Happy Birthday Mommy!

I hope people have a little more sense about this post than the analogous entry about the six-year old tattoo artist. Personally I agree that having your child’s artwork permanently made a part of your life is a wonderful way to hold onto a timeperiod that’s all too fleeting… And maybe will help you deal with them when they’re miserable teenagers, ha!


Anyway, Spiderlilly‘s daughter gave her a little self-portrait tattoo for her birthday, with some help from the folks at Suffer City Tattoo in Dallas, Texas. Too cute!


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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

89 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Mommy!

  1. Awesome. But if any future kids of mine take after me they will be far too cack-handed and clumsy to tattoo me without gouging their own eyes out or something.

    I also loved some posts ages back of parents getting their kids’ drawings tattooed on them.

  2. I would be happy to have one of my drawings tattooed onto me but there is no way I would have her do it.

    Cute as I’m sure it is tattoos should really be done by professionals with many years experience and understanding of the art, not minors.

  3. Awww that is so cute.
    I’d be so down for letting my daughter tattoo me, it would be awesome =]

  4. I’m with Giles. I have art my (now passed on) nephew drew for me tattooed on my ankle, which I love and adore all the more because he’s gone from my life now. But there’s no way I would’ve let the little bugger ink it on me! Crikey, the kid could barely hold still long enough to get his picture taken. Put a tat gun in his hand? Hell no. Ouch. O_o

  5. Giles – I think there are very solid arguments for both. Obviously having the tattoo artist do a child’s drawing is the best way to preserve the specifics of the image.

    However, having the child do the tattoo is something more, something ritualistic I suppose, because it creates an integrated experience where the art, the relationship, and the process are all wrapped up in one — it may well be more memorable. Also, if the family lives in a tattoo studio lifestyle (which I believe is the case here), there’s a relevance to it as well on that level.

  6. they are the cutest mother/daughter ever! that tat will definitly help for when she’s 13.. nothing is worse than a 13 year old girl

  7. That’s just super-cute. I already plan to have one of my son’s drawings tattooed on me, once he’s past the scribble stage. ;oP Not sure I’d let him do it, because I’m a real wuss when I get tattooed and I wouldn’t want him to see me being a crybaby!

  8. Shannon – I agree having my daughter do it would be a perfect lasting bond (not that we need one) but she could just as easily draw on my arm with a hectograph pen and then me get an artist simply to go over her work.
    Having her actually hold the machine puts a large risk of her being unable to control it in the same way she would a pen, also any mistakes cannot simply be rubbed out.
    Whilst clearly there is no harm taking place here at all the tattooing industry may wish to disassociate itself from the idea of minors using their machines in such a fashion. For the casual observer this could present a huge moral dilemma, having a minor practice something they legally cannot have done to themselves.
    Its a an area where obviously nothing ethically ‘wrong’ is taking place but something that industry legislators would frown upon.

  9. It was rather disparaging reading some of the comments posted on the other article about the 6 year old artist. I see nothing wrong with having a child execute or help to execute such an endeavor. Indeed, it is a ritual of capturing the moment and the meaning of the endeavor, and not so much about such modern preoccupations as having a “perfect” tattoo. I found it not only short sighted but typical of those in western society to pass such inane yet self-aggrandizing judgment. My heart and respect goes out to all these families who have explored such avenues of expression.

  10. I do agree with you on some of the points you had made Giles. I would be more concerned for my son’s well being, if he were to be doing a piece on me, then say obviously an adult artist, but other than that,if he made a mistake, I would merely take it as part of the experience. It is an interest topic, and something atypical for certain. It does lend a new dynamic to the ritual!!!!!!:-)

  11. Also keep in mind that the artist is holding her hand during the process of it.

    So its not like she’s doing it completely by herself

  12. i dont se any big deal letting a kid use a tattoo gun, she is being helped by a professional guiding her and its in a safe place, i just think its really sweet..

  13. I’d be more worried about letting the daughter see this blog than letting her do the tattoo.

    And does anyone else think the mother looks like the chick from Myth Busters, especially in the bottom picture?

  14. she kinda does jason, i can see where your getting that from. but i can point out more differences than similarities.

    but one of the main things they have in common, is that there both amazing looking, and i think carrie (sp?) has tattoos too. but none of them are by her daughter if she even has one.

    btw spiderlilly, we have the same hair color, faded red dye lol.

  15. That’s awesome. I have no rpoblem with this because she is being assitsed… I’d do this if I had a kid and I had a chance… infact, I will if I get a chance. I also think it’s sweet and memorable.

    Infact this is awesome. :)

    Oh… I would have been the prouest person if I could have done this on one of my parents.

    My husband agrees…

  16. that is so sweet… my 2 year old cousin LOVES my tattoos; I would definitely let her help me out with one when she’s a bit older :)

  17. # 30 I was gonna say the same thing ! she does look just like lil miss sunshine ! too too cute ! I love the idea behind this and im sure they will both remember this forever !

  18. It’d be nice if people didn’t shit up this thread like the last two involving child-parent tattooing with derogatory comments.
    The kid is being assisted so it’s not like they just gave her the tattoo gun and let her go ape shit on her mom’s arm.

    I think it’s really sweet. Who cares if the tattoo isn’t professional looking.
    I’d love to have my future son/daughter tattoo me.

  19. I’m not sure what difference it makes to have a child’s design tattooed on you by a professional, or a child tattooing their design on your under the supervision of a professional. Either way you are going to have an admittedly crappy-looking tattoo that nonetheless will be a wonderful reminder of a transient period in both your lives that is worth holding onto.

  20. I dislike children, but I have absolutely no problem with this. It is your child’s art, being done by them.

    What is the potential harm? That you don’t like the art? If you’re having your child tattoo you, I doubt you’re going to dislike the art.
    That they’ll mess up? How the hell could you tell? (plus, they’re a kid; they don’t care)

    People bring their CHILDREN to shoot firearms with them all the time. I know of people who have PURCHASED firearms for their 12 year olds.

    Now that I can see the danger in. Letting your kid make their art a permanent part of you? Not so much.

  21. I remember meeting that little girl when she was about 1 year old. She has been around tattooing all of her life, her father is even an artist.
    I don’t see anything wrong with this at all.
    I think this is a beautifully priceless moment that has been shared between a daughter and mother.

    I think a lot of people have really been trying to find things to talk shit about on here lately and it’s pretty sickening to be honest.
    I will admit there are a lot of things on Modblog that I don’t necessarily agree with, but I owe it to myself to try to keep my mind open and to try to see things from others point of view.
    How could I even think I have a say in what other people are doing when there is no harm being done from the outcome.

  22. i agree with snap dragon. some people don’t find thsi weird she’s been around it all her life

    ie- i could use a hammer and nails when i was her age– but obviously my dad didn’t let me do it alone, he helped me. All my family members are carpenters so I was around it a lot and got good at it. She’s use to being around tattoos and the shop and the lifestyle.

    I think this is really cute :-) i love this child tattooing adult idea a lot. So long as the piercer is helping her along i see no harm being done.

  23. i love ssing these articles, when i have a id i want a half leg sleeve drawn by my kids, is it stupid and irresponsible to me no, but it might be, would i love it, with all my heart an tahts what truely counts, which is why these people get the tattoos too, and having there kid do it as wel is also such a sweet sentiment. argue about i all you want, she doesnt look like she didnt want to tattoo mommy lol and more power to her.

  24. Personally, I wouldn’t let my (hypothetical) child tattoo me. It’s just something I don’t find ethical, and I can see where people find it endearing-it IS sweet-but I wouldn’t want my own child to be allowed to hold and handle that equipment. A drawing that they’d drawn and then tattooed by a professional, yes.
    I don’t have any children though, which might be why I’m so against it – you don’t understand the joys of having kids til you have your own.

  25. One of my fondest dreams would be to start a family, especially have a daughter. At an age where she could understand what she’s doing, I’d love for her to either tattoo me, or draw something to be tattood on me. That is super cute and anyone who has anything negative to say about that must have more brain than heart.

  26. Imagine seeing that tattoo on your mother’s body as you get older… watching how much you evolve over the years, and remembering that drawing. I wonder if she’ll do a new tattoo each year so she can trace her growth?

  27. i think this is pretty fantastic. my mom never kept any of my drawings… let alone got one tattooed :) i like that her child is helping with the actual tattoo – makes it much more of a drawing experience.

    actually, when i was looking at the last photo, it struck me that the little girl didn’t have any tattoos and i thought it was weird. and then i remembered children don’t get tattoos…

  28. i think this is a very cute idea, and don’t see how theres anything wrong with it, it was done in a shop, under sterile conditions.
    i would deff consider this if i had kids :)

  29. adorable. I love tattoos that kids give their parents. I wish there was a bigger picture of it!

  30. I actually probably wouldn’t let my child tattoo me his/herself because I know that when I was a kid I was very particular about my drawings. If I’d have been tattooing my mum and made even a tiny mistake knowing it couldn’t be rubbed out, I would have been mortified that it wasn’t the exact image I wanted to make.

    But if I have a kid that just doesn’t care whether they make a drawing mistake then all-the-more-awesome.

  31. Yeah, everyone has qualms about it, but I would personally just love for someone to complement my tattoos and ask about that goofy looking one, and for me to be able to proudly say “my child did that one.”

  32. i would let a kid tattoo me any day. of course the proper saftey precautions would have to be in place. childrens drawings are always cooler than grown up drawings because it isn’t a cowboy hat… it’s an elephant in a snake! -anyone?

  33. hello everyone. Thank you to everyone being supportive. Just to put some of those more critical minds at ease. Lilly’s father is a tattooer and he is the one helping with the machine. It was done in his shop, the same shop she spends 3 days out of the week at. It is a very clean family friendly shop. He isnt guiding the machine, just blocking her hand. The main reason he is helping is because it is a single coil machine and gets really hot. She is wearing the glasses for eye protection and actually knows how to remove the gloves correctly. She also knows all about cross contamination and a good bit about blood borne pathogens from growing up in a shop. Lilly tattooing me was very special and always will be. I told her she could do anything she wanted and she chose a self portrait with the words Happy Birthday. Im more inlove with my girl than anything or anyone in the world. Id let he tattoo my face if she wanted to so anyone that is worried about “ethics” or whatever- Shuve It! Have a great day :)
    Oh, and thanks Shelly for letting me know this was up on Mod Blog, I had no idea.

  34. spiderlilly: i envy your experience so much. i hope that one day i will be sitting in your exact shoes

  35. heheh Lilly’s the best, her moms ok too, i guess… :p
    the tattoo Rocks. It was a great idea with lots of meaning that’ll last forever.
    custom freehand tattoos by Lilly. :)
    Like Pam said Lilly knows her stuff more than a lot of other people that do it “professionally”

  36. haha that’s so awesome.
    i have planned, since the day my first son was born, to let him design the tattoo i get to represent his part of my life.
    he’ll be turning 5 in a couple months, so he’s still a bit young… but i’m still looking forward to the day he draws something i can recognize (without him having to tell me what it is)


    my husband is also a tattoo artist, but i never even once considered the option of letting my son actually do the tattoo and not just design it… dunno why that never occurred to me.

    i’m so glad i read this!
    now i don’t have to worry about anyone else tainting or mistranslating my son’s design. if he’s up to it, when the time comes, i can just get him to do it!

    thanks for sharing

  37. First of all…. for those of you who left nasty comments, that is my sister and my niece. The man in the picture is her father, a tattoo artist. It was at his shop and he supervised. She has been around tattoos her whole life. She has given her father tattoos. She was 9 years old in the picture. It was sweet and enduring. No one cares about the mean comments so just keep them to yourself… that’s what’s wrong with the world anyhow … people who like to be mean for no other reason than just to be mean.

  38. triple glove the kid or something, I’m not being negative but that kid is at risk from needlestick, even if it is your kid…I’m not sure that possibly giving her any infection you’ve got is safe “bonding”

    other than that…as far as the art aspect, it’s rad…but fuck, needlestick, man. scary.

  39. triple glove? that would weaken this actual protection the gloves are providing. She is safe.

  40. i’m 20 years old, and when i was about 16, my mother dug up the piece of paper where i wrote my name for the first time horribly in pink crayon.

    she then had it copied and the color matched and got it tattooed on her wrist.

    it’s obviously my favorite tattoo of hers…
    even when people think she just had a horrible tattooist or something. haha


  41. I’m sorry, but this does NOT seem safe.
    1. Child with needle….hmm….that doesn’t sit well with me.
    2. Not a professional. Ink is permanent other than laser surgery.
    3. Gloves don’t fit well. I’m in the medical field, and I know that improper fitting gloves hinder movement.
    4. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal….
    Just my 2 cents.

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