This is either incredibly stupid or mind numbingly sweet, and it kind of depends on whether or not your kid has any drawing skills (and where you choose to display the tattoo on your body). I think when I was in elementary school, the best thing I could draw was one of those big S’s with a few sets of vertical lines. Although it would be a hilarious tattoo today, my dad would have had to suffer through fifteen to twenty years of it not being hilarious. On the flip side, I had some friends who could draw amazing things in elementary school. I remember in 4th grade my friend Elijah drew a giant alligator jumping out of a pond to eat a great blue heron. That was a great drawing that would have also made a great tattoo.
Where this trend came from, I have no idea. One thing the internet has proven is there is no lack of novel ideas out there, and I think some parents are finding inspiration from their kids who have no formal training or preconceived notions of what art should be. So when a child comes home with a drawing of a slightly warped clown holding a beaver by its tail, some parents are thinking “This is too good for the refrigerator. This has got to go on my body.” Kids are a great source of original ideas. If you really want to take it to the next level, you can order one of those Everence kits I wrote about a couple weeks ago, and get your child’s DNA put into the tattoo ink. Pretty soon we’re going to reach a tipping point; the world of tattooing can’t tolerate all this cuteness!
In all seriousness, this is a pretty cool way to show your kid you care. I can’t even imagine how stoked I would be to come home from school one day and find out my mom had a tattoo of a stick figure smoking a cigarette, which was the extent of my skills then, and probably the extent of my skills now. Having a tattoo like this allows you to capture a special moment from your child’s life and it provides an original piece of art. It’s unlikely there are going to be many other people out there sporting a tattoo of a flaming hot dog spraying napalm ketchup on french fries.
Keith Anderson, a father in Canada, has been getting his son’s artwork tattooed on his right arm ever since the kid was five years old. When asked what he finds appealing about the idea of getting kid art tattooed, he replied, “No one I know has ever heard of tattooing original kid art before, and it’s a lot of fun.” His right arm, where Keith has all his son’s art tattooed is starting to fill up. When asked what happens when he starts to run out of room, Keith replied, "I guess I’ll just get him to draw smaller pictures.” He went on to say, “We will keep going until he doesn’t want to do it anymore.” That’s a pretty rad dad!
There are plenty of online commentators dropping their two cents on this new trend, saying things like, “Parents are too nice for their own good.” Or worse, people are commenting that the parents are stupid, the drawings are ugly, and some people are wondering if the parents have ever heard of a fridge. But for every hater, there are at least ten people leaving encouraging comments, talking about how cute the tattoos are, how special it is, and how it will be a great memory and cherished forever. It’s up to you what you do to your own body, so don’t let the naysayers get you down. If you are proud enough of your child to forgo the picture frame an opt for a tattoo instead, no one is stopping you.