Minimal Tattoo for Dad
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A tattoo I created in honor of my father after he got sick and eventually passed away. I took a minimal simple symbolic approach to this. A sort … Read More
A tattoo I created in honor of my father after he got sick and eventually passed away. I took a minimal simple symbolic approach to this. A sort of graphic design tattoo rather than the traditional style. Read Less
Published:
Keep up to date on Twitter  |  Process shots on my dribbble  |  All photos thanks to Monica Justesen
So my dad got sick last June with cancer and heart issues but stuck it out strong for about 7-8 months with us and was just as awesome to have around as always. He died January 11th but in the weeks prior to this while we were hanging out watching jeopardy, he said that when he got better he wanted to get a tattoo of crop circles on his arm. I responded something along the lines of, ‘Well if you don’t, I’ll take care of it, don’t worry.’ - and so I did!
A day or two after dad’s passing, I started sketching. Knowing that I had to take my time and not make any impulse permanent decisions after such a tragic event. But I needed to get working on it right away. It was extremely important I get this done. 
Dad’s the guy who taught me a lot about art, drawing, doodling, and I remember him coming home from work with notepads of flipbook animations for me. It was so exciting to see the people move, and know that my dad made it happen. He taught me about knee joints and making big balls for fists, things that you can get away with in cartoons that wouldn’t work with real people.
While recovering from his quadruple (actually, quintuple) bypass, he said he felt like he had woken up on the other side of the rainbow, not in a good way. His world was flipped, quite literally. He said everything was sideways for about 2 days - a bad acid trip of sorts. So this is where the distorted perspective comes from in the tattoo. Starting on the left with the crops at 90°, then flipped to a bird eye view straight down, spelling dad in the crop circles, and back to 90. 
Work In Progress / Process of the tattoo art
My inspiration board
Hideous sketches, but for all intents and purposes they worked
Working on some of the elements I'd use
An early version
Here is the actual print i gave to the artist to use as his stencil.
Close ups
I hope you enjoy the story and work. I never anticipated the reaction, it's been phenomenal and extremely heartwarming to see people caring about human stories and design as a function to tell a story. So thank you guys all very very much. I read every comment and smile.
 
I want to make mention that the artist that actually did the inking is Gonzo from Pino bros in cambridge, Ma. He did a fantastic job making sure this was going to work out so intricately and with such beautiful lines. <3
 
I've since opened a store online where I'm selling some personal pieces. Would love you to check it out
Since I wont be making myself any new tattoos for a little bit, in the meantime I love through these
(not of the tatoo)