Custom Tattoo Blog

Henna Style

ImageMeg came in to see me earlier this year for a wristband created by two intertwining snakes, one representing herself, the other her fiance. This time her tattoo concept is an armband and eventual full sleeve connecting the two pieces. The way we work together is: she tells me her ideas, I draw them up, she OK's them and then we ink. Click on the Read more link for pix of the finished tat.

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Vacation Tats

ImageMark and Stephanie are a couple from NYC who wanted to get tattooed while on vacation out here in Portland. Stephanie wanted some lettering-- a phrase with personal significance written in her own handwritting. She wanted it someplace on her body where it would be sort of hidden but that she could see some of it, so the upper inner arm placement is perfect. Mark wanted a representation of the carniverous plant Drosera Capensis growing up from his inner wrist and curving around his forearm. He's a filmmaker and one of his favorite films features the plant. It also grows very well in Portland and you can see it in many gardens around the city. Click on the "Read more" link for photos.

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Celtic Coverup

ImageDan had an old tattoo of the Playboy bunny symbol on his outer right calf that he wanted to have covered up with some kind of celtic design to reflect his heritage. He sent me four designs that he'd found and I chose a couple that I thought would work well enough for a cover up tattoo.  The formula that we use for coverups is: the new design should contain lots of detail and be darker and bigger than the old tat. We also use position and redirection on the body to help fool the eye. See below for the before and after shots-- click on the "Read more" link.

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Family of Flowers

ImageSara wanted a tattoo composed of flowers that represent the birth months of her family: hers is a rose, her boyfriend's is a lily and her children's are cosmo, calendula and daffodil. She had a small sunflower tattoo right above her right ankle bone and she wanted her new tattoo to be somewhere above it. See below for the drawings and the results of our first session (it will probably take three to complete.)

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Family Tree

ImageWhen he was 30 years old, Kevin discovered he had Lou Gehrig's disease. Now that he's 34 he wanted a tattoo that commemorated his family-- his wife, himself and their young son. You can see from the pictures included below that his tattoo is a tree running from the inside of his forearm to the wrist, circling around to the front. From the drawing you can see what Kevin wanted included in the tat: in the top branches are three birds and his wife and son's initials. In the middle branches a woman and man's silhouette face each other. The roots run over basalt and wrap around to make a fisherman's knot on the top of his wrist. We have completed the outline and our next session will fill in and finish the piece.

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Tree of Life

ImageShelly is a midwife studying to be a nurse, who spent some time a few years ago in Senegal, Africa helping women with their health care needs. While she was there she fell in love with the people and the landscape, especially the Baobab trees. Now that she's back in the States she wanted a tattoo that would commemorate her time in Africa, with the baobab tree as a central element but incorporating a setting sun and the North Star. This is the design/drawing that we came up with (see below) and here is a shot of the tattoo as it looked after I tatooed the outline and filled in the tree (click on the "Read more" script below.) Shelly decided that she didn't want to add any color right away, if at all, so I put some gray shading in the backgound to make the sun pop. It will lighten up considerably after it's healed down. To see the finished piece, go to my Tattoo Gallery and look under "Graywork/Lettering" in the Custom Designs section.

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Portland Rose

ImageOne recent Friday I was down at the studio (Icon Tattoo) with some time on my hands, when Hilary called up asking if I had any time to tattoo her that day. After talking with her about what she had in mind, I told her I did have some time that day but she had to come in right then. Ten minutes later she walked in with a temporary tattoo depicting a total "Old School" heart with a rose and a banner (see left) that she wanted to make a permanent part of her. So we did. Here are a few photos of the finished tattoo (click on the "Read more" script below.) It's her first.

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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,