Karen Masters produced this beautiful watercolor phoenix with a even more beautiful sentiment attached to it.
Even before receiving his commission as an officer in the United States Army Alex had been getting tattooed by Will. Now, prior to taking his first command, the young Army Captain traveled all the way from South Korea to start work on his Blizzard Entertainment sleeve. This tattoo of Arthas The Lich King was done on the second day of a two-day tattoo marathon. When you're coming from half a world away, you gotta make those sessions count!
This Grim Reaper was done by Karen Masters at Cardinal Tattoo some time ago, a few months maybe? Honestly, I can't recall if it's a cover-up or not, since Karen does so may coverup tattoos, it's safe to say it may be, but I'm looking at the same pictures you are and I can't tell! Karen will be taking a short leave starting early this August to deliver and spend some quality time with her first child, so if you want to get something done, better book it soon!
Karen is currently booking the third week of July and has only a few openings left before her maternity leave, so act now! We will continue her bookings starting back in October with priority being given to her existing clients. Cardinal Tattoo would like to take this time to thank our loyal family of customers for their patience and support during this very exciting time.
Nicole likes pretty pink things. She came into Cardinal Tattoo with an image she found on Pinterest and asked us to reproduce that image. It's a common occurrence, someone brings in art they love so much they want it recorded in their flesh. As is oftentimes the case, she didn't even know who the original artist was.
Then something pretty cool happened. After putting a shot of the finished tattoo on Instagram for a few days, a few other fans of this artist let us know who it was. Her name is Danessa and her Instagram handle is @serendipitytheartist, and her work is lovely.
Visit Cardinal Tattoo today to book your appointment for your own pretty pink tattoo!
It has recently been brought to our attention that local tattoo shops have started allowing dogs. Someone even accused us of this via social media. For the record: Cardinal Tattoo does not and will not allow dogs on our premises (service dogs notwithstanding, may be allowed in the lobby only). Health codes state that the only pets that may be kept in a tattoo establishment are fish in aquariums, which we do have, and everyone is welcome to come visit them anytime during our business hours!
This homage to the Stanley Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket is certainly intense, not unlike his films. The morbid humor of a skull wearing a helmet with 'Born to Kill' written on it will almost certainly be lost on many who think it an aggressive display. This style of tattoo best serves as a form of Memento Mori, designed to remind us that someday we all will die and must therefore make the best of every moment in our lives.
Cardinal Tattoo recently had an issue with a woman who could not get tattooed because she brought her infant child with her, and no one else. You got it, she thought we were going to babysit her child for her while she got tattooed. People, that's just plain dumb. First of all, the name's Cardinal Tattoo, not Cardinal Tattoo and Daycare. Secondly, who would do that? It takes a very special person to leave your child alone with strangers (which is exactly what this woman did when she went outside screaming after we told her she couldn't get tattooed while leaving a screaming baby in our lobby. The child was still in it's stroller when she walked out, you can't make this stuff up.)
You might think, well, maybe this was a young mother, new to the task. Nope. She called her 15-year-old to come watch the baby while she got tattooed. Problem is, she completely lost her cool prior to that and had to be asked to leave after using some pretty choice language towards our still-not-your-effing-babysitters tattoo artists.
Which brings us to the point of this post. Tattoo shops are visited by some pretty interesting people, it takes all kinds, after all. Most of the people we come into contact with are cool, some are awesome, and some, well, some of the people that come into the shop are full-blown Wackoloons. Nut jobs. Crazy. Some of them are unrelenting assholes. Pardon our French. We were thinking about doing a post on our 'Customer of the Week', a closer look at some of our interactions with people than what we normally post here (you know, such-and-such came in, got a tattoo, and left). We;re thinking about dedicating an entire segment of our website to this in fact, consider it a public service.
So, if you're reading this and find yourself on cardinaltattoo.com frequently, let us know what you think the next time you're in the shop, or just give us a call to let us know if you'd read that sort of thing. If so, we'll take the time to fill you in on a lesser-known or at least talked about side of the tattoo business: Complete jerks. Let us know!
Due to high demand for our work, Cardinal Tattoo is switching to a By-Appointment-Only setting. Our soonest available appointment is currently three weeks out and that is not likely to change based on the current rate of booking new appointments. We would apologize for any inconvenience, but honestly with a little planning there shouldn't be any.
Also, due to demands on our personnel, we are currently working on a new automated call system in order to increase efficiency for our customers who are getting tattooed or pierced that day. Coupled with this, we will be adding some additional features to our website to help everyone get the answers they need without having to call.
We have experienced some issues with people who are all too willing to waste our time and the valuable time of our paying customers by calling to ask questions that could have been answered by coming to this website or even visiting Google (how'd they get our number in the first place?). Having to stop what we're doing in order to tell someone when we're open, where we are, or how much a piercing costs has become an issue due to the extremely high interest in our services. While we appreciate and value the interest, once again to be honest, we are doing our best and we expect our customers to do the same.
Please take the time to read our 'A few policies explained' post from earlier this year.
We love our customers. They are responsible for giving us our livelihood. That doesn't mean that everyone who comes into the shop or even books an appointment is a customer. It's kind of like when someone calls themself a Christian but fails to act like it. You might call yourself a customer, you might even want to be one, but if you treat us like garbage then you're not.
We are doing the best we can. We will continue to do our best to make sure that everyone who wants to get tattooed at Cardinal Tattoo will be. We ask that you please be patient with us while we work to become more efficient. Those of you who cannot wait; don't have money; don't want to take the time to educate yourself on how this process works; need more convincing that Cardinal Tattoo is the place to be even after looking at our portfolios and visiting the shop; are rude or feel entitled; or if the fact that we're even saying these things offends you, please go somewhere else. You see, we've had to deal with far too many of these people in recent months for reasons we'll only disclose in person, and quite frankly, we're sick of it.
If you want the best, award-winning tattoo work that can be had for miles around at a fair price, if you want to be treated with professionalism and courtesy in a drug-free, family-friendly, sterile, fur-free environment (don't ask, it's a long story), then Cardinal Tattoo is the place for you!
This particular portrait was more difficult for Will, not for any technical reason but an emotional one. The young woman who visited Cardinal Tattoo wanted to memorialize her father who was killed when someone ran a stop sign and hit him on his motorcycle. Will knew him, and the girl's mother was best friends with Will's sister growing up. Rest in Peace.
We at Cardinal Tattoo have long been a proponent of a 'do no harm' philosophy, to take the best interests of our clients to heart and give them the best possible outcome we can. To that end, we have prohibited certain types of tattoo: those that promote hate or show an affiliation with gang culture; as well as certain tattoo placement on those that are uninitiated to the detrimental impact having highly visible tattoo can have on one's life. We have sincerely tried to do our best, to be the best for our clients.
Some folks don't appreciate that at all.
We've gotten complaints from eighteen-year-olds who want their first tattoo on their hand; from couples who have been dating for a full three months and want each other's names tattooed; young people who have very stable career waiting tables or stocking shelves that are secure in the fact that they'll never need to interview for another job again. It seems people understand that subject matter may make getting certain tattoos difficult, but that placement shouldn't matter at all. It is their body after all, who are we to judge?
So, in the interest of serving our customers and reducing the sheer number of nasty reviews left on disgruntledcustomer.com, Cardinal Tattoo has decided to lift the ban on hand, neck, and face tattoos for people who don't meet our criteria of being either heavily tattooed, independently wealthy, or a convicted felon before taking the plunge into highly visible tattoos that could make it impossible to find a good job. We're here to serve!
So for those of you who don't meet the above criteria and want to get a tattoo on your hands, neck, or face against our informed judgement, feel free to swing on by Cardinal Tattoo, where the aforementioned artwork can be obtained at a reasonable price, starting at $1500. Have a magical day!
This is a healed photo of a tattoo performed at Cardinal Tattoo by Will. Titled the 'Genius of Evil', this depiction of the fallen angel Lucifer is striking in its beauty and detail. The broken scepter; the chains, the small horns, tears, and broken crown are all depictions of the sorrow felt by the most beautiful angel who would, given his druthers, be king. Unfortunately for him, as well as so many since then, we well know the old adage of how 'pride goeth before the fall'. Fortunately for the rest of us, the King on the throne wouldn't be so easily removed. It seems especially for those whose pride has mislead them that the Truth really does hurt.
Still, this is a beautiful depiction of a masterwork sculpture and admonition to turn from evil. If your belief drives you to express yourself in your skin, Cardinal Tattoo welcomes you!
Heath Ledger's Joker is the best (or is it worst?) in Batman's history. Ledger's ominous grasp of the Joker's insanity turns this villain into a threat that transcends what we know to be frightening. Who can scare the big bad Bat? This guy does. Completed at Cardinal Tattoo in a single $600 session by our resident realism artist (and complete comic book nerd) Will, this piece was finished in just under 9 hours. While a $600-per-day rate may sound like a lot to some people, we think the work speaks for itself, that Cardinal Tattoo is the place to be when you want the best quality for your money when getting premium custom tattoo work!
The connection between a tattoo artist and a client can be a beautiful thing. Think about it-- you walk into a random building decked out with weird art all over the walls and creepy music playing over a loudspeaker and you ask someone who looks like a ferris wheel operator to draw you something to put on your body for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. It doesn't sound like an awesome idea by anybody's standards, but we do it anyway because humans are strange and we like weird stuff.
Somewhere along the way in this process, you tell your new carny friend that you want a tattoo.
Okay. Simple enough.
Then you give subject matter, detail level, and size.
All right, sounds fair.
Then you give more details that must be executed in a very specific way and express how every small part of this tattoo is the most important part to you. Essentially, you have given a description for something that sounds perfectly reasonable to you but has the artist looking at you like you have two heads.
These situations arise all the time in the tattoo industry and can leave everyone involved feeling flustered. You want what you want, but your artist wants to give you the best tattoo possible and these two things don't always match up. But a compromise can be reached, and in this space is where some of the best tattoo art is made. It is important for trust to exist between the artist and the person getting tattooed because you want someone who knows their stuff to help you determine any permanent additions to your body. To help build this trust, we offer portfolios for each of our artists and consultations so that customers can communicate with their own artist prior to being tattooed. This trust culminates in magnificent ways, and that is exactly how we got this lion tattoo. Done by resident artist Tasha Grey, this piece is the result of excellent communication between herself and her client, Wesley.
We want this experience to be possible for everyone who walks through the door at Cardinal Tattoo, and we work each day to deliver it the best we can.
Veloci... ah screw it! even I can't spell that well. Dinosaurs rank right up there with crayons on everyone's list of childhood favorites. Technology has managed to bring us so close to these creatures that are from so far away. The separation of time between our species and the question we all have asked ourselves 'how would we fare against them?' draws us to dinosaurs and fascinates children and adults alike. It's a Velociraptor by Karen Masters, done at Cardinal Tattoo on the historic Gallatin, TN square.
This is a healed photo of a portrait of Johnny Cash that Will did at Cardinal Tattoo almost a year ago. He prides himself on creating artwork of lasting beauty, as does everyone at Cardinal Tattoo. Many artists publish photos of their fresh work, but never healed. The reason for this is that fresh work, with additional pigment trapped in the top layer of skin, will always look better. Even overworked pieces, with damage to the skin too drastic to heal properly, can be mistaken as a good tattoo by the untrained eye. If you want to get a good idea of the quality of your artist's work, ask to see healed photos of their work. If they don't have any healed photos, or if the healed product doesn't look as good as you'd expect, remember Cardinal Tattoo is open seven days a week from noon to 10pm!
Our beloved founder and fearless leader, Will, has been tattooing since 2005. He's won scores of awards for his tattoo work across a multitude of genres. It's as if one day he just decided to become the best at something and willed it into existence. Now, Will would probably tell you he's not the best at anything, that he's not fearless, and that awards don't really count for much. But we're not here to talk about Will, we're here to tell you about a young lady he decided to apprentice three years ago. Tasha Grey is one of two apprentices that Will has taken on in the last 13 years. Her development as an artist and tattooer has been aggressive and ahead of the curve for young tattooers in an extremely competitive industry. This new school Wednesday Addams is a testament to that progress and a hint at things to come. Visit Cardinaltattoo.com regularly for updates on Tasha's progress!
Everyone's favorite super-powered science experiment (outside of Wolverine, Deadpool, The Toxic Avenger, and, well you get the idea...) Elle from Stranger Things has captured hearts and imaginations for two seasons of hit Netflix fame. Her stoic vulnerability, fierce loyalty, and silent strength speak to her fans in a way that they can't speak for themselves. Don't we all identify with being stronger than we're asked to be on a daily basis and the fear of not measuring up when faced with a real challenge? Eleven is the person we all hope to be, the hero of our own story. Visit Cardinal Tattoo when you've found your inner hero and want to let the world see it!
With the resulting uptick in new customers unfamiliar with our services, it's time we revisited some of our policies and the reasoning behind them:
1. Cardinal Tattoo will not tattoo your boyfriend or girlfriend's name on you, spouses only. Reason: Getting a tattoo removed or covered up is a small thing when compared to getting a divorce and if you're not ready to make that commitment, you shouldn't get the tattoo either.
2. No hands, neck, or faces unless you already have one of those locations on your body tattooed; you have at least one full sleeve; you're independently wealthy, or a convicted felon. Reason: Getting a highly visible part of your body tattooed can make it tough to get a job. If you've already got it done or you have a lot of tattoos, you already understand this and have had to deal with it. Independently wealthy people don't have to worry about getting a job, and convicted felons are already screwed with regard to finding good employment, a little thing like a tattoo won't hurt their chances anyway.
3. No racist, hateful, or gang-related tattoos, to include Confederate flags. Reason: If you want these tattoos and don't understand why we'd rather not do them, we don't even want you in our establishment. No discussion. You shouldn't take pride in showing people how ignorant you are.
4. To set an appointment, you must leave a $60 or $100 non-refundable deposit which will be deducted from the total cost of your tattoo. If you don't want to leave a deposit, go somewhere else. Reason: If you're not willing to put your money where your mouth is, you're probably not going to show up.
5. If you have an appointment and don't call to reschedule (at least 48 hours in advance) or you don't show up, you will forfeit your deposit. If you wish to set another appointment after a no-call, no-show scenario, you will be required to pay for the entire tattoo or session in advance. Reason: We lose money when scheduled appointments don't show up, we can't afford to take a risk with someone who can't keep an appointment or let us know they won't be able to make it.
6. We don't like price-shoppers. It's offensive when someone comes into our establishment to ask a price, only to leave and come back twenty minutes later to schedule an appointment. It's obvious you've asked around and come back to the least expensive place. While Cardinal Tattoo is not interested in being the cheapest place in town, we do offer great value. Rest assured our first quote on a given tattoo is our best. For that reason, if you leave after getting a quote, when you come back, the price will increase. It's simply a matter of pride in what we do and not wanting to be mistreated by people looking for a 'deal'. If our best work at a fair price isn't good enough for you, please go somewhere else.
7. We close at 10pm. That means we won't start a tattoo that we can't finish by 10pm. If you show up at 8:30 and want to get a tattoo that will take three hours to do, you're going to have to schedule an appointment. Reason: We get tired too. We work 10 hour days, at least five days per week. Unless you're willing to pay double, don't even ask us to stay late. If that doesn't work for you, please go somewhere else.
8. If you call and ask us if we have time to do a tattoo, the answer is always 'yes!' That doesn't mean that we have time to do a tattoo right now. You may have to set up an appointment for later that day, later that week, sometime next month, or even later that year, depending on your individual needs and the artist's availability. If you try to put us on the spot, the answer will be 'come on in and we'll see what we can do for you' or, 'walk-ins are done on a first come, first served basis, the sooner you get here the better off you are.' Reason: We're not trying to lie to anyone, but we understand that people tend to want the best tattoo they can get, even if they do get in a hurry sometime. We also understand that if we tell you 'no' you're definitely not coming, while if we tell you 'yes' then maybe you'll show up, be impressed with the quality of work and people at Cardinal Tattoo, and schedule an appointment. Besides, people who get angry when they can't get a tattoo right now aren't really the sorts of people we'd like to spend our time working on. It's not fast food, it's permanent, if you're in a hurry, please go somewhere else.
9. If you don't like something about us: The way we look, the clothes we wear, our taste in music, our religious or political views, our sense of humor, our business practices, or anything else we do for that matter- please go somewhere else. Reason: Life's too short to deal with the frustration of not liking the person you're getting tattooed by or the place they work. Getting tattooed should be an enjoyable process. This is why Cardinal Tattoo is very up front with the way we conduct business, so that potential customers can determine whether they want to work with us or not.
If you've read this far, thank you. We appreciate the small fraction of the population that cares enough about this art form to educate themselves about it. We appreciate your interest in Cardinal Tattoo and look forward to serving you. We will continue to do our very best.
Daniel came into to Cardinal Tattoo with an idea for a Christian-themed tattoo incorporating the concepts of the Armor of God and the Lion of Judah. Representative of Christ, this roaring lion conveys a sense of the power of God's Judgement during the Endtimes. We will continue with a piece of armor with the Crusader's Cross on his chest. Stay tuned to Cardinaltattoo.com for more!