The last couple of years old school tattoos have been gaining popularity again, up to a point where we can call them trendy.
There is a difference, though – the old school tattoos might be the same, but the feeling around them is different. Sailors and marines where the pioneers when it comes to Western tattooing, so it's not hard to see why anchors and boats appear so often in old school designs (Click here for more military tattoos). The swallow is a sailor symbol and turns up in many old school designs, just like the eagle (Click here for more swallow tattoos).
Pin up girls were models (like Betty Grable) who's photos and posters were very popular the first half of the 20th century. Old school tattoos are usually simple in design, with a lot of black ink and little color because in the early years of tattoo art there wasn't a big choice of colored tattoo ink. Sailor Jerry joined the navy when he was 19 and traveled around the world, getting his first tattoos and gaining exposure to the tattoo art of Southeast Asia. He opened his first tattoo parlor in Honolulu's Chinatown, a place where sailors gathered to drink, pay for women and get tattoos.
They also produce Sailor Jerry rum, based on the rum that sailors used to make on board of their ship.
Winston Churchill, the famous English World War II politician, had an anchor tattoo on his arm.
George Clooney has a fake (temporary) old school star tattoo on his chest in the film From Dusk Till Dawn. Riding a motorcycle is all about that sense of liberation, and biker tattoos reflect this feeling.


Once upon a time biker tattoos were associated with criminals and done with handmade equipment and improvised inks. You know them when you see them, but what are the essential elements of biker tattoo designs? Skulls: the most popular choice is the skull or a skeleton, combined with flames, a snake, glowing eyes, etc. Eagles: these are the symbol of the United States and a common choice for bikers, who are usually very patriotic. Hearts: these are a common theme for the ladies, usually combined with bows or ribbons, barbed wire, etc. Other "old school" tattoos are popular choices for bikers, like women, daggers, dragons and blazing tires. Many biker tattoos feature the Harley Davidson name or logo, sometimes on its own, and sometimes as part of an intricate design. Eagles or eagle wings: these are very American symbols and a part of the Harley Davidson logo. Biker tattoos vary greatly with regard to how much skin they cover, but generally speaking they are not small. In a sense, how many tattoos a biker has does indicate how committed he is to the lifestyle.
The old school designs we see today are more colorful compared to the originals, thanks to the evolution of tattoo equipment. His tattoo designs are known all over the world and are in vogue again, thanks to the old school revival.


The royalties to his tattoo flash are now owned by two of his students, Ed Hardy and Mike Malone.
Started by girls that were into retro, like those from the rockabilly scene, the old school designs got more and more mainstream and thereby reviving the art of Sailor Jerry. These bold, striking, rebellious designs are a symbol of the open road, and of the segment of society that enjoys it the most. But times have changed and riding a bike has gone mainstream: many weekend bikers hold down conventional jobs and get their tattoos from a legitimate tattoo parlor. Most bikers have a tattoo on their arm because motorcycle gear usually covers everything else, but that doesn’t mean they are limited to the arm of course. Weekend bikers might have one or two, but a sleeve or body shirt reveals a more hard-core commitment. Old school tattoos never quite disappeared from view, but a few decades ago they did sort of fade into the background. Sailor tattoos are no longer the sole property of a certain subculture, like they used to be.
Obviously, a Harley Davidson tattoo is going to demonstrate a passion for Harley Davidson motorcycles.




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