I started getting tattoos when I turned 19. I’ve always been fascinated by them even as a little kid. My favorite Uncle has them and I always liked looking at his when he would visit us when I was a kid. When I started traveling with friends it hit me, why collect useless souvenirs from our trips when I can collect tattoos? And an addiction began.
Once my friends and I have decided on a destination and our flights and a hotel are booked, part of my research becomes finding a tattoo shop. Luckily for me, my friend Bri likes to collect tattoos as well so we compare shops that we find until we find the best one. I like to find a tattoo shop with female artists, there are so many talented female tattoo artists out there! I don’t get tattoos based on the trip I’m on, I get things that have meaning for me, things that I’ve wanted for a while or something I just came up with but found an amazing artist for the job.
For this tattoo I went to Club Tattoo on Pier 39. I was really excited about this because I had been following Magen on Instagram for a while and knew exactly what I wanted her to do for me. I had emailed her a few months before the trip and set up an appointment because I wanted to make sure she was available. I knew I wanted to get a cup of coffee and a cupcake on my ribs (I’m a HUGE coffee snob & I love to bake). The shop was awesome. It had a large retail section and was very high-tech. Magen’s station overlooked the Pier where the sea lions like to bask in the sun, so I had a great view for my 3 1/2 hour tattoo session. I was so stoked with the final results. Unfortunately, while I was doing extra research for this post, I found out that this Club Tattoo is closed! I’ve stayed in touch with Magen over the years and now support her skincare line, Me to a Tea. She has created an AMAZING aftercare product that I SWEAR by! It’s all natural and organic made with: green tea, coconut oil, shea butter, honey, and beeswax. It creates a natural, breathable, anti-bacterial barrier. While reducing inflammation and itching and I can say from experience that it works! I did not experience an itchy phase of my healing and after ONE DAY my inflammation was gone!
Brought me to Damask Tattoo in the Upper Queen Anne district. I was super stoked when I stumbled across this shop on instagram, why you ask? Because it’s owned and operated by women! Yep! I found an all female tattoo shop. (Happy dance) Each tattoo station is in its own closed off area, which makes it more comfortable and relaxing. The shop is super cute with antique furniture and lighting. Damask is an appointment only shop. I made my appointment via email with Laura a couple months out from our trip, I didn’t see Laura’s drawing until the day of, which made it more exciting for me. It was perfect! For this tattoo, Laura did a watercolor turtle with “Continua a nuotare” underneath it. I can’t remember how long it took to get done, but Laura was very light handed and to be honest it was quite relaxing, despite having numerous needles being jammed into my skin. I couldn’t have been happier with the final result. I would definitely recommend Damask to anyone looking to get a tattoo while in Seattle.
Address: 1509 Queen Anne Ave N., Seattle
I wasn’t planning on getting a tattoo on this trip mainly because I could only find one tattoo shop in Downtown Chicago and I was unsure of it based on their mixed Yelp! Reviews. Once we actually got to Chicago, we decided to walk down to Code of Conduct just to see, when we walked in nobody really greeted us, when I finally got someones attention they asked what I was looking to get, so I told him a compass with fernweh across it and I wanted the compass in grey and fernweh in black. It didn’t look like any of the artists wanted to do it so finally one of them said they would take it. We waited about 25 minutes for him to get it drawn up and station set up, which wasn’t horrible. I don’t even think the tattoo artist told me his name because I don’t remember it. He hardly talked while I was getting my tattoo. The tattoo took maybe 30 minutes to complete, I was and still am satisfied with the final result. The shop was super clean and nicely decorated. My most recent trip to Chicago I didn’t even think about getting a tattoo because I knew this was the only shop in Downtown and really didn’t want to go back. When I decided to write this post, I went back to do some additional research on all the shops I would be writing about, I’m hoping Code of Conduct is either under new management or they finally saw the mixed reviews about their service because now it seems they are getting 5 stars. That being said, I still don’t know if I would give them a second chance.
Address: 14 E 11th St., South Loop, Chicago
Our second trip to Seattle I wanted to try a different tattoo shop, something a little closer to the Downtown area. I tried, I really did! Michelle was nice enough to walk to 5 different tattoo shops with me, only for us to find they were all CLOSED, after a little digging we found out that they were all at the tattoo convention! I was stoked to find out there was a convention in town and Michelle was nice enough to say she would go with me. We walked the entire convention for me to find the right tattoo artist, I saw Damask was there and immediately went to see if Laura was tattooing and if she had any openings, unfortunately she didn’t but that’s okay because it led me to Alex. Alex is the owner of Ivy Ink Tattoo in Pacific, WA. Alex luckily had an opening so I waited for her to finish up and we got to work. Luckily for me, not so lucky for Alex, the internet at the convention wasn’t the best and she drew my tattoo out for me, instead of tracing or just making a stencil off of an existing image. It was more than I imagined it would be. The tattoo took about 45 minutes and by the end I was cramping, as I had to sit in an awkward position for the entire tattoo. Alex is so sweet and cool to talk to. If you’re in Pacific, WA I highly recommend seeing if Alex has an opening or find her at a convention!
Address: 136 Stewart Rd SE, Ste 1I, Pacific, WA
As I travel and collect more tattoos along the way, I’ll do individual posts for the shops I visit. Do you have any tattoos? What shops do I need to visit? Do you collect things when you travel? Let me know in the comments below!