Weekly Tattoo Wrap-up #15


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Well, what do you know?! We didn’t get destroyed by the hurricane after all. Other areas weren’t nearly as lucky, so please, take a moment to donate to a charity working in the affected areas because there are a lot of people who lost everything. The only thing we really lost was about half a week of wages. Sucks, but it could have been SO much worse. And I actually did end up having enough tattoos to do my supposed-to-be-weekly post of tattoos:

Brayam and James lyrics

Had 2 customers get matching tattoo lyrics on their rib cages. Not sure what it really means, but I love the font they chose.

jellyfish - Rain Navarro_compressed

Probably my favorite from the week. A lovely little watercolor jellyfish.

roses - Brandy Rivera

This one came in last minute but I had just enough time to squeeze her in before we closed for the hurricane.

Sanskrit - Everything happens for a reason - Vickie Horner

“Everything happens for a reason” in sanskrit.

Jasmine Sipe cover up

A cover-up. Forgot to get a better pic of the before tattoo, so had to use the one the customer sent for her consultation.



Weekly Tattoo Wrap-up #14


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I’m late with this. I know. But I had reasons. Important reasons. All the reasons. One of which is hurricane preparedness. Because Aunt Flo – I mean, Hurricane Flo, is on her way and Raleigh has lost its damn mind. The store shelves were bare by yesterday afternoon. I think our house and tattoo studio are okay flood-wise, though I’m a little worried about trees coming down on the house. And I’ve lived through power outtages before, so I’ll make do,and reassure the cats that the world is not ending. But the haunt? The haunt will flood. Not a damn thing we can do about that except figure out how to charge the mosquitos for their new standing-water theme park.

But let’s talk about happier things, like tattoos. Here are a couple fun ones from last week:

Nautical half sleeve - Jenna Guerra

My favorite of the week. This customer had a rough relationship with someone in her family and decided to turn it into something positive by commemorating him with her favorite things about him. 

Xray Star Magnolia - Hannah Natour

An X-ray of a star magnolia.

Crows and moon

Don’t know why, but this one just struck my fancy.

treble clef anklet

This customer wanted an abstract treble clef/heart anklet so I came up with this.

That’s really it. Expect there to not be a tattoo wrap-up next week since we’re going to be closed several days this week for the impending weather doom. But I’ve been doing a little painting, so hopefully I’ll get my ass in gear and post my latest paintings instead. Hopefully. Don’t count on it. I’m lazy like that.



Weekly Tattoo Wrap-up #13


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Lucky #13, y’all. It’s still been pretty slow at the tattoo studio, but things have picked up at least a little bit. Most of the tattoos I did the last couple weeks weren’t all that interesting to anyone other than the people getting them, but here are some highlights. My favorite of the week was my last one of the week. I really wanted some practice at realism tattooing, so I posted an image on Facebook and asked my friends if anyone would let me play on them, you know, with ink…permanently. And crazy people that my friends are, I had someone say yes. So here’s what she got:

Realist rose - Taylor Honeycutt_compressed

abrams tank sprocket - Jenna Guerra_compressed

This customer is married to a tanker in the military

anchor with birds - Jenna Guerra_compressed

No story behind this one that I know of, but it looks pretty cool, so I’m posting it.

feather and infinity name - Juana

Hailey is the customer’s daughter.

Kensey - hats and letters_compressed

This one is in honor of the customer’s favorite anime show.

Ollie Upperman - turtle and flower

I wish I had a better pic of this one so you could see all the delicate stippling in the skin and the flower, but it’s still cute.

puerto rican rose

For her heritage.

wings and cross

Didn’t get the store behind this one. Sorry.

Train & compass - Drew Easley_compressed

My second favorite of the week. My instructions were to design a train coming out of a compass like a tunnel. Since my dad was such a train buff, I really enjoyed doing this one.

Weekly Tattoo Wrap-up #12


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We’ll start off with this week’s tattoo wrap-up with the most moving tattoo I did this week. It was actually a cover-up. The customer had been in an abusive relationship and the guy had talked her into a tattoo of their initials and rings on her neck. She finally got out of the relationship after several tries, and that tattoo was the last vestige of his hold over her. So when she saw that the old tattoo was completely gone and replaced with something else meaningful to her, she cried happy tears. I’m not gonna lie, I was damn close to happy tears, myself – especially after she gave me a huge hug and thanked me. It was a beautiful moment and I’m so grateful to have been a part of her reclaiming her body and her life:

Neck cover-up - Courtney Ackerman

Lynn Albert

No eyebrows? No problem. With microblading, no one needs to know.

Adam Allegrini's mom

This is pretty cool This woman is an artist and this symbol is her signature on her paintings.

Dragonfly and wildflowers tattoo

No real story here, just a nice ribcage tattoo of a dragonfly and some wildflowers.

bear and woods - John Howes

My very first full sleeve tattoo!! We did a marathon 7-hour session and only took one 15-minute break. This guy was hard core!!

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.