I don’t take any commissions or custom requests for tattoos.
My books are never ‘open’ exactly, I work exclusively from my own concepts or designs that I find from vintage sources – these are referred to as ‘projects’. I offer my projects publicly both on the website and sometimes smaller 1 or 2 session ones on Instagram. The larger projects get offered here, and people already on the mailing list will get a heads up before they are posted. The smaller ones go really quickly, so you may want to turn on your IG post alerts if you are in the market for one of those. The larger, multi-session projects go up a couple of times a year, and smaller short-notice ones are offered when I have cancellations or holes in my schedule, or by email when I will be traveling for work. I don’t keep a wait list.
That’s it, that’s all there is- it’s pretty simple. I’m careful with who I choose for the larger projects, since it can be a big work/time/expense commitment. I pick a few favorite candidates for each tattoo, and I offer a lot of information and transparency to those people about the cost and my process, so that potential clients can be fully informed before they decide if they still want the tattoo. I ask for photos of the area to be tattooed so that I know how much redesigning will be required from the original concept- sometimes I’m happy to change things quite a bit, sometimes I prefer to do the design exactly as I proposed it. If the tattoo as proposed is almost what you’d like to have, but if you’d prefer it in black and grey, or larger, or same style but different subject matter, or put it on another part of your body, or your skin tone or body type are very different than the image I used, please write in anyway. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and I often have ideas for alternate designs/techniques I’m very excited about, so please don’t hesitate to write in. I likely will not be willing to make it much smaller, or take out the weird part, or copy something I’ve already done on someone else. Please respect my client’s pain and expense, and don’t copy it either.
I welcome: all bodies, all colors and kinds of skin, all identities (please let me know your pronouns), and all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Scars of any kind (self harm or mastectomy included), clients who are informed and comfortable with my process, collaboration with other artists. First timers, experienced clients, and other tattooers.
I’m less excited about: cover ups (unless they are small, or mentioned as an option in my project description), inefficient emailing, and being micromanaged. Please do not write to me on behalf of a partner. Tattooing is a very personal process, and it is important that client and artist get a feel for each other beforehand, without a go-between.
Coverup and collection consult
I often get inquiries from people with tattoo predicaments- questions about tattoos that didn’t go as planned, and what options they might have for correcting and improving a less than satisfying situation. I offer this service to help redirect collecting when someone feels unsure of how to keep getting tattooed without creating awkward spaces, or needs solutions for unloved tattoos. I can help you make a plan to create balance and harmony, good spacing, and appealing variety of visual texture and color. The consultation can also be used to discuss themes, colors, and techniques that will make your collection cohesive and impressive. You’re still on your own to choose an artist, but I can tell you what to look for, show you some styles and techniques, and maybe point you in the right direction.
Composing for a living body is very different from composing for a rectangular canvas or sheet of paper, and it’s nice to consider how clothing will reveal and hide different parts of a tattoo. The lines of the muscles and faint tracings of bones offer the most interesting topography an artist could hope for, and to not consider it when placing tattoos is a missed opportunity to truly tailor a design for the wearer.
This is advice from a professional tattoo artist with 25+ years experience, with a lot of first-hand practical information on cover-ups, laser removal, working with scar tissue, and new tattooing techniques. Sometimes it’s nice to get advice from someone who has tried everything and spends a lot of time thinking about how to make things prettier.
We can use our appointment time in however you find most useful, some possibilities include:
- info and guidance about tattoo removal vs cover ups for your particular situation and preference
- tips on how to be appealing when contacting an in-demand artist
- loose sketching on a photo of you to find and compare placements and flows that you like
- balancing the tattoo styles you are attracted to vs their probable lifespans, adjusting placement for longer life
- recommending artists that work in the style and subject matter you want, both in Chicago and in other cities
- how to compose a collection for your body, based on the size and quantity of tattoos you would like to have
- choosing color palettes to flatter your skin tone
This can be a helpful service for anyone who no longer likes a tattoo they have now, and doesn’t quite know what to do about it- or it can be very useful for a collector who wants to gain information to move more confidently and knowledgeably in their future choices.
To be clear this is not a consultation for a tattoo appointment with me, this is only advice about how to solve tattoo dilemmas and manage collections. This is also not a design drawing service, though quick sketches to show composition, size, or cover up or removal can be included- but please understand that it will eat up the minutes and may not allow for many other uses of the session.
This consult is optionally repeatable if you would like to check in to reassess progress and discuss new work as your collection develops.
45 minutes, $275
Wholistic full collection tattoo curation
Not taking new curation clients at this time.