Dedicated fans of Grimes might know that the avant-garde musician has a singular sense of artistry that extends well beyond her music. The pop star recently expanded their ever-evolving tattoo collection by debuting two new designs in June — a massive piece of ink that spans nearly her entire left leg and a smaller ear tattoo. (The latter of which brought her closer than she's even been to getting a face tattoo, she tweeted after the fact.)
In addition to these two new designs, Grimes has at least 25 known tattoos. Though several pieces in her collection share a running theme of alien scars, including her white-ink chest and back markings, it might surprise you that most of her tattoos are born out of spur-of-the-moment decisions. "I never decide until 10 minutes before I'm getting a tattoo what it's going to be," she shared in a 2016 story with Teen Vogue. Grimes frequently works with tattooists, such as Delphine Noiztoy, Jancob, and Nusi Quero, to come up with ideas for her new ink, but they've also given themselves multiple stick-and-poke tattoos.
Because Grimes has increased her total number of tattoos exponentially in recent years, it might be hard for fans to keep track of all of their designs. So, we've created an ultimate guide, allowing you to revisit almost all of Grime's tattoos that she's gotten over the years. From her LOTR-inspired Elvish script ink to her prominent brush stroke-style leg design, take a closer look at her eccentric ink collection and learn what all of them mean to the singer, ahead.
On June 1, Grimes unveiled her latest leg tattoo on social media while giving a shout-out to the artist behind it, Daniela. The intricate ink appears to be a sprawling sprig covered in delicate leaves with a solid crescent moon drawn above her knee. The sizable design is done entirely in bright red ink and stretches from her right ankle all the way up to her mid-thigh, covering the entirety of her limb.
Also in June, Grimes showed off another fresh tattoo on her ear. "Closest I've come to letting anyone tattoo my face," she wrote alongside a close-up of the design, which features spiky black markings peeking out from her upper right cartilage.
In April 2021, the singer got her most noteworthy design to date. Covering her entire back, Grimes has a sprawling white-ink piece that represents "beautiful alien scars," per her Instagram caption.
On the inside of her left calf, Grimes got a dagger tattooed in black ink, which she later partially covered with her massive brush-stroke style tattoo.
In 2017, Grimes got a head-turning brush-stroke tattoo in black ink on her left leg. The large piece starts just above her knee and runs down to the top of her foot. The broad paint-style strokes read "тихо," which is the Russian word for "quiet" or "calmness."
In 2018, Grimes and her friend Hana Pestle translated their shared admiration for the "The Lord of the Rings" into permanent ink. The singer opted for the mischievous text to be placed on three of her left fingers, with each reading "Contradiction," "Be ready for war," and "No shields allowed." Pestle, on the hand, landed on the Gandalf quote from the fantasy saga.
Grimes has what appears to be a butterfly in red and black ink on the outside of her right forearm, which was done by tattooist Jancob in March 2021.
Grimes has another white-ink tattoo on her chest, which is thematically an extension of her full-back white-ink design. It features symmetrical curvy lines that intersect at the center of her sternum. This tattoo, the artist shared in her Instagram Story in February 2022, is her "long slow effort to have a full alien body," adding that she'd like to be "totally covered in white ink."
The Triforce symbol from the popular video game series "The Legend of Zelda" can be seen on the singer's left forearm, which she got as a matching tattoo with her brothers. "'The Legend of Zelda' was the first video game me and my brothers ever got, and so we all got matching Triforce tattoos," she told Bullett Media in a 2012 interview.
One of Grimes's smaller designs is the heart outline inked on her left shoulder.
Tucked into Grimes's hair behind her right ear are three horizontal black lines.
On the back of Grimes's left hand is an outline of the digit "8," which she did herself. It's her lucky number, and she also has a track titled "Eight" on her 2012 album "Visions."
The word "Beautiful" is inked in cursive font on the back of Grimes' left hand, below her knuckles. "I was in New Zealand playing a show, and this guy said, "I'll give you a free tattoo if I can come to your show," she told Teen Vogue.
Despite the spur-of-the-moment nature of this ink, it holds significance to Grimes, nonetheless. The singer told Rolling Stone in a 2020 chat that the word was a tribute to the 2002 namesake Christina Aguilera song.
She has decorative Greek meander lines inked on her left index finger and two black bands that wrap around her pinky finger — both of which are DIY creations. However, both these finger tattoos are now covered with the Elvish script she placed over them.
Grimes also gave herself an alien head tattoo on the back of her left hand, just below her thumb. She attributed this design to her belief in aliens. A tiny stick figure swinging its limbs can also be seen above the alien head.
In Nov 2016, artist Delphine Noiztoy tattooed an intricate concentric geometric pattern on Grimes's middle finger. "Swollen middle finger," the tattooist captioned an Instagram post showing off the fresh ink.
An outline of a crescent moon is located on Grimes's left thumb.
Grimes used to have a solid black cross tattoo on her right wrist, which she later modified with a brush-stroke style cross. Speaking with Teen Vogue in a 2016 cover story, she shared that she "wanted to cover up a really bad tattoo that I got when I was younger." Further explaining the design, she said, "I'm not religious, but I grew up religious, so it's a comforting image to me."
A chain with circular links is wrapped around Grimes's left wrist and extends upward around her lower forearm. The singer also has a chevron line etched around her left wrist that she drew herself — it was originally designed by her friend.
Taking inspiration from Norse mythology, Grimes got the runic alphabet inscribed over her right ribcage. Done by Delphine Noiztoy in November 2016, the ink includes the symbol "ᚷᛈᚫ ᚷᛗᚫ," which translates to the English letters "gpa gma." The significance of this tattoo isn't known.
On the inside of Grimes's left palm are a bunch of symbols hand-poked by artist Grace Neutral in 2017, including the alchemy symbol for Jupiter (♃) inked on the inside of her middle finger and various cryptic sigils.
In September 2017, Grimes gave herself another tattoo with a stick-and-poke kit at home. Placed horizontally above her right knee are three Cyrillic alphabets, "Фай," which translates to "faé," an archaic way of referring to a group of "fairies."
The top of Grimes's right index finger carries two vertical straight lines, with one featuring small, equally distributed horizontal lines shooting out of it.