The Making of the Tattoo for Dad – Kirk Wallace


The creation of a tattoo, step by step. From the motivation to the inking.

The designer, illustrator and artist Kirk Wallace from Boston, Massachusetts shows us the creation of his tattoo in honor of his father after he got sick and eventually passed away.

“So my dad got sick last June with cancer and heart issues but stuck it out strong for about 7-8 months with us and was just as awesome to have around as always. He died January 11th but in the weeks prior to this while we were hanging out watching jeopardy, he said that when he got better he wanted to get a tattoo of crop circles on his arm. I responded something along the lines of, ‘Well if you don’t, I’ll take care of it, don’t worry.’ – and so I did!”


“A day or two after dad’s passing, I started sketching. Knowing that I had to take my time and not make any impulse permanent decisions after such a tragic event. But I needed to get working on it right away. It was extremely important I get this done. ”


“Dad’s the guy who taught me a lot about art, drawing, doodling, and I remember him coming home from work with notepads of flipbook animations for me. It was so exciting to see the people move, and know that my dad made it happen. He taught me about knee joints and making big balls for fists, things that you can get away with in cartoons that wouldn’t work with real people.”

“While recovering from his quadruple (actually, quintuple) bypass, he said he felt like he had woken up on the other side of the rainbow, not in a good way. His world was flipped, quite literally. He said everything was sideways for about 2 days – a bad acid trip of sorts. So this is where the distorted perspective comes from in the tattoo. Starting on the left with the crops at 90°, then flipped to a bird eye view straight down, spelling dad in the crop circles, and back to 90. ”

Work In Progress / Process of the tattoo art

My inspiration board


Hideous sketches, but for all intensive purposes they worked


Working on some of the elements I’d use


An early version


Here is the actual print i gave to the artist to use as his stencil.



Close ups






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