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Sailor Jerry and his influence on traditional tattooing | Tattoo Machine Accessories


One of the most iconic tattoo artists of all time is Norman Keith Collins, more famously known as Sailor Jerry.  We’re huge fans Sailor Jerry style tattoos here at Magnum Tattoo Supplies, and as a UK supplier of Tattoo Machine Accessories we thought it’d be fitting to have a look at some of the incredible Sailor Jerry flash, and also check out some Sailor Jerry inspired old -school tattoos by modern day artists.

Norman Collins is revered for his stunning and distinctively bold old-school tattoo designs, and he really made his mark on the tattoo industry excelling in his field, and evolving his own recognisable traditional tattoo style.  A Chicago man born and raised, Collins began tattooing across America in the 1920’s, and eventually settled in a studio in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

He was heavily influenced by Eastern culture, and he loved Japanese style tattooing.  Collin’s trademark style features traditional tattoo imagery such as pin-up girls, tigers, skulls, hearts, daggers, and snakes, and this traditional style is still extremely popular in the modern world of tattooing, with many old-school artists taking their inspiration from Collin’s tattoo flash.

The Sailor Jerry brand also lives on today through Sailor Jerry rum, whose bottles feature an iconic Hawaiian style pin-up girl.  On the back of the label on each bottle is a secret piece of Sailor Jerry tattoo flash sticker, featuring one of his famous pin-up pieces, so you can collect your own Sailor Jerry flash today!

Some of our Sponsored Artists at Magnum Tattoo Supplies specialise in traditional tattoos, and have made some beautiful work that’s Sailor Jerry inspired. 


This stunning Sailor Jerry style butterfly from Mike C Davies tattooer is the perfect example of a Sailor Jerry tattoo. I actually have one like this myself!


A traditional Yorkshire Rose tattoo from Niall Shannon.  Not something Collins would necessarily have tattooed, however the bold old-school style of this tattoo echoes the influence of the solid work that Collin’s produced.


Another one from Mike C Davies, a variety of old-school designs, centering on the Sailor Jerry style Cowgirl pin-up girl with solid bold lines.


The legend himself: Norman Keith Collins, AKA Sailor Jerry:


If you have any Sailor Jerry style tattoos you’d like to share with us, tell us all about it in the comment section! Don’t forget to checkout our Tattoo Machine Accessories in the Tattoo Machine section of our website!


Love Toni…




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  • Antonia McLoughlin