How I Became a Tattoo Artist.
If ever you felt like you were made for something, I feel like I was made for Tattooing. From the start to the end, the process and development of a project for a client, is just the start of a tattoo relationship. Tattoos are made with intention and that intention will give power to you. through traveling the world and learning my craft since 2007. I am able to create your Identity through art, and as the collector, I give you your very own, permanent personal armor. Is a very powerful thing to have your own Identity. Something Society can not take from you or change for you. A tattoo is much deeper than the top 3-4 layers of skin. And I take on each project with intention.
I am compelled to create. From my earliest memories, I would spend hours drawing, coloring and painting. Mostly in the car with a pencil and printer paper on a wooden clipboard. As a child, it was a way to quietly pass the time, it was entertainment and expression. As I grew and matured it became a coping mechanism to deal with environments that proved challenging and confusing. Creating images, objects, furniture, sculptures, and carvings are at the fundamental core of my personality.
Growing up in Northern California was great. However, life in a small Gold Mining town by a ski resort, where the majority of outside income came from illegal Marijuana sales, lent small minds for tattooing. The only jobs to speak of were manual labor during the hot season. Unfortunately me in a small community was lacking the intelligence and worldly views that I needed to succeed at Tattooing. I saw my mom get a tattoo when I was 6, and I have been obsessed with them ever since. I collected tattoo magazines, and started tattooing myself in high school. I collected books from some small book sellers in my home town. Including one on Ernesto Kalum, wo I eventually met and became friends with in Borneo when he tattooed me. I have also dog sat for him while he was at the Paris tattoo convention in 2016.
My older sister moved to Portland for college, and a few years after, I visited and enjoyed the freedom of the tattoo culture this board city offered. A lot more access to knowledge, community and entertainment, was fantastic and eye opening. I began a Traditional Tattoo Apprenticeship in Grass Valley, CA in Spring 2007, at Big Diamond Tattoo & Piercing. After much Small town drama and mismanagement, the shop closed and I moved to Portland in the Fall off 2009.
After getting licensed to Tattoo in Oregon, I had a brief stint at "Jaded Soul Tattoo". Then found my way to the wonderful, "The Little Tattoo Shoppe" in NE Portland. I worked along side black and grey portrait artist, Matthew Mattison. During my 6 year stay at "LTS", I afforded the ability to travel. China, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico. I picked up Scuba Diving, and researched nature in the world. From jungle to jungle, I went to some of the oldest places to find the tattoo cultures that started my craft and education.
I even was blessed to have a hand tattoo made in Kalinga by the one and only Fang-Od, then 98 years old, now she is over 103 years old and still tattooing. Amazing experience.
In 2018, I moved over to "Tigerlily Tattoo". After shop swapping with an artist from one of Portland's staple monarch shops. I stayed with "Tigerlily" until 2020. I had been thinking about a Private Studio for some time. And had found the perfect space for my space, "Silver Rabbit Tattoo" in Feb 2020. March I received the news the space was mine. And the Pandemic shut it down until June 20th, 2020.
It's been an amazing and fun time tattooing safely through a Pandemic in 2020 and this year. Its been wildly successful, and I hop to expand in the Fall.
The community that I was raised in was an open minded, loving, god fearing community. I went to a private arts elementary and middle school. My travels, Independent Studies & Adventures have lead me to a point in my career where a safe and secure Private Tattoo Studio was the best option to offer safe reliable services to my existing and new clients.
Today, tattooing is my gift. It is the product of the accumulation of skills required to perfect a craft. Designing and making tattoos brings me great joy and I appreciate everyone one of you who have shown interest and pursued getting work from me. It's truly an Honor to make people's Identities, theirs alone.
I am blessed to tattoo Generations of Families. Grandparents, Parents, Kids & their Partners. The majority of my business is word of mouth over the last 14 years. Now in 2021, I am reaching out to meet new faces. I appreciate all POC, Religions, Sexual Preferences, and Free Thinkers as equals. Male/Female/They/Them, all are welcomed.
You be you, and I'll be me.
Let me just make some awesome tattoos for you.
-Toby E. Good