Custom Tattoo Blog

Harley D Skull

sarahA motorcycle rider, Sarah brought in a couple of black and white drawings of a skull with handle bars (and attendant mirrors) coming through the eye sockets that she thought might make for a cool tattoo. Since it was going to be her first tattoo, she wasn't sure exactly where to put it but we decided on the upper back as a good place. I created a drawing and we tattooed her outline in record time; she sat so well. Click on the Read more link to see photos of the drawing and the results of our first session.

Read more ...

Old School Style

chris slaterChris has some cool tattoos on his upper arms done by various other artists around the U.S. and wanted to fill in his sleeves with similar work using Old School (a.k.a. Traditional American) imagery. He had some ideas about specific images that he wanted to include: a skull with a knife jacked through it, banners, eagles, roses, nautical stars, a saying that he had heard that he liked. I was very excited to design and create the forearm pieces that we are working on completing now, as Old School or "Sailor Jerry" style tattoos are so classic and fun to execute (and undergoing an upswing in popularity right now.) And I've been wanting to try my hand at tattooing some larger Old school style tats. Click on the Read more link to see photos of the drawings and the results of our first and second sessions.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...


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.)

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

Follow Me


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

833 SE Main #104
Portland OR 97214

HOURS: Tuesday--Sunday,