Custom Tattoo Blog

Swirls of Instruments


One of my favorite clients, Katie and I have been working for several years now on her tattoo projects. She says this about her latest one, "My first large tattoo was a bouquet of flowers that represented the women in my family. I realized that all the men in my family played an instrument, and that could be the foundation for a really cool piece. I didn't want to leave the guys out, and music has been extremely important, not only to my family, but to me as well. My grandfather played sax in a swing band while he was stationed in Belgium during World War II. My dad played professionally until I was born, and music was always around the house. Either someone was playing an instrument or they had a record going. Even when I was very little I was collecting cassette tapes of music, and many of my memories are connected to the music that was playing at the time. Unfortunately, playing music doesn't come naturally to me, so I grew up expressing my deep relationship with music through movement and dancing. My husband and I met at a concert and our first date was at an Irish session he played at in a pub. Now my brother is the pro in the family with his washtub bass. Victoria did an amazing job of helping me bring my idea to reality. By using symbols, rather than something literal, the object can take on many different meanings. It's an unchanging image, but it can also change and grow over time in its meaning and symbolism. " Click on the Read more link to see the drawing, outline, gray shading and final color photos.

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Mother & Daughter Team

CIndy and AngieFrom the east coast, Angie and her mom Cindy flew into Portland for a long weekend to celebrate her birthday. They each wanted some Portland ink on their lower legs but different designs. Angie wanted a tree to cover up an old tattoo. Cindy, a world traveler, wanted something to represent that-- I suggested a compass with a globe in the center. Angie says, "Victoria was amazing! She did a great job covering up my funky old tattoo. I'm in love with my new tattoo. Totally recommend going to her for some ink if you're in Portland!" Click on the Read more link to see the drawings, outline and the final photos.

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Sacred Geometry

BellaBella sent me an image (the white and brown original shown below) and came to see me about making it into a tattoo. She says, "I chose to get a sacred feminine mandala tattoo. I have always been interested in the natural world and how it entwines with sacred geometry. That interest stemmed research farther into the subject, which lead me to how it is actually sacred geometry that connects with everything else--including art. I got this tattoo as a spiritual guidance tool, for focusing attention and being mindful, and as an aid to meditation. I wanted it to remind me that even though it is mostly strong feminine energy that goes into what I do, there is still the balance between divine feminine and divine masculine (the small triangle with its strict solid lines in a mass of feminine curvy lines) and to embrace that in all that it is--plus, the design is pretty." Click on the Read More link to see the original, my drawing and the final photo.

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Implant Scars Cover Up

MaryMary came to see me about covering up some scars. She says, "After having my damaged cosmetic implants removed, I was left with large scars on my breasts. For years, I tried all kinds of home remedies and esthetic treatments to diminish the scars or use products to cover them up. After they faded, I could still see them and I knew they were still there--a constant reminder of the surgery. Before meeting Victoria, I had considered and researched tattooing over the scars but I couldn't find an artist that would do the work-- or even more so, an artist I felt confident and comfortable with, as I did with Victoria. Victoria was open to my ideas about using various flowers and foliage from Scotland's landscapes, which means a lot to me because of my family's heritage. I now wake up every morning and don't make a point of looking for scars, because I've forgotten they ever existed. When I do look, I see a beautiful tattoo; a reminder of my heritage, no scars from the past." (For more info about covering up scars, see the FAQ's page.) Click on the Read More link to see the drawings, outline and color photos.

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Watercolor Roses

HenryFor his first tattoo, Henry brought in a beautiful watercolor painting of some roses. To create a tattoo from a watercolor original, I used a light gray outline instead of black and very little gray shading to simulate a watercolor look and feel. Henry says, "I went to Victoria because she was highly recommended by a friend for her skill with nature images, and I am very happy with everything about my experience! The image I had was painted by someone close to me who passed away, so I wanted the tattoo to be as faithful to the original painting as possible. Victoria did a great job at keeping the integrity of the image and gave great advice on the best placement for the tattoo. I would highly recommend Floating Lotus Tattoo!" Click on the Read More link to see the original painting, my drawing, outline and gray shading and color photos. (The final color looks dark because I took the photo right after tattooing it, but it will heal down much lighter.)

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Summer Flowers Cover Up

AndreaAndrea came in to see me about a cover up piece; she had gotten a tattoo to remember her brother-in-law by but was not happy with how it turned out. She wanted something that complimented the ankle tattoos she already had on her lower legs-- something more feminine and flowery. Flowers work wonderfully for cover up/camouflage tattoos, as they are organic, detailed and colorful. (See my FAQ's page for what type of imagery works best for cover up tattoos.) We chose a sunflower and dahlia for the design and it worked beautifully. Click on the Read More link to see the drawing, before, outline and gray shading and final photos.

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Plumeria for her Mom

BecketBecket's tattoos are about her family. I've been lucky to work on all of her tats and always enjoy my collaborations with her. The two tattoos for her children are on her upper outer arms. This latest one is a tribute for her mother (who recently died) and it's on her left wrist. Becket chose plumeria because it was one of her mom's favorite flowers from Hawaii, which was one of her favorite places. The five blossoms represent her mom and her four children. "Makuahine" means "Mother" in Hawaiian, so Becket chose that to underpin the design. She wanted a particular font, but after she saw the drawing, she thought that the lettering was too complicated, so we simplified it. Click on the Read More link to see the drawing, outline and final photos.

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"It's about serenity."

BeccaFor her second tattoo, Becca wanted something that represents peace and serenity to her. She also wanted to include the people she loves. She decided on a giraffe for herself, an Enso for her husband and butterflies for her children and grand children. We decided to tie all of the separate elements together with Red Lotus tree branches and flowers, which grow in her yard. She says,"I found a great quote that describes my feeling of what a giraffe represents and how it relates to me, 'The giraffe has the largest heart of any land animal, is tall enough to look into the future and lives it's life with gentility and strength.'" Click on the Read More link to see the drawing and outline photos.

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Gray Whale Connection

NatalieI performed Natalie's first tattoo (a left flank/lower back piece) and am grateful that she came back to me for her second, an upper right arm tat. She is very articulate and knew just what she wanted--- a combination of a gray whale, a woman floating in a boat, reaching down to touch it and butterflies. There was some leeway as to design, but we settled on the connection between the woman and the whale and the way that the breath of the whale should turn into butterflies. I also thought it would be neat to have the whale's tail wrapping around her inner arm a little bit. She wanted the style to be illustration-like, rather than too realistic and we played around with the idea of color for awhile. After I did some color sketches, we both decided that the tat would be stronger as a gray work piece. Click on the Read More link to see the drawing, outline and final gray photos.

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Hawk over Dove

MollyMolly came in with an old tattoo that she wanted covered up. She says,"I didn't dislike my dove tattoo, it just wasn't me and no longer resonated with me. I have had this affinity for Red Tail Hawks since I was very young. I was going through an amazingly transformative time in my life, with so much change, and I knew I wanted this tattoo to be really powerful. The hawk is a reminder to myself to be fearless and authentic. I have found that when we have the courage to live an authentic life, that's when things start to manifest really effortlessly and gracefully. This tattoo is honoring that and reminding myself to live that way." Click on the Read More link to see the drawing, before and outline photos.

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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,