preserved tattoos

This gallery contains pieces preserved by NAPSA that have either been donated to or are on loan to NAPSA. It is meant to showcase the final product of our preservation process.

Whether you have spent countless hours and large sums of money on your tattoos or you have a few especially meaningful pieces, the labor and stories behind your tattoos can carry on for future generations to experience. While tattoo preservation is no longer available through the membership program, NAPSA is exploring providing preservation services directly through funeral homes.

“Death before Dishonor”

Style: Traditional

Traditional tattoos consist of thick line work, dark outlines, solid colors and little shading. They are simple in design and use a limited color palette that typically consists of black, red, green, yellow, brown and/or blue. When it comes to the classic American tattoo, look no further than the traditional style.

Artist: JR Tubbs

“Flower”

Style: New School

The new school style refers to tattoos that are bold, bright and in-your-face. The designs for new school pieces are often contemporary and fantastical. New school tattoos utilize a wide array of colors that are well-blended and typically very eye-catching.

Artist: Chris Jacobs

“Hunter”

Style: Color, New School

One of member Erik’s most iconic pieces, this new school anatomical heart pays homage to his two-year-old autistic son, Hunter. Artist Chris Jacobs incorporated both a bow and arrow for Hunter’s name and the child’s birth date. While Erik sadly left behind Hunter at an early age, Hunter will always be reminded of how much he meant to his father with this tattoo.

Artist: Chris Jacobs

“Skull”

Style: Black and Grey, Abstract

This is a slightly abstract skull that takes on the look of a watercolor painting. Watercolor painting, as a medium, was an integral part of the origins of tattooing.

Artist: Dave Chercourt

“KPMG”

Style: Lettering

This is a simple, straightforward lettering design. People often receive lettering tattoos to commemorate life events and/or to display life mantras and ideologies. This tattoo was donated by NAPSA Chairman, Charles Hamm, and it represents him leaving his position as a partner at KPMG in 1997. KPMG is one of the largest global professional service firms.

Artist: Chuck Galati

“Marine Corps”

Style: Black and Grey, Traditional

This eagle, globe and anchor tattoo has a traditional feel to it while also incorporating simple line work. The artist opted for completing the piece in only black and gray tones. Tattoos with this imagery have a long, important history with the military.

Artist: JR Tubbs

“Jesus”

Style: Black and Grey, Abstract

This is an abstract line drawing rendition of Jesus being taken down from the cross. This form of abstract is a distortion of realism, which still allows the viewer to perceive the image as normal.

Artist: Dave Chercourt

“Mom”

Style: Color, Traditional

This tattoo was donated by NAPSA Chairman, Charles Hamm. It is a classic tribute to his mother using the iconic design of a heart and banner.

Artist: Chuck Galati

“Biker”

Style: Black and Grey, Realism

This tattoo belonged to Mark G., an inaugural NAPSA member. In Mark’s final days he received this tattoo, which represents him riding his bike to take off on his next adventure, and his philosophical position – “Fuck The World.” Mark sadly passed away in 2015, but this meaningful tattoo will surely carry on his legacy.

Artist: Bryan Krause

“Gargoyle”

Style: Black and Grey, Traditional Realism

This is an early rendition of realism using the tools and inks that artists at the time had at their disposal. Realism tattoos are realistic depictions of items, life forms or scenarios. With realism tattoos the artist also accurately replicates perspective, color, lighting and other details. This particular tattoo was preserved for one of NAPSA’s inaugural members, Mark G.

Artist: Unknown

“Rose for Grandmother”

Style: Color, Neo-Traditional

When Erik found out his grandmother was in the hospital, he immediately approached his artist Chris Jacobs to create a hand tattoo to memorialize her. After Erik received the neo-traditional rose piece, his wife Candice distinctly remembers the image of Erik and his grandmother holding hands in the hospital.

Artist: Chris Jacobs

“Anchor for Grandfather”

Style: Color, Neo-Traditional

Since Erik received one hand tattoo for his grandmother, he found it only fitting to receive a tattoo for his deceased grandfather on his opposing hand. When his grandmother saw this neo-traditional anchor tattoo she remarked on how she and her husband were “finally together again.”

Artist: Chris Jacobs

“216 – The Land”

Style: Black and Grey, New School Graffiti

Born and raised in Cleveland, this member tried to pay tribute to the city in every way possible. This member also had a penchant for wearing bandanas, hence why he chose a bandana print to fill in this new school, graffiti style piece of his hometown’s area code.

Artist: Chris Jacobs

“Cleveland Street”

Style: Black and Grey, New School

This member had a number of Cleveland-related tattoos. For this particular piece he had his artist Al Garcia create a black and grey rendition of a specific Cleveland street corner.

Artist: Al Garcia

“40 for Len”

Style: Black and Grey, Memorial

This member’s best friend Len passed away eleven years ago. To memorialize his friend, this member received a black and grey 40-oz. bottle tattoo.

Artist: Unknown

“First Cross”

Style: Black and Grey, Line Work

As this member’s wife describes it, this was this member’s first tattoo. This member never had this black line work piece finished, but his wife is now paying tribute to him by personally receiving the tattoo he planned as a cover-up for this cross.

Artist: Unknown

“Maternal Memorial”

Style: Black and Grey, Memorial

As is clear from this member’s body of tattoo work, he placed the utmost importance on family and friends. When his mother passed away, he received this black and grey memorial tattoo incorporating “Mom,” an angel and Jesus.

Artist: Unknown

“King Rig”

Style: Black and Grey, New School Graffiti

Erik never wanted to exude cockiness, but he did want to evoke a sense of confidence. By receiving the Celtic spelling of the word “king” in a new school graffiti style, Erik could represent his confidence without it being too overt.

Artist(s):
  “King Rig” by Chris Jacobs
  “Skyline” by Unknown

“Pandas”

Style: Black and Grey, Photo Realism

Photo realism tattoos are created using photos as a reference. The artist uses a specific photo and replicates it on skin. Photo realism tattoos look identical to the artist’s photo reference.

Artist: Bryan Krause

“Wedding Vow”

Style: Color, Traditional

To signify their vows, Erik and Candice Turney both received identical wedding ring tattoos after their nuptials. Candice will no longer be alone in wearing her permanent ring as she can now also see Erik’s daily.

Artist: Chris Jacobs

For those of you who have asked, yes, we can preserve more 'complex' tattoos!
Check out NAPSA's fully preserved forearm sleeve featuring work from a variety of artists.