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CHOOSING A TATTOO ARTIST

Our artists have a variety of styles, talents and artistic backgrounds. Please check out our portfolios and select an artist whose work complements the tattoo you are looking to get. Or, feel free to call us at 503-236-7878 and discuss your idea a bit more and we can help steer you toward the right artist for the project. And don’t forget to also check out our sister shop Blue Ox Tattoo in Portland’s historic Kenton neighborhood.

Custom tattoos often require that we spend time preparing a drawing prior to your tattoo appointment. Because of this, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with the artist you will be working with to get started.

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Artists
Mikal Gilmore

Mikal Gilmore

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Since my first tattoo when I was 18 at Sunset Strip Tattoo in Hollywood, I felt at home in tattoo shops and knew I was going to have a lot of tattoo art on my body.

In 2001 I walked away from the business sector to pursue my passion for creativity as my day job. I spent the next 3 years working among tattoo studios in San Francisco where I apprenticed and learned all about the art form. I then worked at the esteemed Black & Blue Tattoo from 2004 – 2007 before relocating to Portland where I feel very lucky to tattoo among some of the best tattooers on the West Coast.

I am a versatile artist and enjoy tattooing in a variety of styles both in black and gray as well as intense color pieces.

You can find me tattooing away here and at our sister shop, Blue Ox Tattoo in Portland’s historic Kenton district. Please give a call for inquiries and availability. Thanks for looking!

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Carrie Smith

Carrie Smith

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Carrie Smith has been tattooing in the greater Portland area for the last four years. She graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelors of Arts Degree, with a focus on drawing and printmaking. After her completion, her desire to learn tattooing became a goal and a passion.

She enjoys getting to know clients, hearing their interests and perspectives on designs, as well as drawing the custom pieces that are soon to be tattoos.

In her spare time, you can find Carrie painting, knitting, collecting antiques, getting tattooed, meeting new friends, and spending time with family.

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Mark Ledford

Mark Ledford

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Originating from the Shenendoah Valley of Virginia, Mark Ledford has tattooed since 2004 in Oregon, West Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. He is proud that he learned to tattoo at the legendary Sea Tramp Tattoo Company under the tutelage of Jeff Johnson and Rio DeGennaro.

When he is not busy tattooing or drawing, he loves to be with his wife and daughter. His favorite things to do are cook for his family, as well as camping and fishing.

He is most excellent at American Traditional, Neo-Traditional and Celtic tattooing, although his favorite tattoos to do are those that make his customers happy and will last a lifetime.

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Xavier for Web

Xavier Darling

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Xavier Darling is an artist in many fashions, both temporary and permanent. He was born in the spicy land of the yellow rose and later followed the petals to this beautiful play land called the Rose City. He believes in living your art and shining in all ways possible. With 8 years of experience from shops around the city he has honed his skills in many areas of tattooing. His work is defined by crisp clean lines, bright colors, and smooth black and grey. He enjoys a range of design styles like traditional, floral, landscape, art nouveau and tribal. Through thick lines and through thin, Xavier is ready to provide a life long art piece you will be happy to carry.

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jared web

Jared Hunter

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Hello, and thank you for reading my bio. My name is Jared and I’ve been tattooing for 8 years. I specialize in bold, designerly tattoos and making up words, like designerly. Most of my work is based on the model of american traditional tattooing. Solid lines and lots of black make for a bold tattoo that will hold. I do pride myself however, on not being a one trick pony. I am well adept in the realm of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Scientific Illustration, Cross Hatching, Stippling, Black & grey and nicely rendered script tattoos. I also have a very large Gnome collection and collect 18th century french antiques. I was just kidding about one of those. Can you guess which?

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Erica NRT 2015

Erica Kraner

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Erica is a native of the Pacific Northwest. She was born and raised in the forest surrounding Mt. St. Helens where she developed a deep love and appreciation for the plants and animals around her.  Erica was originally trained by the late, great Rio DiGenero and after his passing, continued to learn the craft of tattooing  from Traci Manley and Mikal Gilmore at New Rose Tattoo. She loves to create images with a classic feel, ranging in style from American traditional to fine line wood cuts and classic botanical prints. When she isn’t tattooing you’ll most likely find her camping on a remote lake somewhere with her dog, Chapter.
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Leslie Hero

Leslie Hero

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I am now working solely at our sister shop Blue Ox Tattoo. Please see my bio there for up to date booking information!

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Traci Manley

Traci Manley

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8Thank you for looking at my work!

I have moved to the woods in Northern Washington and am working at Mom’s Custom Tattoo in Spokane. I will be doing guest spots in Portland, on a limited basis, at our sister shop, Blue Ox Tattoo. Or come visit me up north!

Please follow me on instagram for scheduling updates and travel plans.

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Consultations

Many tattoos do not need a consultation before the appointment. For larger custom pieces however, a consultation with your artist is a good way to start. Consultations are scheduled, in-person meetings where you discuss your tattoo idea, review reference materials, placement on the body, estimates, etc. It’s also a good way to meet the tattooist and make sure that they will be the right fit for you to work with. Consultations generally take between 15-30 minutes and we do not charge for this service.

For your consultation, please bring PRINT OUTS (no pictures on your cell phone if possible, please) of any visual references or images you are attracted to that will help explain your vision for the piece you want to get. A little homework up front on your part really helps us draw the tattoo of your dreams!

Your artist will collect a non-refundable deposit from you to reserve your tattoo appointment and drawing time. The deposit gets applied to the cost of the tattoo at the final sitting. The deposit will be forfeited if you decide not to get tattooed, do not show up for your appointment, have excessive last minute reschedules, or if you change your idea mid-process, requiring new artwork and additional drawing time.

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On the day of your tattoo

Arrive rested and hydrated. Eat a meal or hearty snack before your tattoo and avoid aspirin and excesses of alcohol and caffeine. For larger tattoos and/or all day sittings, it’s a good idea to bring some food to fuel yourself throughout the day. There are also plenty of eateries in the area if you prefer.

We do not mind if you bring a friend or visitor, however we do have limited space and cannot guarantee that they will be able to sit with you during the duration of your tattoo. Please check in with your artist about bringing guests if you have further questions.

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The life of your tattoo depends on the care it receives during the healing process!

Aftercare

Keep the bandage on overnight. Remove the bandage in the shower. Clean the tattoo gently with clean hands/fingertips and warm water; do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive. Use Cetaphil cleanser or another mild soap such as Dr. Bronners. Make sure the tattoo is clean until it is no longer slimy. Pat/blot dry with a clean paper towel and always let your tattoo air out about 15 minutes before applying any lotion. For the first day, let your tattoo air out until the evening.

DO NOT re-bandage your tattoo! Let it breathe with loose clean cotton clothing or exposed to the air (just not direct sun). Wash your hands and apply a small amount/light coat of a clean, fragrance-free lotion such as Bubble Farm Soap Co. soothing salve sold at the shop or Cetaphil or Curel Original Unscented 2-3 times a day maximum with clean hands for 2 weeks (minimum) or until your tattoo is healed.

Always handle your tattoo with clean hands and don’t let people touch your new tattoo!

Starting about day four, your tattoo will start to peel/exfoliate and the temptation to pick and scratch will be great. Don’t do it! DO NOT PEEL, PICK OR SCRATCH. Itching can be relieved by applying a bit more lotion, or by gently slapping the tattoo. Use common sense. If it hurts, don’t do it.

During the healing process

  • DO wear loose, clean cotton/soft clothing and/or expose to air (but not sun!).
  • DO NOT use aloe, Neosporin, etc.; they make the skin heal too fast.
  • DO NOT swim, sauna, or soak (shower OK)
  • DO NOT expose to direct sunlight.

Once healed, preserve your piece of art and always protect your tattoo with sunscreen of at least 30 SPF.

The Tattoo is Your Responsibility. Use Common Sense!
Feel free to call the shop or stop by if you have any questions

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