The actor talks about his tattoos as of a very dear personal belonging, saying that they represent a sort of diary for him, just like sailors used to keep whenever something important happened in their lives.
Except for his tattoos, Depp also chose to scar his skin using a knife at some point in his life, as a remembrance sign for the importance of that moment for him.
Arms and hands tattoos:
The majority of Johnny Depp’s tattoos are located on his arms and hands, so if you are interested to know about all of them, here they are:
Number 3 and three rectangles
The number “3” seems to be important for Johnny, as he has representations of it on both his hands: one number on his left hand, between his index finger and thumb and three rectangles tattooed on the index finger of the right hand. At some point he stated that he consider this number as magical and very creative, present in many aspects of the world such as the holy trinity or the triangle. However, with some other occasion he claimed that there’s no reason for these tattoos except for boredom.
In 2012 Depp was honorary adopted into the Comanche Native American tribe and this zigzag tattoo on his left hand showed up soon after the celebration of this event. This symbol in the Native American culture has various meanings, being connected with Mother Earth and Father Sky as well as with the journey that each human experiences in his life.
Another “group tattoo”, the crow on Depp’s right hand is also present at Bill Carter, Damien Echols, Joel Harlow and Ken Wyatt as a recognition for the 1994 movie “The Crow”. It is a symbol for resurrection, as it is said in the movie that a man who comes back to life is brought from the dead by a crow.
On the inside of his right wrist there is a tattoo that says “no reason”, representing a strong connection between Johnny Depp, Marilyn Manson and Damien Echols. The words say exactly that there is no other reason for the tattoo than the symbolical meaning of the connection.
Friends mean a lot for Johnny, that’s one sure thing, and this Harley Davidson skeleton key tattoo is another proof for this fact, as he got it at the same time with Damien Echols, one of them being in New York and the other in Miami. No other meaning has been revealed regarding this tattoo.
Placed just above the crow tattoo we mentioned earlier, Johnny also has a lightning-shaped snake tattoo on his right arm. Again a sign of appreciation towards the Comanche Native American people, the snake represents primordial energy and the power of remaining focused, with its movements like a spiral.
Another tattoo on the right arm is the swallow and the name “Jack” which Johnny Depp wore for his character Jack Sparrow in the movie Pirated of the Caribbean, Curse of the Black Pearl. The actor got the tattoo as a permanent one after ending the film, but he changed the direction of the sparrow, making it fly towards him. “Jack” is the name of his son.
On both his forearms, Johnny Depp has a tattoo with a face: the right arm has the portrait of his grandfather and the left arm has the image of his mother as a waitress. Both of them are very special persons for the actor.
The Brave Symbol
“The Brave” is a movie directed by Depp, in which he also starred. This symbol is present on his right arm and also in the movie. The meaning behind the little man with the question mark refers to the never-ending questions of life and the insecurity that governs the human being. It represents a strong encouragement towards all people to be brave and to face every aspect of their lives with an open mind and with power.
Silence Exile Cunning
This enumeration of words, “silence, exile, cunning” comes from James Joyce’s novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, said by the main character in a monologue which expresses his strong-will and independence of any social roots of his past. Johnny Depp believes in these attributes and has them tattooed on the inside of his left arm.
Above the wrist of his left arm lies a tattoo with a bird holding a deck of cards in its claws. Johnny explained that the bird represents “a Rook”, an old-school card game that he used to play with his grandfather all the time.
Custom skull and crossbones
A funny-looking skull and crossbones is tattooed on Depp’s left forearm, along with the inscription “Salve uvum” which in Latin would mean “hail to the grapes”, but that hasn’t been explained to Johnny until present days…
“Come with me… Slim”
A tattoo of these words, written with beautiful handwriting, is present near Johnny’s right elbow. It appeared after completing the movie The Lone Ranger and their meaning hasn’t been made public yet.
Wind over Heaven
This tattoo is a graphic representation from an ancient Chinese text called “I Ching”, meaning “The Book of Changes” and it offers a method of foretelling the future. The method involves tossing three coins for six times, this resulting in a lined hexagram interpreted in many ways, depending on how the coins were flipped. Johnny’s tattoo is the hexagram for “wind over heaven” reading, which suggest staying focused on plans and cultivating patience, tolerance and adaptability. Johnny got the tattoo along with Damien Echols in 2011, when he got out of prison.
On the back of Johnny’s upper arm he has a tattoo with a boy playing guitar which is designed by his son Jack. He got this tattoo in Texas along with the documentary film director Bill Carter.
Man with no face
Another drawing on his son, this faceless man tattoo lies on the left bicep of Johnny Depp, with the words “Man is a giddy thing underneath”. This quote is a line from Shakespeare’s play Much Ado about Nothing and it refers to the impulsive nature of man.
Skull and Crossbones
There is another skull with crossbones tattoo on the interior of Depp’s upper arm, a classic one this time, colored entirely with black ink.
While he was filming for The Rum Diary, a new tattoo appeared on his left triceps, three little hearts which are symbols for the three most loved persons for Johnny: his ex-wife Vanessa Paradis and his two children Lily-Rose and Jack.
Just under his left shoulder Johnny has a tattoo with an inverted fully black triangle which doesn’t have a public meaning. However, inverted triangles in popular cultures are symbols of femininity, of female power or of love.
Quite a kitschy tattoo on his right arm, Johnny has a red heart with the name “Betty Sue” written inside it, surrounded by tribal drawings. It’s a really old tattoo, done in 1988 as a sign of love towards his mother.
Way up on his right arm there is a banner saying “Wino Forever”, an alteration of the original “Winona Forever” inscription which he got when he was dating the actress.
Another tribute to his ancestors, the Cherokee Native American tribe, Johnny has a chief’s head on his right biceps. It appears to have been his first tattoo ever, done in 1980.
As you already know, Johnny was adopted into the Comanche Nation and he has several tattooes dedicated to Native American tribes. He has a red and blue Comanche shield tattooed on the shin of his right leg which he got in 2012.
This Gonzo fist is a tribute towards Hunter S. Thompson, the man who initiated Gonzo journalism. The tattoo is located on Johnny’s left shin and it lies there since 2010.
Skull and Crossbones
It seems that Johnny Depp is a big fan of the skull and crossbones symbol, as he has three such tattoos on his body. This one is located on his lower right leg and has written “death is certain” under it. The meaning of this tattoo is again a connection to dear persons, to his best friends back in the 1990s, Jim Jarmusch, Iggy Pop and Jonathan Shaw, which together called themselves the “Death Is Certain Club” and had the same tattoo.
A sign left from the movie Brave, this question mark with an “x” instead of the dot is located on the inside of the right lower leg and again symbolizes the everlasting questions of humans.
Chest and back tattoos:
“Les Fleurs du Mal”
A huge part of Johnny’s back is tattooed with a tree and a skeleton at its base, a representation of Baudelaire’s “Les Fleurs du Mal”. Marilyn Manson also shares the same tattoo with Depp.
On the right side of Johnny’s chest there is a circular tattoo with his and Damien Echols’ names in the center. On the edge of the circle there are letters in the Theban alphabet which spell the word brother. Johnny Depp stated that this tattoo is one of his favorites, designed by Damien himself.
On the left side of Depp’s chest he has a tattoo with his daughter’s name, Lily Rose, which he had immediately after her birth as a sign of deep love.
Having that said, we finished enumerating the tattoos that we know about on Johnny Depp’s body. Watch and be inspired. We are sure that he will get new additions to his collection very soon! You can always try out a handful of temporary tattoos to see if an artful body would suit you well!