to add me on Facebook or email me (gemmie91@hotmail.co.uk) and I’ll send you the picture :).

  26. ana says:

    hello! i just received an email about these comments, i have pictures of my tattoo close up if you’d like to see? i can email it to anyone who would like it :)

  27. Julie says:

    That would be awesome! Could you send it to jaspain@indiana.edu? Thank you :)

  28. ana says:

    sure, sending it now :) no problem!

  29. Ruby says:

    Hi Ana,
    Could you please email me a close up too? ruby_storm88@hotmail.com


  30. Shannon says:

    Hi! I am also thinking about using your mockingbird sketch for my tattoo, if that’s alright with you!

  31. Ben says:

    @Shannon – That’s fine with me. Go ahead and nab the drawing, though. I may take this post down at some point.

  32. Morgan Stewart says:

    I saw this on the internet the other day while specifically looking for a mockingbird tattoo! I’m definitely getting this :)

  33. ana says:

    hey ben, ana again! still loving the tattoo :) just wondering, are you taking the drawings down?? lucky i have it permanently tattooed on me!

  34. Ben says:

    @Ana – Glad you’re still happy with it. Yeah, I may take it down just on the general principle that it’s not fun to have the exact same tattoo as a bunch of other people.

  35. Julie says:

    @Gem – That looks amazing!! I have that exact quote on my wall :) Love it so much.

  36. Jenniffer says:

    The first sketch is amazing. I’m going to get a mockingbird on the inside of my left arm, so that when i have it by my side, it’s next to my heart. It’s for the baby that I lost recently, who I use to sing Hush Little Baby to when things were bad.

  37. Ben says:

    @Jennifer – So sorry to hear that… Hope the tattoo turns out well (if you wind up getting it).

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