Weekly Tattoo Wrap-up #11


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It’s been sloooooooooooooow at the tattoo studio the last couple weeks. But I did get to do a couple fun ones. My one regret from this last week was not getting a photo of the guy that got “It’sMonkeyboyTM(c)” tattooed on his arm. I love that he was claiming both trademark and copyright protection on his tattoo, because It’sMonkeyboy is super likely to catch on (watch, now that I’ve been all snarkypants, it’s actually going to go viral and I’ll have to eat my words…although I just looked him up on Twitter and @ItsMonkeyboy is a white guy, and the customer was black, so apparently it’s already being used by someone else…).

And now, for the last 2 weeks in tattoos:

Bonnie's mermaid

I posted a watercolor painting of this image online and asked if anyone wanted it as a tattoo, and guess what? Several someones did, but the first to ask was the one who got it!

Alyssa Peckman watercolor

We had a number of first tattoos this week, including this one, which, apparently, is a symbol for friendship and family.

dog prints - Emily Durham

Another first tattoo, this time a memorial for her pup based on his actual paw prints.

Lupus butterfly - Samantha Chan

For a customer who was newly diagnosed with lupus.

mountains and waves - Emme Brunson

This is the second request I’ve had for mountains over a wave in the last week. Love how this one turned out in particular.

oni mask - Zelance

My first oni tattoo. He plans to eventually turn it into a whole Japanese-inspired sleeve.

plant in jar - Lauren Tapp

This customer designed the tattoo herself, and really wanted to be sure we had some thick and some thin lines. I think it’s an adorable first tattoo.

Bill the T-Rex - Maya Waller

And my favorite for the week: the customer came in for a touch up, and brought her 12 year old sister along. The little sister was joking that she wanted to design a tattoo for her, and the customer – gulp – said yes. This is the drawing she came up with. The T-Rex’s name is Bill and he likes apples. That kid has the best big sister ever.


Weekly Tattoo Wrap-up #10


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We’re at #10 you guys!! I have now been tattooing for about 5 months. But I haven’t felt like a real tattoo artist until this past weekend when I got a massage and the massage therapist laughed and told me I had “really well-developed forearms.” Woot woot! I’m gonna look like Popeye, y’all. And I’m gonna be damn proud of it. It was another pretty slow week at the tattoo studio. July in this area sucks for businesses (it was the same way at my last business, so I’m not panicking…yet). But I did have some fun tattoos to share, so here you go:

Aaron Walker - Cartman the dog

Meet Cartman. He is a dog. I looooooooove doing pet portraits!! Squeee!

arm band mandala -y

Just a pretty little mandal-y arm band.


A compass. Obviously.

mechanical shark - Joe Bobbitt_compressed

I love this one. It’s from a video game, apparently. I know jack about that stuff, but I had a blast doing this.

owl - Adam Allegrini

For a customer who digs owls, and the a pancreatic cancer/Alzheimer’s ribbon for loved ones.

Brian Kirkpatrick - marvin robot with planet balloons

Marvin the robot, because 42. Excited to see this one once it has healed and the white no longer looks pink.


Just in case you weren’t already craving carbs…

That Tattoo Girl


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In our larger bathroom at the tattoo studio, we had a wall with no art on it still, so S finally told me to buy a large canvas and make something new to hang there. Squeeee! Any excuse to make big art. You know I love me some figurative art, so, I painted this:


Introspection 36″ x 36″ oil on canvas

But because it’s a tattoo studio, I didn’t stop there, lol:

That Tattoo Girl_compressed

That Tattoo Girl 36″ x 36″ oil on canvas

That’s right, I gave her a full tattoo sleeve, because hell yeah.

Both images are available as prints and on various merchandise on Fine Art America (here and here), RedBubble (here and here), and CafePress (here and here).

Weekly Tattoo Wrap-up #9


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You may or may not have noticed that I didn’t do a weekly tattoo wrap-up last week or the week before that. This is not because I don’t love you. It’s because the last couple weeks sucked all the sucky ways a suckfest can suck, and we had almost no business and the tattoos I did have were mostly uninspiring and I didn’t bother to take pics. But I’ll roll the couple fun ones I did into this week’s wrap-up instead, starting with:

daschund - Amanda Weber_compressed

My favorite from the last two weeks is this daschund…mostly because I got to say I tattooed a weiner.

Bear with Wings - Nicole Slater_compressed

A memorial tattoo for 3 different people, one of whom used to make these stuffed bears.

Cachea lily_compressed

A tattoo for this customer’s kids.

Thomasine Squire - hardest goodbye

Another memorial tattoo…obviously. This one choked me up just a little bit.

Thomasine Squire - infinity

Same customer as the last one. Didn’t get the specifics on why she wanted this one because I was too busy sniffling and wiping my eyes from the first one.

chess piece with halo - Amanda Cooper_compressed

Another memorial tattoo. She had the king piece on her left shoulder for her dad, and added this queen for her mom.

Mother daughter - Lisa Craycraft

Another sweet memorial tattoo.

Allison Shackleford

For a badass biker babe who wanted somethin’ kinda girly.


For a unicycler. Just kidding. Golfer. Obvi.

mother daughter plants

Mother and daughter came in to get tattoos together while they were on vacation. 

ouija planchette, runes, moon

For 3 friends who wanted to commemorate their reunion.

And some fun ones for Friday the 13th:



Is This What It’s Like?


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For the last few days, I’ve been stupid. Alarmingly so. I get menstrual migraines, and a big part of them, for me, is that I can’t think straight. I get forgetful, I can’t concentrate, and logic doesn’t exist. My brain pod hurts, sure, and I get some nausea and visual disturbance, but I can keep mostly functional with meds. Except for the stupid. The meds don’t touch that. And the stupid makes life incredibly difficult – particularly this cycle. It reminds me of when I got a concussion at age 11 and lost my memory. I’ll have a conversation, and 20 seconds later, forget what it was about. I’ll know we talked about something, but I can’t tell you what. It took me 15 minutes to pack my lunch bag this morning because I kept opening the fridge to get something and forgetting what I was looking for, or setting some ziploc baggies down and forgetting where I put them.

And then I panicked. Is this what the early stages of dementia feel like? Stepping back and examining what I must look like – shuffling back and forth to the fridge but not taking anything from it, hunting for the ziploc bags that are right in front of me – I realized that this is exactly what I’ve seen dementia patients do. It’s terrifying. Is this how my dad felt in the beginning? Did he realize it? Did it scare him? Is this what I’ll be like when I first get dementia? Will I recognize it? Is it already happening? How would I know if this was migraine effects or dementia, given that the kind of dementia my dad had can hit even when you’re still young? I mean, this is clearly migraine related, but my level of brain fog during my migraines seems to be getting worse. Is it a sign?

I doubt anyone who’s been a caregiver to someone with dementia – especially to a parent – hasn’t at least briefly worried that they’ll develop it, too. I’d bet every one of us has listed the reasons why it’s more or less likely that we’ll suffer the same fate. I mean, my dad had dementia. I’ve had 5 concussions. I get migraines. I’ve been on various meds that could have altered something in me, upping the odds that I’ll get it in some form. I feel like it’s inevitable. It’s just a matter of when it’ll hit. And who would take care of me? I don’t have kids or nieces and nephews.

Normally, this would be the point in my post where I’d give you some kind of silver lining or put it all in perspective to make us all feel a little better. But I’m not up to it right now. Right now I’m just scared and in pain and I needed to say this all “outloud.”

Let’s make a pact, okay? I’ll keep voicing these fears, and you’ll be honest with me. If you ever feel like you’re seeing signs in me, please speak up. And I’ll do the same for you. And we’ll do our best to take care of each other.

Dat Dere_compressed

Dat Dere – explanation here

Weekly Tattoo Wrap-up #8


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I’ve done eyebrows, eyebrows, and more eyebrows this week. And for a break, I did eyeliner. But interestingly, I also got to essentially do microblading on a woman’s face lift scars. I tattooed hairs over the scar to fill in where there isn’t any hair. Not sure how it’ll hold up over time, so we’ll have to see, but it looked damn good when we were done. I also got to tattoo a group of guys as the end of their bachelor party weekend, but I didn’t take pics. As for other tattooing, these are the most interesting ones I did this week:

stanley cup - Jon Lensch_compressed

For a Washington Capitals fan who finally realized his dream of winning the Stanley Cup.

bicyclist - Brian Kirkpatrick_compressed

For an avid cyclist (actually the same guy that I did the Kilimanjaro tattoo for).

cat and moon_compressed

I don’t know why, but I find this one charming.


Just a pretty little flower.

Kilimanjaro - Brian Kirkpatrick_compressed

For a guy that climbed Kilimanjaro and has travelled the world.

Weekly Tattoo Wrap-up #7


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Apparently, it was portrait week for me at the studio. Remember the guy who really likes saints and civil rights heroes? Well, in addition to the St. Joseph, Mother Teresa, Joan of Arc, and St. Cecilia that I’d already done for him, we added St. Francis, Harriet Tubman, Nelson Mandela (with some animals), and Rosa Parks:

Harriet Tubman_compressedNelson Mandela_compressedRosa Parks_compressedSt. Francis_compressed

He has a really hard time sitting still (he likes to play the drums for all of his favorite classic rock songs), but he’s willing to let me experiment and practice portraiture in different styles, which is pretty cool. So far, my favorite is the Rosa Parks one.



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I have some friends who are actually amazing art patrons. They’ve bought a lot of my art and commissioned paintings over the last few years. They had a big open wall in their dining room that needed art, so they commissioned me to create another piece for them. They had seen this painting hanging in my tattoo studio and really liked it, so we used that as a jumping off point:

Very Fabric

The Very Fabric

The husband collects maps, so I decided to add that as a component of the painting I was creating for them. I was giddy getting to work on large canvases again! Here is the finished triptych I just hung in their home:


Generation 36″ x 72″ oil and sharpie on canvas triptych



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I had a couple young guys in the tattoo studio the other day, shootin’ the shit with each other and making some really sexist, denigrating remarks about women. I kept my mouth shut and just let them be morons (and maybe drilled that tattoo needle in just a tiny bit deeper, lol). Finally, they turned to me and started asking questions about tattooing. Then one of them asked, “How much of what you charge for a tattoo do you have to give to the owner?”

To which I replied, “I am the owner.” Silence in response. And right at that moment, this song came on in the background:


Weekly Tattoo Wrap-up #6


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This week started off really slowly. Like, really slowly. But it ended well. As usual, I didn’t take pics of every single tattoo I did this week, but here are some of the highlights:

Aaron Walker - dante the dog_compressed

A memorial tattoo for Dante, the mastiff/pitbull pup

clown shoes - Kathy Carson_compressed

For the professional clown who swears she can teach anyone to juggle

fox - Lindsey Easley_compressed

For a foxy lady

frog, dragonflies, butterflies - Nicole Slater_compressed

A dragonfly for each of this customer’s sons and a butterfly for each of her daughters

poppy with hummingbird - Wendy Caruolo_compressed

The customer had gotten the hummingbird with the word mom in the wings a few weeks ago. She added the poppy for her dad, who her kids called “Poppy.”

origami owl - Christine Rafter_compressed

An origami owl and first initial in honor of a little girl named Annabel whose alter ego is a superhero owl