Dwayne Johnson Reveals Inspiration Behind His Bull Tattoo in New ‘Journey’ Video

by Leanne Stahulak

Many people recognize Dwayne Johnson’s legendary smile, built bod, or sultry voice. But he’s also well-known for sporting several gorgeous tattoos that hold a lot of meaning for the former WWE star.

Earlier today, “The Rock” shared a video to his social media sites that explained the special meaning behind one particular tattoo. He wanted to evolve the first one he ever got, the Brahma Bull, into a new design.

“I’ll never forget it, it was my very first tattoo,” Dwayne Johnson said in the video. “I believe in 1997 or 1998. We were in the great city of Chicago. I got that tattoo before a match. I knew many years later I wanted to evolve that tattoo into something different. Then I just knew that the time was gonna come where I was going to evolve from there to complete the evolution journey.”

Johnson teamed up with Venezuelan tattoo artist Yomico Moreno to design this final evolution of the bull. Aside from Moreno’s “hyperrealistic skill” and “vivid detail,” Johnson was drawn to the evocative side of the artist’s work.

“He has this unique ability to not only draw you in with the objects of his work but also Yomi’s tattoo work creates an emotion,” Johnson explained. “I think for any artists out there, when you are able to luckily enough create an emotion in people, that’s a rarified kind of place to be.”

For a year, the pair sent different designs back and forth to each other. They wanted to find a design that captured the message Johnson wanted to convey, about how we cycle through life and death together in this interconnected way. But nothing felt quite right to either Dwayne Johnson or Moreno until the actor took a trip with his family back to his homeland in Hawai’i.

How Dwayne Johnson Gained Inspiration for the Bull in His Native Homeland

Dwayne Johnson took a trip with his daughters and wife to Hawai’i. He wanted his little girls to feel “the culture” and have the “Polynesian spirit seeped into their DNA.”

“I got up every moring and spent time looking at the ocean,” Johnson said. “The waves are powerful, they are perpetual. That’s when it inspired me that that’s what the tattoo needed. It need the anchoring element that was really gonna give it that power and that protection.”

He called Moreno up and said, “I think I have the final thing that’s needed. And it’s the ocean.”

Moreno totally hopped on board, coming up with a design that satisfied both of them. “For him, the ocean symbolized everything that was the start of things, the power of the oceans, and how it’s infinite,” Moreno said.

Dwayne Johnson later explained what the new evolution of the bull means to him. “The skull of the bull, which represents so much DNA constitution and my makeup, is anchored and given life by the ocean underneath it.”