From doodles to tattoos: parents are getting inked with their kids' creations
Published Thursday, April 26, 2018 7:34PM EDT
Craig Sears’ left arm is inked with doodles of fantastical creatures, superheroes, monsters and even a disgruntled-looking carrot.
“These are all the tattoos that my son’s drawn,” Sears told CTV Kitchener from a local tattoo shop.
Sears’ son, Parker, has autism -- and since he was a toddler, drawing has been a form of catharsis.
“This is the way he copes with things; this is how he gets through life,” Sears said. “And people love (the tattoos). People look at it and it’s just touching to people.”
Sitting in the tattoo shop, Parker points out a self-portrait on his dad’s arm.
“I wrote it with orange permanent marker,” Parker explained. “And then I made my own blue and then Cam tattooed it.”
Cam Davis is the Kitchener,Ont.-based tattoo artist who has been inking Sears’ arm with Parker’s creations,
“His family is of the utmost importance to him,” Davis said of his client from Berlin Tattoo -- the shop where he practices his art. “And what’s better than being able to literally wear your family, wear your memories, wear your love?”
While such work is only a small fraction of his output, Davis says that kids’ artwork tattoos are definitely gaining in popularity.
“Because there’s such sentiment and meaning and intention attached to this, I feel it’s able to transcend a time and a place,” Davis said. “This will be something that will be meaningful regardless of a time.”
Erica Hind also sports her child’s artwork on her body. After being caught in a bad storm when he was young, Hind’s son was left with severe anxiety.
“He drew a picture of a monster that would protect him from storms,” Hind explained, showing off a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist. “So this is ‘Stormy.’”
A babysitter at the time sewed a toy to represent the child’s drawing. Years later, she became a tattoo artist.
“Immediately I thought, ‘I need this tattooed on me,’” Hind said. “This is such a big deal.”
That former babysitter, Libbie Kropf, now works at Power House Tattoos in Kitchener.
“People have come in with their children’s writing, but that was the first time I’ve done anything like that,” Kropf said.
While other parents might just stick their kids’ drawings on the fridge, both Sears and Hind say that they are proud to display their children’s artwork on their skin.
“A lot of people keep photo albums,” Hind said. “This is my photo album -- it's with me forever.”
“It’s something that we can bond over, it’s something I could always have with me,” Sears added. “I travel a lot for work and I miss him a lot, so I can always look down and, sure enough, there he is on my arm.”
With a report from CTV Kitchener’s Marta Czurylowicz
Got to tell an incredibly touching story today about two families that took tattooing one step further... These parents got ink inspired by their children's artwork. Watch tonight at 6 on @CTVKitchener pic.twitter.com/HCKZTWrn2X— Marta Czurylowicz (@martaczurCTV) April 26, 2018