Custom Tattoo Blog

Roller Derby Girl

Cactus TattooHeather thought about what she would want for her first tattoo for a long time. When we met for our consultation, it was obvious that she had done her research, visiting several Portland tattoo shops and coming up with concepts and images that were eminently tattooable. She sent me this comment after we were done with our first session, which she sat for like a champ, "Thank you again for the beautiful way you are helping me express my changes as a person, through the art of tattoo. This piece is representative of a lot of time, people and places that are very important to me. So, I was a bit nervous as to how it would all work out. However, there was no need to fear, as you have been able to take the ideas in my head and bring them forth upon my skin." We will soon be adding a rose to her shoulder to represent her support of the Rose City Rollers. Click on the Read more link to see photos of the initial drawing and the results of our first session.

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Ganesha TattooFor his first tattoo Ben chose a remarkable image of a statue of the Hindu god Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles (just one of his many attributes.) The photo of it has a beautiful sepia/ochre tone to it and Ben was interested to see if we could replicate that in the tattoo. I told him we could but that he would have to choose whether he really wanted to have the color in it or if he would prefer a gray work piece (all smooth tones of gray, rather than the ochre color over the top.) We did the outline first, so he had three weeks to decide. He went with the gray work piece with some white in the tusks and forehead. Later on, should Ben like to add on to the piece (the original statue has multiple Ganeshas) it would be very easy to do so. Click on the Read more link to see photos of the original statue, the drawing I created from it and photos of his outline and completed tattoo (which will not stay that red.)

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May All Beings be Peaceful.

Om mani padme om tattooA practicing Buddhist, Diane came in to see me about some tattoos she had in mind that would help her realize some of her goals. She wanted the Tibetan mantra "Om Mani Padme Hung" an Om, the All Seeing Eyes of Buddha and the Metta Prayer. She was also wondering how to work in Kuan Yin and the Medicine Buddha. Oh man, I LOVE this stuff! So we are working our way around her body and will be incorporating a full back piece into the mix soon. Click on the Read more link to see the drawings and photos of some of the tattoos that are completed.

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Spring Flowers

Flower TattooVesna came in to the shop one day, wanting to see if an old tattoo near her hip could be touched up and also talk about an idea she had for her left wrist/forearm. She was thinking that she wanted a commemorative tattoo for her mom and dad, something with spring flowers, something light, delicate and organic. Crocuses, lilies and magnolias were some of the flowers she mentioned but was open to possibly adding others as well. I decided to limit the design to just three flowers (to represent herself, her mom and dad) and have it "grow" from the inside of her forearm, up over the top and "blossom" towards the outside of her arm. Click on the Read more link to see the drawing and photos of our first session, during which we finished the outline and gray shading.

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Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

Tiger TattooAn English teacher, Kurt brought into the shop a beautifully illustrated book of poems that was printed in the 1930s. He wanted a tattoo based on the illustration accompanying the famous poem "Tiger Tiger Burning Bright" by William Blake. It was an incredibly detailed print, so my challenge was to pare down the design so that I could make it into a successful tattoo, yet still retain its essence. I also wanted to include some of the text, which was not in the illustration. He did an amazing job of sitting perfectly still for four hours so that we could get the outline in. Click on the Read more link to see the drawings and photos of our first session.

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Pheasant Feathers

BrigetteBrigette came in one day to talk about the tattoo project that she wanted-- feathers added to a previous tattoo of stars, located on her upper left back/shoulder. She was thinking that she'd like to have the new tattoo run over her shoulder and onto her chest but not too far down or too close to her neck and showed me a photo of several pheasant feathers artfully arranged on a white background. That made it really easy for me to envision the tat and create the drawing. Click on the Read more link to see the drawing and photos of our first session, where we got the outline and gray shading done.

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Cross for Chris

ChrisChris came to see me with a pretty clear idea of what she wanted for a tattoo. "The most important things in my life are my faith and my family, so I knew I wanted a cross tattoo, but I wasn't sure what it should look like. Victoria helped me come up with something that was a little abstract but also feminine. I wanted my husband and two boys to be represented, but didn't really know how, since I definitely didn't want their actual names in the tattoo. Victoria suggested the idea of the birth month flowers, which works really well, since all four of our birthdays occur in August, September and October--as well as our wedding anniversary." Chris did really well and sat for the whole piece in one session. Click on the Read more link to see the drawing and photo of the finished tattoo.

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A Swirl of Stars

ImageMikaelah had an existing tattoo of five stars on the back of her left shoulder that were just outlines and got smaller as they splayed down and across her shoulder. She saw New Rose Tattoo's ad in the Merc Perks and decided to purchase a certificate to get more tattoo work done. She was thinking that she would like to add more stars across her upper back and possibly have them go around to the inside of her right shoulder near her right collar bone. I thought that sounded great and that it might be interesting to do different treatments for the stars, so they get lighter as they move right across her back and are connected by light gray swirls. It will look really pretty, very delicate and feminine when it's done. We have one more session, where we will fill in the gray swirls that join all of the stars together (which right now are just graylined.) Click on the Read more link to see the results of our first and second sessions.

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An Octopus

ImageJo's upper left arm has a complete half sleeve (done by another artist) that ends with water near her elbow. She wanted to fill in the rest of her arm and had a couple of different ideas about what imagery we should use. We talked about those concepts for a bit but then she said, "I was also thinking maybe an octopus would be cool.." and I jumped out of my chair. "Oh!! Yeah! I've always wanted to do an octopus! They are so neat!! And that would be perfect to complete your arm, because they live underneath the water. We could use a background of rocks, maybe coral, lots of seaweed...oooo, the ocean..." and my brain just felt on fire with what a cool piece we could create. She sat for four hours like a rock star to do the graylining; we also got most of the outlining done. I am very pleased with the position and designed the octopus arms to end as an overlapping bracelet on her wrist. Click on the Read more link to see the drawings and photos of our first session.

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Cherry Blossom

ImageFor her first tattoo Natalie wanted a beautiful cherry blossom tree starting at her hip, moving up over her ribs and stopping around the middle of her lower back. When she came in for her consultation I told her that rib tattoos are not fun to receive-- especially for a first tattoo-- and asked her if she might want to move the tat to a more comfortable place on the body. She thought about it and decided that she really wanted it there, so we went ahead and she sat like a champ through three sessions. I designed and placed the tattoo in such a way that if she should decide to continue it up her back and over to her shoulder(s), it would be easy to do. Click on the Read more link to see the drawing and the results of our second and final sessions.

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Contact me for an appointment at 503 807-7863 or email me at

833 SE Main #104
Portland OR 97214

HOURS: Tuesday--Sunday,