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.
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, healing and joy. Art has always been a sanctuary for me, a place to find 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 about 15 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 cool. 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 and that maybe tattooing was the next vehicle to explore. I completed my apprenticeship with Dustin Ranck when he owned Icon Tattoo here in Portland, and stayed there for awhile after I got my license; then I worked at another tattoo shop, and now I am tattooing out of my own studio in SE Portland.
One of the things I like best about tattooing is its history -- from the Polynesians, to the Incans, to the Egyptians, to the ancient tribes of man, we humans have been embedding permanent symbols and designs on our bodies for ages. I also like the way tattooing connects me to people. Using their body as canvas is an inspiring privilege; I am grateful for and honored by their trust. And I am always happy when we are finished and they look in the mirror and say "I love it!"