Tattoos can mean so many different things to people: rites of passage, remembrances of other people, places, experiences, commemorations of connection and belonging, the strength we take from powerful symbols.
An artist all of my life, I have identified with these ideas through the creation of my art. I've found self-expression and fulfillment, insight into myself and others. Art has always been a sanctuary for me, a place to find happiness, refuge and unity.
I have a bachelors degree in graphic design from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon and 20 years of commercial advertising experience. Over the years I have enjoyed mastering many kinds of artistic media, including paper making and jewelry. I have exhibited my work in fine art and craft galleries. In my spare time I enjoy my yoga and meditation practices and tearing it up out there on the twisties with my Honda Shadow Ace Deluxe 750-- ask me about my Yellowstone and Alaska motorcycle trips. (The story about "the Bear" is pretty hilarious.)
I became interested in tattoos some years ago when I got my first tattoo. It seemed to be the perfect blend of commercial and fine art and I thought the experience was pretty amazing. After attending Burning Man for the first time in 2003 and after I got back from an epic trip to India, Nepal and Tibet in 2004, I decided to see if I could help other people as well as myself through art somehow. I wanted to do it in a more direct way than through graphic design and advertising; maybe tattooing was the next vehicle to explore. So I completed my apprenticeship with Dustin Ranck when he owned Icon Tattoo here in Portland, and stayed at Icon for awhile after I got my license. Then I worked at another tattoo shop, and in 2010 I opened up my own tattoo studio in SE Portland.
One of the things I like best about tattooing is its history -- from the Vikings, to the Polynesians, to the Incans, to the Egyptians, back to the ancient tribes of man, we humans have been embedding permanent symbols and designs on our bodies for ages. Tattoos are incredibly powerful. I appreciate the chance that tattooing gives me to be in service to something greater than myself. I also like the way tattooing connects me to other people. Using their body as canvas is an inspiring privilege; I am grateful for and honored by their trust and the relationships that generate from it. And I am always happy when we are finished with a session and they look in the mirror and say "I love it!"