by Kirk Wallace
Kirk Wallace, BoneHaüs | Freelance Illustrator & Graphic Designer, Boston Massachusetts
Cmrcl. Illustration / Design studio of Kirk! Wallace & Sküllboy

Minimal Tattoo for Dad

A tattoo I created in honor of my father after he got sick and eventually passed away. I took a minimal simple symbolic approach to this. A sort of graphic design tattoo rather than the traditional style.


All Photo Credit Monica Justesen Photography

Minimal Symbolic Tattoo for Dad

So my dad got sick June 2012 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!

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. 



I'm extremely grateful for what attention this has caused. I've been able to talk to people who have suffered similar situations, worked on dream tattoos for others, and publish some of dad's last written words to my  brothers and I on WIRED Design. Never in ever was this the plan, all I wanted to do was show the creative process on the artwork. Since then, it's taken off, reaching some 65k people on behance, getting featured on the homepage of Behance, many curated galleries, blogs, and like I said, WIRED.



My dad always told my mother that when she went, there would be a boom around the world because she is so amazing. Mom and I are happy to say that when my dad went, he made a big fucking boom and impacted more people with the story of my tattoo than I ever imagined or even wanted. Thanks guys, thanks dad. <3