Tattoos are big business in the United States, as one in five American adults have at least one tattoo, while the industry’s revenues are expected to exceed $722 million this year. Now the industry offers a revolutionary new service in the preservation of tattoos after death.
The National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art is offering a service called Save My Ink. The service allows tattooed individuals to offer their body art to recipients in their wills.
Once a subscribing person passes on, the company will send a tattoo removal kit to the corresponding funeral home. The tattoo will then be removed and sent to the NAPSA for preservation and framing.
While some people might not be fond of the idea of passing on preserved skin, the association says that passing on tattoos suggests that you have a legacy that deserves living on, and the service lets you define yourself before others try to define you.
Their website also includes a gallery of the preservations from former customers. None of the former customers were alive to comment on their experience.
Other groups are also getting involved in the tattoo preservation business. In 2014, a Dutch tattoo artist started a group known as the Foundation for the Art and Science of Tattooing, and one of their practices is preserving tattoos for historic purposes.
It turns out that the idea of preserving tattoos has actually been around for centuries. In the 1920s, American businessman and philanthropist Harry Wellcome bought a massive collection of 19th century tattoos that were preserved and collected by a French man. Wellcome’s personal stash of tattoos can be seen at the London Science Museum to this very day.
United States citizens spend $1.65 billion on tattoos every year. Over 21,000 tattoo parlors exist in the United States. Only 17% of people who get a tattoo regret doing so.