Gone are the days when parents hung their kids’ preschool art on their refrigerators. This Canadian dad has a more permanent way of showcasing his son’s art – by turning them into tattoos!
Ever since his son Kai was four years old, Keith Anderson of Peterborough, Ontario, has been tattooing his doodles on his arms. Seven years on, Keith has inked on himself a tattoo each year, parts of which were inked by Kai himself to honour his father’s choosing.
“We started in 2008 with the daisy when Kai was about to start kindergarten,” he recalled. “One of my younger brothers had a tattoo done on his leg of my niece’s art and I loved the idea, so I ran with it to do my whole right sleeve.”
“Each one of these tattoos on my right arm my son has drawn over the years,” revealed Keith in an interview with photographer Chance Faulkner. “The first tattoo is from when he was four; he is now 11. We add once a year from his drawing.”
Every year, Keith and Kai sit together to choose which piece of Kai’s art will be converted into a tattoo. “I always wait until he can come with me to the shop to be present,” Keith said. “And to have him do some of the tattooing is one of the best things we do together.”
“People who are not into tattooing get it and seem to think it’s cute,” says Keith. “Others think I just let my kid draw on me with markers. I tell them he sort of has drawn on me, but that it won’t come off and they are pleasantly shocked.”
“Tattooed friends, family and strangers love the idea. They love it even more when they find out he has tattooed me three times in small little sections.”
“It is a great bonding experience for us — from choosing which piece we will tattoo to discussing the previous ones, his experience of drawing it, and even the connection of him being able to help with tattooing some small sections of the last three tattoos we have done,” Keith adds. “He’s a pretty rad kid and it’s a magical experience to share with him.”
“No one I know has ever heard of tattooing original kid art before, and it’s a lot of fun,” admits the proud father of Kai. “We will keep going until he doesn’t want to do it anymore.”
And what if he runs out of space on his arms for new tattoos? Keith has that figured out: “I guess I’ll just have to get him to draw me smaller pictures!”