New Ink for New Fathers

New Ink for New Fathers

Richard Popovic
Jun 28, 2011
I got my first tattoo in 1991 in a shop right next to a naval base, because that was the only option available at the time. Nowadays, with tattoos being a part of mainstream culture, it seems there are shops in every third strip mall, sandwiched between Dress Barn and McDonald's. As a result, people are getting inked up to celebrate all types of things, including the birth of a son or daughter. Having just finished designing a new tattoo to commemorate my daughter Olive's birth in March, it got me wondering what other dads were doing to mark their entrance into fatherhood.

A common and touching design you often see is to simply take the footprints of your baby that they make at the hospital and have them transferred to your body. This option has the added benefit of guaranteeing no one else will ever get the exact same tattoo as you. Another common idea is a variation on the Tree of Life theme, working your family names into the branches of a stylized tree. Of course, the traditional name in a banner wrapped around a heart will always show up, as well as the names of your kids being strongly lettered along the forearms. One of the more fun ideas I saw, albeit on a mom, was a Cat in the Hat drawing, with the kids' names taking the place of Thing One and Thing Two, with a Thing Three added in for good measure.

Having a daughter named Olive expanded my design options and I chose a detailed drawing of an olive branch with her birth date printed in small Roman numerals. The end result looks like a drawing you might find in an old naturalist's field guide, with the Roman numerals echoing the plate number of an engraving.

I would bet Ohdeedoh readers have some cool ink celebrating their family. If so, share your designs/ideas below.

(Images by CheckOutMyInk members skindeeppuppets, bmxninja, dalziel and rsaujon licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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