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The Daily Athenaeum Hypes Hori Smoku

Wild Zero Studio celebrates Sailor Jerry Day

Kamala Gopalakrishnan

Patrons being given traditional tattoos during Sailor Jerry Day at Wild Zero Studios Saturday.

Wild Zero Studios in Morgantown dedicated Saturday to the legendary, traditional tattoo artist Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins in honor of his birthday Jan. 14.

Customers could drop in and pick any design on display for half price.

"Today is a celebration of a tattoo street shop mentality: nothing fancy – you just come in, pick something, and you got it," said Eric Carlson, owner of Wild Zero, adding that this attitude is especially pertinent in reference to Sailor Jerry.

"He was a master of the American traditional tattoo," Carlson said.

This was the second annual Sailor Jerry Day at Wild Zero, and those involved say this year’s event just built on the success of the celebration last year.

Foods and drink were served, and the documentary "Hori Smoku", which includes interviews, photos, and other footage of the celebrated tattoo artist, was shown in the lobby.

"It was really busy when we first opened, but the crowd’s more consistent now," said Bryn Perrott, a receptionist at the tattoo parlor and West Virginia University graduate.

Perrott said she was influenced by Sailor Jerry in some of her own tattoos, as well as her drawings and paintings.

"He was a very technical artist and paid attention to detail," Perrott said.

She and Carlson used an example to illustrate the artist’s realistic quality, saying the artist would research minute details of objects like a rig on a ship in order to further authenticate his tattoo design.

Customers could pick designs from books and stencils of Sailor Jerry’s designs, as well as "flashes," which were "quick references" or printouts on the parlor’s walls. T-Shirts of the tattoo artist were also sold for $10.

"It’s a day about getting good, classic-style tattoos for classic prices," Carlson said.