Butterfat Studios is the name under which the Chicago-based tattoo artist Esther Garcia works, both as an individual artist, and as a cohort of other tattoo and fine artists worldwide.

In its previous form, Butterfat existed as a private tattoo studio in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. This original concept occasionally reincarnates when Esther and Butterfat studio-mate Stephanie Brown host pop up shops in different locales.  Currently, both artists are hosted at Chicago based Black Oak Tattoo for both new and ongoing projects.

The Butterfat mission remains the same: to create tattoos from our current inspirations with artistic integrity and fine art sensibility.  In an effort to preserve these goals, we have adopted a format of artist conceived and designed tattoos by public proposal via our website and social media pages.  As our schedules allow, we individually offer up tattoo designs that we have designed (or in some cases found, typically from antique sources) and select from potential clients who write in to be considered.  We are lucky enough to have the problem of more demand than supply for these projects, and have developed a system that that we believe to be as fair and unbiased as possible.  As a result, everyone gets the same chance.  Since we pride ourselves on being thoroughly objective during our selection process, we kindly request that potential clients refrain from asking for exceptions to our policy.

We believe all bodies are beautiful and worthy, and welcome the opportunity to work with anyone regardless of gender, religion, race, or creed.  We will often attach stipulations to our projects specifying a particular placement, range of skin tones, or in very rare circumstances body type.  Please note that these aesthetic provisions are dictated purely by the limitations of the work itself and not determined by the artists.  Just as a painter carefully chooses their canvas, paints, and subject in order to achieve a certain effect, we use this process to achieve a tattoo that is a perfect complement to each client.

As well, we take great care in photographing our work for our portfolios. Our tattoo portfolios are essential to our continued livelihood and to that of Butterfat itself.  Since our clients are also our canvases, photographs are critical to our existence and the only artifact of the tattoo we get to keep.  We politely ask that every client that receives a tattoo would return for photographs with the artist once the tattoo has healed.

Things we are often asked about:

Appointments:  are exclusively for our own projects- we offer new ones as our room in our calendars becomes available, usually 3 to 5 times a year.  Smaller, short notice appointments are sometimes offered on our individual social media. sign up for each of our email lists to stay posted about events, travel dates and locations, and to get a heads up before we post new projects.

Waitlist:  There isn't one.  We are impatient to get to work when we have new ideas, and don't like the idea of projects getting stale on the back burner for months before we can get to them.

Referrals:  Sorry, I don't offer them. I do not know of any one else who tattoos like I do (I did this very much on purpose), and if I did, it is just a little insulting to suggest that I should connect you with them.