Sometimes it’s a dilemma. Your child brings home some squiggles in a squiggly rainstorm (aka a family portrait) and you need to decide whether to display it on the wall, on the fridge or on the inside of a drawer packed full of other squiggles.
Dad Keith Anderson from Ontario in Canada, doesn’t seem to share this dilemma. He’s spent the past 7 years permanently carrying around his son’s drawings – not in a wallet but on his arms. For Keith has been tattooed with his son Kai’s artwork. That’s one proud dad. So proud in fact that he did an interview and photo session with photographer Chance Faulkner.
Kai’s drawings have been immortalised on his dad’s arms every year since he was 4. Kai is so involved that now he even comes to the tattoo parlour and helps out.
“My favourite part is deciding what piece of art we will tattoo,” Keith told The Huffington Post. “I always wait until he can come with me to the shop to be present. And to have him do some of the tattooing is one of the best things we do together.”
Keith says, “People think I have just let my kid draw on me with markers. No one I know has ever heard of tattooing original kid art before, and it’s a lot of fun. We will keep going until he doesn’t want to do it anymore. At this pace he is still very excited about it, so we’ll keep going. People ask me what will happen if I run out of space; I guess I’ll just get him to draw smaller pictures.”
The first tattoo was a daisy when Kai was in nursery but it was from the age of 4 that the tattoos became a family tradition. “We went back and did his name and the house from when he was 4. When he was 6 we did the seahorse, and 7 was the maple leaf with the C for Canada. 8 was the stained glass, which is one of my favourites; it was his own abstract idea. The 9 year old one we skipped because he wanted to change the drawing a little bit.”
We love the fact that one person commented: “I would have thought ‘dude get your money back’ if I would have seen him randomly at the grocery. Knowing… I think it’s the sweetest thing.”
Click next to see the tattoos and Kai’s original artwork that inspired them…
Photos: Chance Faulkner
Robot tattoo designed by 10-year-old Kai
A house and signature from 4-year-old Kai
Maple leaf with the C for Canada from 7-year-old Kai
Daisy by 4-year-old Kai and Seahorse from age 6