Old School Sailor Jerry Tattoos



If you are a tattoo lover, you probably have heard the name Sailor Jerry more than a hundred times. But, if you are new to the world of inking, his real name is Norman Keith Collins who lived in America from 1911 to 1973. He is a very talented and well-known artist back in the 50s and 60s offering his own unique traditional style of designs.

His classic works of arts are commonly referred to as the old school tattoos featuring solid green, red, blue, brown, purple and yellow designs with a bold outline that is created in black or blue. The inks are often done without, or with very little shading.





During his young age, Sailor Jerry lived a life drifting from town to town across the America. He was once working for an Alaskan man where he learnt hand-pricking tattooing method. At the age of 19, Collins joined the Navy of the United States where he has many chances to travel and expose to various arts and cultures of the Far East.

With the inking skills that he learnt from the locals, he later settled down and opened a tattoo shop in Hawaii Island at Honolulu. Although the old school designs have been around since the 20s at the Pacific Islands, it was Jerry who has made the traditional style coming to life and being admired by many people all over the world. It is never too much to label him as the father of the inking industry as he was the first person who emphasized the importance of sanitation and utilized new needles for every customer.

His popular works are often associated with the oceans though not all. The famous old school inks are the mermaids, ships, hearts, anchors, stars, cherries, daggers, pin-up, and various types of birds. Since the sailors especially the Navy loves to wear inks, patriotic and navy symbols were also some of the most wanted designs at that time. To underscore the love and significance of somebody, you can include a person’s name inside a banner to be combined with the tattoo.



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