This is the result of some 6 plus hours of work that Will did on fellow tattooer Buck Wayne. This was performed during the now-legendary heat of the Pit Row Tattoo Expo. We enjoyed our time in the infield of the Atlanta Motor Speedway and are proud of our accomplishments there, including this visceral, detailed piece. Are you a fan of the Walking Dead? Zombieland? Bill Murray? Come on in to Cardinal Tattoo and let us realize that fandom in permanent art! Simply visit the shop at 110 North Water Avenue or call 615 527-7102. Long distance inquiries can reach us by sending an email to email@example.com We look forward to seeing you soon!
For those of you who don’t know, our beloved Tasha got tattooed a couple of months ago while we were at the Lenoir, North Carolina Tattoo Expo. It’s a small show of hand-picked artists, by-invitation-only. We were lucky enough to get the invite, so we made the trip and boy, was it a doozy! It read like a who’s who of tattooing: legends like Tony Olivas of Sacred Heart and Joe Capobianco of Hope Gallery; powerhouse artists such as Dave Tevenal (who tattooed Karen a few years ago, he’s arguably her tattoo idol) and Jime Litwalk (maybe the nicest guy ever); we also met David Jorquera, John Ronkza, and Lefty Colbert; if you don’t know these guys do yourself a favor and Google them! We brought home an award for best portrait (the trophy as made from an old whiskey barrel, how cool!) and we hung out with some great friends like Kris King and George Patrick of From the Cradle and To the Grave Tattoo respectively.
George took the time to tattoo Will, and Will took the time to tattoo Tasha! The screaming sculpture you see above is the cell phone photo we took of the tattoo the day it was done, we post healed pics whenever we can nail Tasha down long enough to get her to pose for a photo!
All in all is was a great time (and beautiful drive, wow those mountains!) and we look forward to going back next year! Anyone interested in tagging along with us to get tattooed just let us know, we’ll cover the travel and lodging if you buy the tattoo! Stay tuned to Cardinal Tattoo for upcoming show dates as we build next year’s convention schedule!
It’s common knowledge that Cardinal Tattoo likes to participate in the greater tattoo industry by attending tattoo conventions across the nation (and world!). This year we have only done a few shows due to the increase in our local schedules, but we remain committed to exhibiting our wares so that our clients can take pride in the fact that they are getting work from one of the premier tattoo establishments in the region. Say what you will about competition, some folks think it doesn’t matter, others will tell you its rigged or make some other excuse for not competing; Cardinal Tattoo will compete and we have a habit of winning. As evidenced by the couple of trophies pictured here, one for a Portrait of Harry Potter on Will’s daughter Christa (he still feels weird that she’s old enough to get tattooed), and for Best Sleeve on our good buddy Ryan. We didn’t take a lot of people or enter many contests, so it’s good to be able to win something in a group of some of the best artists we’ve had the privilege of competing against.
The real reward isn’t in the trophies though. It’s in the artwork and the people we put it on. The real reward is the relationships we develop with our clients and the lasting mark we leave on their lives. We couldn’t be more proud of our loyal clientele, their dedication to the art form, the time and discomfort they sacrifice to be able to carry the best tattoo art they can find into the world. We are honored and humbled by each of you. We thank you and love you. We at Cardinal Tattoo will continue to strive to improve our abilities and our services so that we never let you down, Sincerely, ~The Cardinal Tattoo family.
Who doesn’t love Bob Ross? He’s the frickin’ Mr. Rogers of the art community! Whether you watched him growing up as a kid to learn something, to chill, or just because you were too high to find the remote, it didn’t matter to Bob, he was just glad to be there for you. Perhaps will said it best: ‘We used to skip school to go smoke weed and would watch him and Beavis and Butthead for half the day.’ We’re not saying Will gleaned all his talent from watching Bob Ross while stoned when he should have been learning Algebra, but it did kind of work out for him, sooo…
This tattoo was done on our young apprentice Matt, who use to watch Bob Ross with his dad when he was just a little guy. The fondness we share with the storytellers and shows of our youth is a lifelong bond. We’ll miss you Bob, but we’ll never forget you! Dig those happy little trees!
How do we handle controversial tattoo requests?
Sometimes, a person requests what some might consider to be an outlandish tattoo idea. As artists, it’s our job to help navigate the how’s and the why’s of these requests. For example, here at Cardinal Tattoo, we have a “no hate” policy with regard to the tattoo work that we provide. No swastikas, or hate speech, no gang tattoos, we won’t even do your girl’s or boyfriend’s name, it’s just not a good idea.
Another symbol that we won’t tattoo is the Confederate Battle flag. It means a lot of things to a lot of different people and while we recognize that not everyone who flies the flag is racist, we also understand that the meaning of symbols change and out of a sense of responsibility to our younger customers who may not fully understand the impact of their decisions, and to those professed white supremacists, we make a clear stand...Cardinal Tattoo will not tattoo Confederate Battle Flags.
But what if the tattoo request isn’t a “hate” tattoo? What if it’s a tattoo with taboo connotations? In plain speak...what if it’s naughty? And possibly needs to be censored for view? How do we respond to that request? Simply by listening to our customers. It is not unusual for us to have a solid rapport with our clients - we quite prefer it - and in the case where a request for an explicit tattoo is made, we have to rely on that relationship as well as have the conversations surrounding the desire for the tattoo. We understand that tattoo regret is a REAL THING and we do not want to be factoring contributors so WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO if we determine that the request is frivolous and without thought or meaning.
Which leads us here...what did Will tattoo at the Pit Row Expo in Atlanta? A very large thigh piece of a woman performing fellatio and y’all, there was nothing left to the imagination. This was not the first piece for this particular client that is sexual in content. He has a sleeve on his arm that pays homage to the BDSM lifestyle that has grown meaningful to both he and his wife. Which is exactly why Will did not have a hard time making the decisions to do this particular tattoo - he knows his customer and realizes the significance.
Would people disagree? Possibly. But tattoos aren’t for other people. They are for the ones who wear them. Would tattoo colleagues disagree? Once again, possibly. But for us at Cardinal Tattoo, a new idea is exciting because we like to be challenged and honestly, new ideas can be refreshing. And the tattoo certainly got a reaction. People actually stood in line to take pictures of it. It was posted on several social media accounts as well as talked about throughout the entirety of the convention. Because while it may have been a shocking tattoo to some, artistically, which is what the artists were judging, it was flawless. A large black/grey piece that literally STOPPED. THE. SHOW. not only for the content but because of the Artist’s ability to bring a picture to life. This one will go down in the books as controversial for sure...but worth it. Well worth it. A happy Customer + A happy Artist = A Win in our Books.
We are seeking a new addition to our tattoo family!!
Artists, have you ever wanted to go on vacation without taking your equipment with you? No more zero days? What would it be like to thrive in a professional, family-oriented culture that encourages each artist to be the best they can be - and is willing to do what it takes to see that happen?
Well, look no further. Cardinal Tattoo is just the place for you! We are a busy, community-focused shop with a passion for the industry. We provide a service for some of the greatest customers on earth and hope that you will share in that belief. We put our Artists and Clients first in all of our decisions. We believe in the Golden Rule and have earned all of our customers the old fashioned way- by adhering to that standard and simply doing good business. We currently handle both custom appointments as well as walk-in traffic and are seeking a qualified Artist to join our dedicated team. The requirements for consideration are as follows:
A Tattoo Artist with a minimum of 3 years licensed experience
An Artist with a willingness to travel. We do multiple shows a year in which all expenses will be paid and 100% of your earnings go in your pocket.
A drama free professional that is friendly, has a strong work ethic and motivated.
Excellent customer service skills
Desire to do your best in all things
Serious inquiries only. Please submit your portfolio or links to your social media with a resume and/or information about yourself and shops you have worked with to firstname.lastname@example.org. ATTN: CASI needs to be placed in the subject line.
We look forward to hearing from you!
All single-hole, above-the-waist piercings are $30. Dermal anchors are $40 and genital piercings are $80. All prices include the initial piercing jewelry. Piercing is performed from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM seven days a week. Additionally, we offer a window for piercing at 1:00 pm daily, these early piercings are by-appointment-only and if they are not booked in advance starting promptly at 1:00 pm the window will be closed for the day.
Piercing Club Membership cardholders are entitled to a 50% discount on all piercings except dermal anchors for the duration of their membership (usually 90 days). Any client who spends more than $100 on a tattoo at Cardinal Tattoo will be given a Piercing Club Membership card. Lifetime Piercing Memberships will be offered to the people we really like or anyone who asks nicely enough. Piercing club discounts will also be extended to the minor children of the cardholder.
We strongly (STRONGLY) recommend making an appointment to get a piercing. It’s quick and easy, just call the shop and set it up, and it will makes sure you receive timely service! We will accept walk-ins between 5:00 and 8:00 pm, but people with appointments will be given priority.
Minors must bring a parent or legal guardian and both the child and parent or guardian must bring a state-issued, photo ID, as well as a birth certificate (as documentation proving the relationship of the parent/guardian) in order to get pierced. The last name (and address if using an ID) of the child must match the last name (and address if using an ID) of the parent, or a divorce decree/marriage certificate must be included (in order to explain the name discrepancy). If the minor does not have a state issued ID we will also need some form of photo identification corresponding to the child's name i.e. a yearbook photo with their name or and ident-a-kid card, in addition to the other materials listed above.
We will pierce children’s ears of any age as long as they can sit still and not cry (too much). We recommend very small children (under 7 or so), go to the Gallatin Children’s Clinic for ear piercings, they are better equipped for children so young. We will not pierce babies and if you ask us to pierce your minor daughter’s nipples you might just get punched in the face (it’s happened people, no joke).
Atlanta, here we come!! We will be attending the First Annual PIt Row Expo presented by The Marked Society.
We are super excited to be attending this event! This Exposition will be held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and will offer more than just awesome tattoos. There will be a car and bike show, a corn hole tournament with a guaranteed pot of $1500.00 going to the winner, live music from artists such Carnival of Crue, Nightrain International and The Casket Creatures, and last but not least, Horror celebrities including Captain and Maybelle, Bill Moseley, Michael Berryman and Michael Berryman just to name a few.
Will and Tasha will be among almost 100 artists tattooing at this convention and we are eager to follow their journey throughout the weekend. There is never a dull moment when those two are involved so aside from producing some killer tattoos, we know fun will be had!!
We are also eager to see if they enter any contests (which they usually do) and see what they win (because once again, they usually bring home an award - or two- and sometimes, even armloads full). Contest Categories for the Pit Row Expo include:
- Best of Show - Best of Day - Best Traditional -
-Best Small/Medium Black & Grey -
- Best Large Black & Grey - Best Small & Medium Color - Best Large Color -
- Best Automotive /Hot Rod Theme - Best Sleeve Arm or Leg - Best Chest/Back -
This will be a crazy week as we are gearing up for the trip. If you are in the Atlanta area, give us a shout! We would love to see you there!!
More information regarding the Pit Row Expo can be found at PitRowExpo.com
Cardinal Tattoo will not have a piercer on staff Saturday, September 28th. We will resume our regular schedule for piercing on Sunday, September 29th from 5:00-8:00 pm.
Chest tattoos are rapidly becoming one of the most popular tattoo ideas. A well designed tattoo on the chest can be very attractive to both men and women and can be a teaser when wearing a button down or v-neck shirt. They signify confidence and inner strength and can be easily seen or covered.
For men, the chest is an ideal canvas for larger tattoos - it’s easy to picture pirate ships, birds of prey, religious symbols or other intricate designs adorning that area of the body. It is also not unusual to find powerful symbols of strength, pride, loyalty, courage, and masculinity tattooed in this location.
For women, it is not uncommon for a chest piece to be more moderate in size and, because it is an area close to the heart, have emotional meaning attached. Chest tattoos can be used to accentuate a woman’s cleavage and can be ornate or simple in design. Sternum tattoos are gaining popularity as are underboob tattoos (tattoos inked on the ribcage directly under the breast),which are a stunning way to feature a woman’s natural curves and accentuate her femininity.
Chest tattoos can be daring, original, and have significant meaning - allowing men and women to really ink any type of artwork they want. Here at Cardinal Tattoo, we will work with you to create the perfect design that represents your personality as well as the meaning behind the tattoo. OR, maybe you just want a kickass piece on your chest. That’s cool, too. Not every tattoo has to have meaning and our artists can help you come up with a design that you will wear with pride. We know how to tattoo a showstopper- and we have the awards to prove it. Give us a call today to set up your next appointment!!
Here lately, Taco Tuesday is everywhere and that got us thinking here at Cardinal Tattoo...why limit Tuesdays to just Tacos? Why do tacos get to have all the fun?
That train of thought led us to take a poll (amongst ourselves) and we originally decided that we will no longer allow Tacos to hold Tuesdays hostage!! We were taking Tuesdays back and declaring Tuesdays to be Tattoo Tuesdays...but then it dawned on us that might be a bit overzealous and we don’t want to piss off LeBron so we decided to compromise (because we’re givers like that) and SHARE Tuesdays. How’s that? Better? GOOD! NOW LET THE FUN BEGIN!!
We know you must be wondering “What do Tattoo Tuesdays look like?”
SO glad you asked! It looks like badass tattoos at a discounted rate! That’s what it looks like!
It goes like this:
For a limited time only, any customer that schedules a tattoo to take place ON A TUESDAY will get 20% off that tattoo. You can call the shop within normal business hours to book your appointment or swing by to talk to one of our artists for pricing but 20% off is a STEAL and if you don’t take advantage of it, it won’t hang around for long. Be sure to keep this deal going by sharing it with all of your friends and family and don’t forget to mention Tattoo Tuesday when you schedule your appointment! Can’t wait to see you in the shop and feel free to bring a taco!
#TattooTuesday #TuesdaysArentJustForTacos #ItWasAHostageSitutation #TuesdaysAreMeantToBeShared
***This does not apply to all Artists in the shop.***
Cardinal Tattoo will not have a piercer on staff this Saturday, September 28th. We will resume with our regular piercing schedule Sunday, September 29th from 5:00 - 8:00 pm.
After our recently posted survey about piercing hours and costs, we have learned a few things.
Our clients are some of the most reasonable and loyal in the industry
Some people, who are not even our clients, feel like they should be able to dictate how we do business
When we began offering piercing at Cardinal Tattoo it was as a simple courtesy to our customers. We wished to provide safe and affordable piercing to our tattoo clients and their families. We kept prices ridiculously low, in fact, the shop has never made money on piercings, we merely paid the piercing fee to the piercer and the rest went to cover costs. All of our piercers are either tattoo apprentices or want to become apprentices and this was a way to make them some money and take some of the workload off our more experienced artists. It has the added benefit of introducing our newer staff and allows them to improve their customer service skills. However, due to the increase in our popularity, it has become more difficult to sustain the capability to offer timely walk-in piercings all day long. We experimented with offering piercings for three hours a day and all day on Saturday for a couple of months now and we have asked you, the customer, to weigh in. The results of that experiment are as follows:
Effective October 1st, Cardinal Tattoo will be doubling the cost of all piercings except for dermal anchors which will remain at $40 apiece. -The reason for this is it has become obvious to us that some people are willing to complain about anything and we’d rather not listen to it unless we’re getting paid to. It’s no fun going to work just to listen to a bunch of people who want something for nothing bellyache about how long it’s taking, or the wait times, or the fact that we ask you to make appointments, or that you need ID, or you have to prove you’re a minor child’s parent or legal guardian. Just wait, it gets better.
We have also become aware that some people who patron Cardinal Tattoo for piercing are not our loyal customers. These people have been sent by our competitors and have exhibited bad behavior or poor treatment of our staff. This will not be tolerated. Our services are for people who value what we have to offer and for those who offer us loyalty in return for our faithful service. For us, tattooing isn’t just about dollars and cents, we put a bit of our heart and soul into every tattoo we do and if you don’t understand that, we don’t want to be friends.
Thus, anyone who has been tattooed at Cardinal Tattoo in the last three months can come by during the month of October and pick up your %50 piercing membership card! This personalized membership card entitles the customer to an unlimited number of piercings (except dermal anchors, which are not going up in price) at half price for 90 days. This offer will also be extended to the minor children of our tattoo customers. Anyone who spends more than $100 on a tattoo will receive one of the cards, which will be good for 90 days, from now on. We’re not trying to raise the price on our existing clients…
Simply put: We’re trying to weed out the refuse. Cheap piercing at Cardinal Tattoo is for our loyal tattoo family only. If you want to get tattooed somewhere else and get pierced here, or if you just want the convenience of getting pierced close to home, you’re just going to have to pay for it.
Some of you aren’t going to understand this.
Offering a discount to our tattoo clientele only makes sense, it’s the very purpose behind our offering piercing in the first place. With the piercing membership card, we can continue to reward loyal customers. By raising our price for others, it will allow us to continue to offer affordable, convenient piercing to the greater Gallatin area. Otherwise, it’s simply not worth it to continue to offer piercing. We hope you understand, but if you don’t, you’re part of the problem and we don’t care.
To our loving family of dedicated tattoo and piercing clients: We love you and thank you for your support while we make the changes we need to be able to better serve you. We have some very big things in the works for Cardinal Tattoo and we can’t wait to include you in all the fun!
To the people who have a problem with it, go fuck yourselves.
As many of you know, Tasha went to Salem, Massachusetts, to Helheim Gallery (@Helheimgallery) which is Co-Owned by Ink Master and Ink Master Angels alum Kelly Doty (@kellydotylovessoup). This prestigious shop has made a name for itself around the globe but the most endearing quality is that the Owners/Artists love their community and strive to keep the locals as the core focus.
To say she had a great time would be an understatement. Some of her favorite moments include eating at Bit Bar - a video game bar with Tetris Tater Tots, sightseeing and the murals around town, visiting Matt Driscoll (@raptorlazer) and Jess Brown (@jessbrowntattoos) at 9th Realm Gallery, and last but certainly not least, having the super cool experience of tattooing the Jersey Devil from Kelly’s booth.
Tasha is very fond of the city of Salem and savored her time with Kelly and the shop manager/Co-Owner Kristin Welch (@frissies). It isn’t every day that you get to go spend a weekend with such distinguished artists and we wanted to share some of her pictures as well as send a special “Thank you” to Helheim Gallery for being such gracious hosts.
“Welcome my friends, welcome to my chocolate factory” - well, more like welcome to Cardinal Tattoo! This stunning black and grey Willy Wonka portrait was done by Will. So if you are looking to get anything like this, grab your gobstoppers and swing by!!
Mitch came into Cardinal Tattoo about a month ago wanting to get a patriotic tattoo inspired by his military background. Mitch is a veteran who now works with other veterans. Here is a photo from one of his sessions.
One and DONE! Last weekend at the Fifth Annual Carolina Tattoo and Art Gallery we entered a single contest with Tasha’s Ice Cube portrait and brought home an award for most realistic black and grey!!! No too shabby at all!!
We also have to say that the awards at the show were SUPER COOL! There is a local distillery in Lenoir and the trophies were made from old whiskey barrels that still smell like the alcohol that aged in them. That’s a great touch by the hosts of the convention, Dragon’s Den Tattoo Company.
Another highlight from the show was Tasha had the unbelievable opportunity to be coached by the one and only Jime Litwalk (you may have seen him on Ink Masters Season 3 where he placed second in the finale). To have had the opportunity to learn from such a prolific figure in the industry is quite a moment. We can’t say enough about his talent, how he has honed his craft and how gracious he was.
Tasha also got tattooed at the show, by Will. Her new piece is a black and grey portrait of Livio Scarpella’s Veiled Souls from his series “Ghost Underground” which depicts ghostly souls both peaceful and in anguish. The photos above are of the tattoo and the reference photo that was used.
Once again, we would like to say thank you to Lenoir, North Carolina and the Carolina Tattoo and Art Gathering for being such gracious hosts. The scenery was beautiful, the food was amazing and we walked away from the convention with new friends that are genuine, kind and amazingly talented. Overall, it was a great weekend.
It was a whirlwind weekend in North Carolina but both Will and Tasha enjoyed themselves and met some really cool people. We took lots of pictures and will post them throughout the week but these are a few from last Friday night. Be on the lookout for more to come! Special thanks to Carolina Tattoo and Arts Gathering and Lenoir, North Carolina for being so welcoming.
Be sure to click on each picture so that you can see the slideshow. Also, stay tuned to check out the cool awards that we won this past weekend!!
We know this is the last summer holiday and that Fall is just around the corner but that doesn’t mean it’s not still going to be hot - especially here in the South. We realize that there are still plenty of lake and pool days ahead so we just want to remind you of some very vital piercing and tattoo information to keep your investments in tip-top shape.
Piercings should heal for at least ONE MONTH before entering the water. Lakes and oceans - even though they’re vast - are dirty. They have bacteria that can cause some pretty intense infections. Pools have harsh chemicals that can cause severe irritation.
Fresh piercings should have limited sun exposure. The rays of the sun can cause excessive damage around a piercing that your body is working hard to heal. Sunburns can cause great irritation and flaking of skin around the piercing, compromising the new piercing and increasing the risk of rejection.
NEVER apply sunscreen to a healing piercing. The chemicals in sunscreen are extremely abrasive on broken skin and the sticky texture allows germs to stick to, and infiltrate, a new piercing which could lead to infection.
Tattoos must heal for at least three weeks before entering water. Submerging a tattoo in water before it is properly healed can cause infection in the early healing stages. In the later stages, it can cause the fresh skin that grows over a new tattoo to swell up and slide off the body. It’s very painful, very itchy, and can reopen the tattoo to the possibility of infection.
NO direct sunlight. ZERO.
Getting tattooed causes the same type and amount of damage as a severe sunburn. Adding more of that same type of damage on top of a concentrated area can have painful effects that cause your tattoo to heal very poorly and much more slowly.
Sunscreen should NEVER go onto a fresh tattoo. For the same reasons as it should not go on a fresh piercing. sunscreen should not touch a new tattoo for at least three weeks after getting it.
And last but certainly not least, always, always, ALWAYS apply sunscreen to a healed tattoo before exposing it to direct sunlight. This will help preserve the colors and not subject the tattoo to sun bleaching. For color tattoos, this will keep lighter tones (yellow, orange, pink) from fading into obscurity. For black and grey pieces, this keeps the black values as dark and rich as possible while preserving small, light details.
We here at Cardinal Tattoo realize that summer can be a tricky time to get a new tattoo or piercing because well, it’s summer and they enhance the way a person looks and feels. Quite possibly, you want to show them off and we don’t blame you!! But we also want to remind you that just because summer is almost over doesn’t mean the aftercare changes in regards to sun exposure and submerging in water.
We hope this serves as a refresher course in proper healing and maintenance. Happy Labor Day and stay safe out there!!
We get it all the time, “Man that’s really dark, I dunno…” from someone who doesn’t tattoo (or who doesn’t tattoo well). The diagnosis: fresh black and grey blues!
No worries, we at Cardinal Tattoo are here to help! You see, when the skin is tattooed there is an inflammatory response that results in some minor swelling and a darkening of the skin due purely to irritation. This darkening will continue to build for approximately 20 minutes during the tattoo process before it begins to subside, this is of course a general rule, everyone’s a little different. Also, certain parts of the body can darken, or take on a more reddish hue in people with lighter skin tones, more than others. Calves tend to get darker that arms for instance, especially after the person stands.
Once the client goes home, the real detail of the piece won’t be discernible for several days, until the upper layer of skin flakes off and the finished tattoo is revealed underneath. During the tattoo process, the upper (non-permanent) layer of skin is damaged and will flake off similar to a sunburn usually within a week of getting the tattoo. This layer of skin has absorbed pigment as well, so the tattoo must be applied darker than how we want it to be in order to allow for this lightening during the exfoliation process.
Refer to the example here: The fresh tattoo is really dark, some of the details are harder to make out and may blend together a bit. Once compared to the healed version below, we can see the difference in the hair, eyes, and the overall exposure of the piece. It exhibits a good amount of detail and contrast, the eyes look alive and the tattoo has a lifelike quality that you want from a portrait. It is smooth and without healing defects, performed in a single five-and-a-half hour session by our resident realism artist Will. At the time of this photo, roughly four weeks into the healing process, the tattoo has already ‘greyed out’ nicely, taking on the look it will have for years to come!
Thank you for taking the time to read this and understand the art and craft of professional tattooing with us at cardinaltattoo.com
#tattoo #tattoogallatin #howtotakecareoftattoos #tattoohealingprocess #qualitytattoo