Drawing on the wall is still probably frowned upon in the Anderson household, but drawing on the dad--a robot, a maple leaf, stick figures, you name it--has become an annual tradition.
Each year (except one) since 2008, Keith Anderson, 42, of Petersborough, Ontario has had one of his son Kai's drawings tattooed on his arms.
The first, Anderson's favorite, is of a daisy Kai drew in kindergarten.
Anderson, who works with people diagnosed with developmental disorders, said the skin scrapbook was inspired by one of his younger brothers who "had a piece of art my niece drew tattooed onto his leg so I ran with the idea and decided to get a whole sleeve done in Kai's art as he grew up."
For the past four years, Kai, now 11, has actually done a few minutes worth of the tattooing.
"He had shown a little interest (about assisting in the tattooing) but when we really got to talking about it, he got a little shy," Anderson said. That was when Kai was six. By seven, "he was totally on board."
Anderson already had around ten tattoos when he began adding Kai's original designs. There's a Celtic knot on his forearm, another on his elbow. The root system of a tree covers his chest. At last count, he said he had 18 tattoos in all.
Until this weekend, his arms had really only received attention in line at the coffee shop, and from Kai's friends.
"When I've been around his friends, he'd like to show them off and say 'roll the sleeves up, dad!'" Anderson said. "But they're kids, they don't know me too well. They'd say 'oh, that's cool' then run off and do their kid things."
But thanks to a photo essay shot by Anderson's friend that was picked up by Buzzfeed, the doodled dad has now gone viral.
Anderson said he thought Chance Faulker's photos of a son's imagination inked across his father's body might garner attention locally, which they have. But on Monday he was also fielding interviews from the Huffington Post and The TODAY Show, not to mention seeing links to his story on European Websites and the Facebook pages of Dutch tattoo parlors.
"I'm just sort of rolling with it at this point," he said.
The tattoos will keep rolling, too -- at least as long Kai wants them to.
"At this pace he is still very excited about it, so we’ll keep going," Anderson told Faulkner. "People ask me what will happen if I run out of space. I guess I’ll just get him to draw smaller pictures.”