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. Angel tattoos have been slowly but surely gaining popularity over the past few decades and it makes sense when you think about it – an angel tattoo is like having your guardian angel with you all the time. The word angel comes from the Greek word aggelo, which means to pass along something new or to announce something.


Angels are a link between heaven and earth and belong to Judaist, Christian and Islamic traditions. Carry out God's orders (they do have a free will though, they can choose to obey or disobey).
Angel designs are usually pictured with wings, although the Bible doesn't mention angels that have wings. Sometimes people use an angel in a memorial tattoo to commemorate the death of a loved one. The most popular spot for angel wing designs is between the shoulders, the place where wings would naturally be if humans had them (I wish I had some!). The best-known cherub is Cupid who makes people fall in love by shooting an arrow through their heart.
Archangels are the angels with the highest rank (arch is Greek for chief), the angels that are the closest to god. A fallen angel is an angel that has been banished from heaven as a punishment for disobeying God. The most famous fallen angels (aka demons or dark angels) are Satan, Leviathan and Beelzebub. Nicole Richie: actress and socialite who has angel wings on her back, among many other tattoos. 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. The confusion comes from another kind of supernatural being mentioned in the bible, called cherubs.
There is a wealth of angel images in the art of the middle ages and Renaissance and these can be adapted to tattoo images by a skilled artist. They are usually naked, have wings, look like a baby angel (usually male) and are sometimes pictured sitting on clouds with a trumpet or bow in their hands. Typical fallen angel tattoos usually picture an angel with a menacing look, torn wings and sometimes horns, they look like a thug angel.
The Angel of Death is usually used as another name for the Grim Reaper, although Angels of Death are usually pictured with wings and the Grim Reaper is not. According to Roman Catholicism, there is a good Angel of Death (Michael) and an evil one (Samael). 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.
Getting an tattoo in memory of someone is a way of having them with you for the rest of your life.



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