There’s nothing holding Shawn Mendes back from adding to his collection of ink.
After recently debuting a tattoo of his sister Aaliyah’s name, the 21-year-old “In My Blood” singer now has a total of nine tattoos. The designs are often influenced by significant people in his life — whether honoring his family or taking inspiration from fan art. It’s clear that whatever Mendes chooses to ink for life, he always picks something extremely personal and meaningful.
Here’s everything to know about all of his tattoos and their meanings.
Aaliyah Maria Mendes
His sister's name
Mendes’ latest tattoo honors his 16-year-old sister, Aaliyah Mendes. Though the singer has yet to speak out about the design, which is located on his collarbone, tattoo artist Kane Navasard posted a close-up shot on Instagram.
Showing love for his sister
Prior to inking his sister Aaliyah’s full name, Mendes enlisted Navasard to tattoo the letter “A” behind his ear. This particular trip to the tattoo shop was extra special, as Shawn accompanied girlfriend Camila Cabello as she got her first-ever tattoo — a quote from 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love” on her pinky — during the same session.
Fan art come to life
After a fan Photoshopped a butterfly tattoo filled with flowers on the singer’s arm, Mendes was so impressed that he decided to bring the vision to life — with the help of Chilean tattoo artist Christ TATTXX, who inspired the fan’s original idea.
Celebrating his second album, "Illuminate"
Mendes got this tattoo of a lightbulb filled with roots and blue flowers in Oslo during his “Illuminate” tour. He shed some light on the meaning during an interview with Teen Vogue in 2019, saying, “I wanted something to really remember this time in my life.”
Celebrating a pastime
While the singer hasn’t officially revealed the meaning behind this meditating figure on his wrist, he and Cabello are passionate are passionate about their own meditation practice.
His birthday and favorite number
Fans suspect this numerical tattoo represents both Mendes’ birthday (August 8, 1998) and his lucky number. He admitted to W Magazine in 2018 that he got the tiny ink with his friend and then-rumored girlfriend, model Hailey Baldwin.
Mendes is no stranger to asking his fans for a little help with his ink. In 2017, he crowd-sourced ideas on Twitter and revealed this hand tattoo of a sparrow shortly after. Sparrows were once commonly used in sailor tattoos as a symbol of traveling long distances.
Matching with his mom
In another homage to his family, Mendes convinced his mom, who he said is “obsessed with elephants,” to get tiny matching finger tattoos of the animal.
His first tattoo
The Canadian artist got his first tattoo in 2016 from artist Livia Tsang. The tree-filled guitar’s meaning is more complicated than meets the eye; the instrument’s neck represents the skyline of Mendes’ native Toronto, including the famous CN Tower, and includes a sound wave of his parents and sister saying, “I love you.” The body of the guitar is made up of trees and their reflection in water.