Inkworthy Notes ….

If you are a tattooed philosopher & are interested in joining a society with other tattooed philosophers, then check out this post on the Blog New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science. I know I’m in.

Something else of interest, the Tattoos & Philosophy book is set to be released in April 2012. It has some awesome cover art too! Click here to find out more.I Ink, Therefore I am


Remembrance Day

Sailor Jerry aka Norman CollinsNovember 11th is the day we pay tribute to the men and women who fight now and have fought for the freedoms and liberties we enjoy, no matter what uniform they don – army, navy, air force, etc. I believe it is also a day when we remember those who fought in ways other than in a uniform: those who formed a resistance movement underground, those who spoke out in the public square against injustice and were imprisoned or slaughtered, or those who helped their fellow citizens hide or flee from tyranny and death. Remembrance Day is a day of reflecting on the best and worst of mankind, and asking yourself if you could be so brave or sacrifice so much in a time of need.

I think Remembrance Day isn’t complete without the realization that many of these brave women and men were/are tattooed, and often their ink speaks of their ideals, their dreams, and their type of service. I’m sure many of us have seen an older gentleman with a lovely anchor on his forearm, or even a young soldier with her regiment details or nickname on her shoulder. Let us not forget to pay tribute to artists like Sailor Jerry (aka Norman Collins) who was a naval man himself. Those travels around the globe, and in particular to Southeast Asia, are what influenced his tattoo designs and philosophy. He began to tattoo shortly before joining the navy, but it was those experiences on the high seas that truly shaped his art. What would Sailor Jerry have become without the navy? Further, once Sailor Jerry settled in Hawaii, much of his ‘bread and butter’ was inking service people: “Finishing his Naval stint in the late ’20s, Collins decided to settle in the then “remote” island of Oahu, Hawaii. In some ways, his timing could not have been better (or worse, depending on who you ask!). This “last outpost” would soon become the stomping ground for over a million soldiers and sailors, all of whom were ready to live life to the fullest-usually contained within a 48-hour Honolulu shore leave! And so, for the next 40 years, Sailor Jerry had a constant canvas of carousing military men to obsessively perfect his deftly crafted, boldly lined, style that incorporated both American designs and traditions with Asiatic coloring and sensibilities.” Sailor Jerry had a profound impact on the service people he inked, and he left a meaningful, colourful trace on their skin – images that conveyed their dreams, their ideals, their pride, their character. It is amazing to think that Sailor Jerry probably inked a lot of people who died a short time later in battle (maybe even when the tattoo had not finished healing), and sitting in his chair and getting tattooed was one of the last meaningful experiences they participated in before leaving shore to fight. Those men and women chose to spend some of their last free moments on home soil with him, getting tattooed and sharing a conversation. That is a really touching thought. And it was in this beautiful process that Sailor Jerry created a style that remains the pinnacle of cool today. Sailor Jerry taught Don Ed Hardy and Mike Malone, and then there are the countless other tattoo artists that follow his style. So, if you are fans of their work, then you owe Sailor Jerry and his naval background a nod.

So, let’s pay our respects and express our appreciation to our brothers and sisters in arms, both fallen and alive, and in that moment don’t forget about the nobel tattoo artists who touched their lives, like Sailor Jerry.
Homeward BoundRats get fat ...Sailor Beware

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