When You Die, Your Old Tattooed Skin Can Be Cut And Turned Into Wall Art For Your Loved Ones

Published 9 years ago

Tattoos are art, and don’t you want your art to be preserved after you pass away? The National Association For Preservation Of Skin Art wants to do just that. People who join their ranks will get a certificate. After their passing, NAPSA should be notified within 18 hours. An embalmer will then remove the tattoo, preserve it, frame it and send it to the next of kin.

NAPSA is a non-profit community organization. “I’m pretty much tattooed from my neck down to my waist, with the exception of a couple little spots here and there,” founding member Charles Hamm told Vice “They all have meanings to me—my grandson designed a couple, and I even had one of my business partners develop one for me. And I’m quite proud of them, they’re very big works of art—I probably have $10,000 on my back, and it is a piece of art.” Hamm does not want for all that art to disappear once he’s dead and cremated, hence NAPSA.

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The new school style refers to tattoos that are bold, bright and in-your-face. The designs for new school pieces are often contemporary and fantastical. New school tattoos utilize a wide array of colors that are well-blended and typically very eye-catching

Death Before Dishonor


Traditional tattoos consist of thick line work, dark outlines, solid colors and little shading. They are simple in design and use a limited color palette that typically consists of black, red, green, yellow, brown and/or blue. When it comes to the classic American tattoo, look no further than the traditional style.



This tattoo was donated by NAPSA Chairman, Charles Hamm. It is a classic tribute to his mother using the iconic design of a heart and banner.



This tattoo belonged to Mark G., an inaugural NAPSA member. In Mark’s final days he received this tattoo, which represents him riding his bike to take off on his next adventure, and his philosophical position – “Fuck The World.” Mark sadly passed away in 2015, but this meaningful tattoo will surely carry on his legacy.

Rose For Grandmother


When Erik found out his grandmother was in the hospital, he immediately approached his artist Chris Jacobs to create a hand tattoo to memorialize her. After Erik received the neo-traditional rose piece, his wife Candice distinctly remembers the image of Erik and his grandmother holding hands in the hospital.

King Rig


Erik never wanted to exude cockiness, but he did want to evoke a sense of confidence. By receiving the Celtic spelling of the word “king” in a new school graffiti style, Erik could represent his confidence without it being too overt.



Photo realism tattoos are created using photos as a reference. The artist uses a specific photo and replicates it on skin. Photo realism tattoos look identical to the artist’s photo reference.

Marine Corps


This eagle, globe and anchor tattoo has a traditional feel to it while also incorporating simple line work. The artist opted for completing the piece in only black and gray tones. Tattoos with this imagery have a long, important history with the military.

Anchor For Grandfather


Since Erik received one hand tattoo for his grandmother, he found it only fitting to receive a tattoo for his deceased grandfather on his opposing hand. When his grandmother saw this neo-traditional anchor tattoo she remarked on how she and her husband were “finally together again.”



This is an early rendition of realism using the tools and inks that artists at the time had at their disposal. Realism tattoos are realistic depictions of items, life forms or scenarios. With realism tattoos the artist also accurately replicates perspective, color, lighting and other details. This particular tattoo was preserved for one of NAPSA’s inaugural members, Mark G.

Wedding Vow


To signify their vows, Erik and Candice Turney both received identical wedding ring tattoos after their nuptials. Candice will no longer be alone in wearing her permanent ring as she can now also see Erik’s daily.

Martynas Klimas

Writes like a mad dervish, rolls to dodge responsibility, might have bitten the Moon once.

Got wisdom to pour?



Charles Hamm, death, memento, NAPSA, National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art, post mortem, skin art, tattoo, tattoo art
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