32 Impressive Sailor Jerry Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women in 2023
Sailor Jerry is one of the most iconic individuals in the tattoo industry. If you’re an American Traditional lover, then you’ll know that he’s the forefather of the style. Back in the day, tattoos were associated with thugs and sailors, but after his travels as a skipper, Sailor Jerry brought back his love for Southeast Asian artworks, even expanding the pigments used by mixing his own colors.
But before you go and get your own Sailor Jerry tattoo, let us help guide you in choosing the perfect piece of ink. Below we’ll show you the greatest, most cool, and best Sailor Jerry tattoo ideas for 2023. You’ll surely be inspired with the perfect idea of which tattoo style to get, as well as where to get tattooed on your body.
With that said, let’s begin.
Full-Sleeve American Traditional Tattoo On Man’s Arm
How cool is this full-sleeve Sailor Jerry tattoo? I feel like it definitely screams badass, and I wouldn’t mess with this guy if I saw him at a bar. The various elements such as the eagle and grim reaper are classic Old School tattoos and come together perfectly to create this impressive full sleeve.
Gorgeous Sailor Jerry-Inspired Lighthouse Forearm Tattoo
Welcome to another list of tattoos to inspire you in 2023. Today’s focus is on Sailor Jerry’s tattoos, closely related to American Traditional, also known as Old School.
First up, we have this awesome lighthouse. As the name suggests, you can expect many nautical-themed designs. What stands out the most is the lighthouse; the artist added a white outline to highlight it which brings it to the foreground. The shading is beautiful and smooth and the design itself looks amazing on the forearm. Great work!
Awesome Sailor Jerry-Inpsired Alternative Babe Triceps Tattoo
Here we have a gorgeous alternative babe with her piercing brown eyes that remind you of honey. She’s definitely not sweet like honey though; she looks like she could kick your butt with her hands tied behind her back. I adore her beanie and the colors the artist decided to use. 10/10!
Groovy Sailor Jerry-Inspired Grim Reaper Tattoo
I love how groovy this grim reaper is, I wouldn’t be afraid of dying if this guy came to collect me. The black is packed so well, like a true American Traditional tattoo. One thing I will criticize is how busy this piece is. There’s way too much going on, so it’s difficult to focus your eyes on one particular area. Regardless, I love this tattoo and the color palette is to die for.
Beautiful Sailor Jerry Circus Babe Tattoo On the Leg
Okay, where do I begin? First off, the color scheme is amazing, let’s just get that out of the way. Secondly, the linework is impeccable, it looks like the artist used a ruler to do the lines in the boxes. Finally, the entire vibe of the pinup is simply gorgeous, especially her tattoos and the way she’s posing. There’s nothing to dislike about this piece.
Unique American Traditional Butterfly Thigh Tattoo
The butterfly is very popular, especially as an Old School or Sailor Jerry tattoo. I love the placement of this one; the thigh works well for the shape and size and it was good thinking to go as big as they did with this piece because of the detail in the wings. A great color palette, awesome black ink packing, and an even cooler design. Nice job!
Stunning Sailor Jerry Nurse Tattoo On Man’s Arm
This tattoo is truly amazing and so unique, mostly because of the color choice. Usually, this style is in black or has a varying color palette, but this maroon shading is gorgeous and truly suits the design. I love the shape and composition of the tattoo; it’s well-balanced and fits the thigh perfectly.
Impressive American Traditional Eagle Tattoo On Woman’s Back
There are many eagle tattoos in the Old School style, but this one is definitely different from the rest. While it has many aspects of the traditional eagle, the breaks in the linework of the wings is what makes this tattoo a little different from all of the others. The placement is also another thing to mention; the upper back is one of those areas that can either be hidden or shown off which is great for anyone that can’t have visible tattoos.
Beautiful Sailor Jerry Style Framed Lady Tattoo
The best part about this tattoo? It’s gotta be the contrast between the colors of the flowers and the solid black ink surrounding the frame. Another thing that deserves credit is how the artist uses only three colors for this piece and yet still creates a beautiful tattoo that anyone would be lucky to wear on their body.
Outstanding Full-Leg Sleeve Sailor Jerry-Inspired Tattoo
There’s not one particular tattoo that I can comment on, but as a whole, the placement of each tattoo is incredibly well thought out, and each one stays true to the theme of the next. The best part is that it wraps around to the front so this is truly a full-leg sleeve, which is a very bold move of the client, especially because of the style it’s in.
Incredible American Traditional Ship and Eagle Full Back Tattoo
Wow, wow, wow, that’s all that runs through my mind when I look at this outstanding back piece. The colors are so vivid and the lines bold, like they should be. A ship and anchor are also very popular designs when it comes to Sailor Jerry’s tattoos and it makes sense. He was not only a tattoo artist but also a skipper which is why there’s so much nautical inspiration.
Unique American Traditional Woman Wearing a Butterfly Mask Calf Tattoo
Pinup girls are always so elegant but this one takes the cake for being both elegant and graceful. The choice of butterfly, the monarch, adds an extra layer of beauty to this piece. It also almost looks like it’s wrapping around her forming a protective cocoon. There’s nothing to hate about this tattoo, absolutely incredible.
Badass Sailor Jerry-Inspired Snake Tattoo On the Thigh
This snake is probably one of the coolest chrome tattoos I’ve seen in a while. I love how artists can blend colors together and create such a cool effect. The best thing about snake tattoos is they can be designed in any way to fit any part of the body, just like this one, it fits the side of the thigh like a glove, without wrapping or warping.
Sailor Jerry Mermaid Tattoo On the Shin.
I love the placement of this mermaid tattoo, especially because it’s perfect for the composition and shape of the design. The linework is crisp and bold and true to the style, and the shading is rough and dark, absolutely phenomenal. I love everything about this tattoo, especially the tattoos on her arm.
Feminine American Traditional Women In a Heart Forearm Tattoo
Okay, I’ve spoken about the color palette of many of the tattoos on this list, but this one, in particular, is so simple yet creates such a romantic feel. The muted colors against the bright red are just gorgeous and really bring the ladies to the foreground. With great linework and amazing black packing, the client can be proud to show this one off.
Octopus Diver Sailor Jerry Tattoo On the Leg
Is it a monster? Is it a diver turned monster? Nope, it’s an octopus and a really cool one too. The artist went a totally different route with this one and I’m loving it, using the diving mask as the head of the octopus. It’s a genius idea. The placement is also really well thought out; the design fits the gap perfectly and isn’t touching any of the original designs. There’s nothing worse than a new tattoo morphing into your original tattoos, especially if they’re in different styles.
Mermaid and Anchor American Traditional Calf Tattoo
Another lovely mermaid, only this one has herself wrapped around an anchor, a common feature in Sailor Jerry tattoos. Because of the composition of this tattoo, an area on the body with length is required which is why the leg was such a good choice. The arm would have worked too or even the ribs. I love how expressionless her face is, yet at the same time speaks a thousand words. Credit to the artist for doing such a stellar job!
Lovely AmericanTraditional Cherry Tattoo Gap Filler
Where are all the 90s babies? This tattoo is for you! Think “tramp stamp” and butterfly clips; am I the only one that got nostalgic when I saw these cherries? I love how bright the red is and how it contrasts against the green and black shading. The placement of this tattoo is what’s known as a gap filler, and what an awesome piece to choose!
Sailor Jerry Ship and Anchor Tattoo On Woman’s Arm
I love Sailor Jerry ship tattoos, they are so iconic and something that people easily recognize. The classic ship from Sailor Jerry usually has a banner at the bottom but the artist gives this piece a personal touch by adding it to the sides of the frame, making this tattoo uniquely the client’s.
Blackwork American Traditional Elegant Woman Portrait Tattoo
Here we have a lovely Jerry girl. While I love the design I feel as though she’s a bit dark, especially in the hair. There aren’t enough breaks to separate the shading, and linework so it appears to be morphed together. As this tattoo ages, it will definitely become increasingly difficult to differentiate certain areas of the design. Either way though, I love the design and the placement is on point.
Stunning Sailor Jerry Gypsy Woman Tattoo
The gypsy girl is a well-known tattoo, especially in American Traditional pieces. What’s really nice about this piece is the way her skin has been shaded; the artist demonstrates an understanding of light sources and the use of white highlights. I adore her big hoop earrings and frilly top; this is an excellent design and looks even better on the client’s skin. Kudos to Norman Sanchez for creating this beautiful lady.
Awesome American Traditional Hourglass Tattoo
I’m not entirely sure what’s going on inside the hourglass, but what I am sure of is how cool this tattoo is. The composition of elements is perfectly balanced, there’s no side that’s heavier than the other. I like the details and the white highlights added to give the illusion of the glass shining. Simply gorgeous.
Sailor Jerry Hammerhead Shark and Rose Tattoo
Sharks are another common animal you’ll find in Sailor Jerry designs, understandably so, and they’re an awesome addition to anyone’s tattoo collection. This tattoo is simple but really well done, with the colors packed and blended to perfection. Something else worth mentioning is how crispy the lines are. I give this tattoo an 11/10. If you want more like this, give the artist some love at IG: thomashearntattoos.
Classic Sailor Jerry Pinup Hula Girl Tattoo
A classic hula girl with a bit of a twist, she lacks the usual colors used for these designs. Nonetheless, whether this piece was done in color or not, the design is lovely and true to the style it’s in. I really like the placement on the outer forearm; there’s a good amount of space and the client can add onto it in the future.
Masculine American Traditional Eagle Tattoo On the Side of the Calf
This bald eagle looks very fierce, I mean, just look at its claws! The eagle symbolizes honesty, power, strength and courage, so it’s no wonder it’s such a popular animal, especially among people in the U.S.A., it’s their national bird after all.
Heart and Dagger Sailor Jerry Tattoo On Forearm
The classic heart and dagger tattoo is symbolic of heartbreak and betrayal. While not everyone who gets this tattoo has experienced this, for many years this has been the meaning behind it. This one is such a cool rendition of the original design, the choice of color palette is simple yet elegant and really suits the design. I love the white highlights; classic Old School tattoos usually don’t have white in them, but more and more artists are giving their pieces extra depth by using a splash of white ink to highlight certain areas.
American Traditional Skeleton On Fire Biker Tattoo Over the Triceps
How cool is this tattoo? It reminds me of a classic biker tattoo and I’m living for the comeback of this style. You don’t need to be a biker to wear this one with pride, but something tells me this client probably got it because they’re really into bikes.
Cool Little Smoking Devil On An Eight Ball Triceps Tattoo
Another classic design from the era of Sailor Jerry tattoos. This little devil is quite cheeky looking and I would definitely say up to no good. I like that the artist doesn’t use simple lines to create the little puff of smoke like most American Traditional tattoos. I’m not entirely sure if that’s a shotgun in his hand, but I wouldn’t be surprised; it’s the devil after all.
American Traditional Sailor Woman Tattoo On Arm
We finally have our sailor girl and isn’t she breathtaking? There’s something sultry about her gaze, perhaps she’s finally gotten off the ship and is seeing her lover for the first time in a long time. Only joking, but seriously, this style of eyes always has such a romantic feel to it. I like that the artist keeps things simple with the color palette, especially the red; it adds to the romantic vibe this tattoo is giving off.
Lovely Sailor Jerry Cowgirl Tattoo
Howdy cowboy! This is a true classic, having all the elements to back it up. The horseshoe is a lovely addition and frames this piece beautifully, bringing the entire tattoo together. Her rosy cheeks are too precious but it’s her subtle freckles that really add that extra sweet touch to her face. Debbie Jones is the artist behind this gorgeous piece, she specializes in American Traditional tattoos. If you need more, you should go give her Insta a follow.
Bright and Bold Sailor Jerry Heart and Thorns Tattoo
If you’re a fan of Sailor Jerry tattoos, then you’ll know that this is one of the top 10 classic pieces people get tattooed. I love the vivid colors and black shading, and even though the piece is quite simplistic, it’s such an eyecatcher. The client can be happy knowing this tattoo is not going to fade anytime soon, especially because the artist keeps with the idea that “bold will hold”. Amazing color blending skills and linework, there’s not a single inconsistency. Very impressive.
Old School Island In a Bottle Tattoo On the Calf
We’ve reached the end of the list and our final tattoo is one for the books. The best part about this piece is the fact that even though it’s quite busy, there’s still a focal point. I really like that the bottle is framing the island, giving off the idea of a message in a bottle. I could definitely picture myself under this palm tree sipping on a mojito.
We hope you found what you were looking for and had as much fun looking at these tattoos as we had writing about them. Until next time, happy inking!