Asian tattoo’s have grown in popularity in recent years mainly because people love their bold colours and intricate designs. Here at tattoo heroes we have scored the web to find you some of the best designs and perhaps give you some inspiration if you’re planning on getting one. As with any tattoo, make sure you use a licensed tattoo parlour and avoid getting a ‘cheapo’ one down while on holiday.
Said by many to be the grandfather of tattooing, Sailor Jerry is famous throughout the world for his distinctive artwork that often features pin-up girls and boats. Sailor Jerry, AKA Norman Keith Collins was born in northern California but spent much of his life traveling the world. At the early age of nineteen he enlisted in the Navy and spent a lot of time in South East Asia which would go on to be a big influence in his style of work. Whilst in the navy, he also had a steady stream of willing volunteers on who he could practice.
His tattoo’s of big anchors, girls and boats were soon to be his distinctive mark which made him world famous. His work was considered pioneering mainly because the images were very brightly colored, intricate and were sometimes large.
He was also known for his frank sayings and slogans. One famous saying was, ‘my work speaks for itself’ and that was true! His work was of the highest quality. Another slightly darker saying was, ‘death before glory’ – perhaps a reflection on his honest view of the world which often only glorifies heroes once dead.
His ‘rough neck’ image was in stark contrast to what could also be a thoughtful and considered liberalist. During his latter years he was well known for expressing his liberal political views on local radio stations on Hawaii. He also loved to play the saxophone and would frequently play in the local bars around the island. Even in retirement, his love of the ocean never left him and he regularly skipper passenger cruise ships around Hawaii.
Since his death, his legacy has grown in popularity with images that are now available on Sailor Jerry t-shirts, clothing and bags. There is even a Sailor Jerry rum which has proved a big success. Sailor Jerry rum is said to encompass the flavors of the Caribbean and the labels often images from his tattoo’s such as girls in grass skirts.
Sailor Jerry did have two proteges who he developed, both have since become famous for their own distinctive styles. The first was Ed Hardy, who was known for large scale tattoos, and the second was Mike Malone, AKA rollo banks, who was more famous for his bold images. It was actually Ed Hardy and Mike Malone that went on to form Sailor Jerry as a limited company from which they produce the licensed images, flashes and merchandise.
Sailor Jerry died in Hawaii and was buried in a military grave on the island, there’s no doubt modern day tattooing owes a lot to Sailor Jerry and his legacy will live on forever.