Norman Keith Collins (AKA Sailor Jerry) was a prominent American tattoo artist widely known for tattooing sailors. He learned how to tattoo from a guy named “Big Mike” who taught him the hand-pricking method. Later he learned how to use a tattoo machine from another guy known as Tatts Thomas.
He was based in Honolulu most of his career and would tattoo the enlisted men that came a shore during WWII. Most of the men went on shore leave with one purpose in mind, to get “Stewed, Screwed and Tattooed.”
Jerry inked hundreds of men with his new style of American folk art; tattoos that mixed traditional elements of continental icons with the shading and artistic process of Japanese tattoo masters. His style evokes war stories and heartache, but it’s the craft and detail of his work that has made “Sailor Jerry” one of the most popular and influential artists of our time.
His style lives on today and continuing his legacy is the Sailor Jerry clothing line and signature Sailor Jerry bottled rum. (Jerry and his friends would take spices from different islands to mix in the rum for a better drink.)
I am so excited that Roadkill Ranch & Boutique will be the exclusive Sailor Jerry clothing and accessory destination in downtown Fullerton. It’s a perfect fit (and they think so too) and to celebrate, we’re having a big party on June 22nd. I hope if you’re in the area you will stop by and see the collection, meet some cool peeps and have a sip of Sailor Jerry rum from the “Rum Ambassador”.
The above pics (except the one of Sailor Jerry in action) were taken a few days ago at my store, we’re getting ready to launch!