Sailor Jerry tattoos refer to body art inspired by one of the famous tattoo artists of all time – Norman Keith Collins. Norman was born in 1911. He had a huge interest in body artwork. He was already inking temporary tattoos using markers and pens on his body before he was 10. By the age of 14, he had already learned how to ink tattoos using the hand pricking method.
However, it was after world war 1 that Norman’s life took a sharp turn. He moved to Chicago and learned how to ink tattoos using a tattoo machine. It took him years to perfect the art but Norman learned one thing that tattoos are extremely popular among Soldiers.
How Norman Became Famous Sailor Jerry?
The 1920s was the golden era of silent movies. The 1930s saw the rise of pinup models which became a rage during the 1940s and 1950s. Pinup models refer to female models whose modeling pictures became a sensation and defined sensuality among the masses.
Norman was inspired by this trend and he thought of blending the pinup models to traditional tattoo art. The result was the extremely famous and timeless Sailor Jerry Tattoos.
There were two reasons why the tattoos by Norman were called Sailor Jerry Tattoos. First, that Norman himself was a sailor who became a tattoo artist after retiring from the Navy. Secondly, tattoos were extremely popular among soldiers (especially Navy SEALs).
Norman opened a tattoo studio in Hawaii where he designed some of the most inspiring tattoo designs till his last breath. Norman was so fond of his sailor image that he even gave huge discounts to clients who were either Veteran Navy SEALs or related to soldiers.
Norman died in 1973. Although, his real tattoo work is not available to the huge time-lapse but still many tattoo artists recreated his art and kept it alive through their work. Here we have hand-picked 275+ Tattoos that are inspired by Norman’s work.
Please note that these are abstract designs that are not inked on people but in fact on paper. If you also admire the retro tattoo designs then you can pick any of the tattoos from this photo gallery and print them out. You can take the design to your tattoo artist and ask them to ink the same. Keep in mind that the artist has to use the same ink and same pattern so that the tattoo does not lose its classic retro look.
Sailor Jerry Tattoos Meanings
Sailor Jerry tattoos can have multiple meanings which depend on the actual design. However, some common symbolisms are –
CLASSIC – A Sailor Jerry tattoo on your body will represent your love for the old classic era – An era where people had high moral values and less materialistic thinking.
SEDUCTION – Believe It or not but Sailor jerry’s tattoos are considered a sex symbol. Decades have passed but the opinion of women is still the same about Sailor Jerry tattoo designs.
ART-LOVER – Norman was a master of his art. He holds the same place among tattoo artists as Arnold Schwarzenegger holds among Bodybuilders (I am a Sly fan though J). Therefore a sailor jerry tattoo can indicate that you love classic art over uninspiring and dull modern art.
Sailor Jerry Tattoos Ideas
Over his 40+ years of a long career in the tattoo industry, Norman inked many popular tattoo designs. Some of the most popular were – Pinup Girl, Nautical Stars, Alcohol Bottles, Pistols, Snakes, Black Panther, Knives, Anchors, Dice, Steampunk art, Eagles, Falcon, and Swallows.
You can try tattoos from any of the above-mentioned ideas. However, we have chosen some designs that mix Sailor Jerry’s art with modern tattoo art too. Therefore our photo gallery of sailor jerry’s tattoo designs is not just limited to the above ideas but rather has a unique take on many popular designs.
SO without any further ado take a look at these 275+ awesome sailor jerry tattoos that will suit both men and women –
Sailor Jerry Tattoos Designs
Traditional Sailor Jerry Tattoos
Tribal Sailor Jerry tattoos
Old School Sailor Jerry Tattoos
Swallow Sailor Jerry Tattoos
Are you a fan of Classic tattoo art? Do you think Sailor jerry tattoos are superior to modern tattoos. Share your opinion and don’t forget to share this post on facebook and pinterest as well.
References: Sailor Jerry Wiki