Blackwork tattoos are the hot new trend these days, and 5 Seconds of Summer singer Ashton Irwin is the latest celebrity to get in on the trend, adding a brand-new blackwork tattoo to his growing collection of ink this week. On June 29, the 21-year-old drummer headed to the Generation 8 Tattoo shop in Los Angeles, California, and got a bold black tattoo on the back of his neck, courtesy of tattoo artist Sean Hall. Ashton’s latest tattoo features an image of a bird in flight, with the bird’s wings extending to each side of his neck.
Ashton took to Instagram to debut his brand-new tattoo the same day it was done, including some tongue-in-cheek lyrics from High School Musical in the caption. “In the wise words of Zac Efron ‘we’re soarin, we’re flyin,’” Ashton wrote alongside the black and white photo of his fresh ink. “I’ve wanted to get this [tattoo] for so many reasons for a long time…Ignore the high school musical comment, I couldn’t help myself (it was calum’s idea).” Calum and most of Ashton’s other bandmates have their fair share of tattoos, but this blackwork bird tattoo on Ashton’s neck is only his third piece to date. He also rocks a filled-in heart tattoo on his wrist and another wrist tattoo of five tally marks for 5SOS.
In case you’re not familiar with the term “blackwork,” this type of minimalistic tattoo design features sections of solid black ink, sometimes paired with intricate geometric shapes, or, in Ashton’s case, existing on their own as a bold statement piece. Although slightly different in design, Ashton Irwin’s new bird tattoo resembles the wings tattoo Justin Bieber had inked on the back of his neck last December. For his back-of-the-neck tattoo though, the Biebs went with a more realistic depiction of wings, unlike Ashton’s bird tattoo design, which is far more abstract.
Interestingly enough, blackwork tattoos actually have roots in tribal culture, and the simplicity of Ashton’s blacked-out bird tattoo definitely has a tribal element to it. As for the meaning behind Irwin’s tattoo, it’s possible the “soaring” bird design was inspired by his recent split from bikini model Bryana Holly, whom he began dating just last year. “I don’t have a girlfriend anymore,” he told 2DayFM’s Rove and Sam earlier this month. “I’m on my own. I’m a lone wolf!” That comment leads us to believe that Ashton’s new back-of-the-neck bird tattoo may actually be a symbol of his newfound freedom as a bachelor!