PLEASE make sure to thoroughly read through this section before sending me questions via e-mail, so i’m not caught up answering things i’ve already answered. and please be patient with message replies… i try my best to be prompt, but i have to draw and tattoo a lot of the time also.


my name is ryan.
i was born and raised in small town new hampshire, where i started tattooing in 2004. i moved to portland oregon in the spring of 2006 and found work at scapegoat tattoo, and have been there ever since. i’m not really a big deal… i hang out with my dog a lot, friends and loved ones almost as much, travel here and there, play basketball so i don’t get fat, and overall try to focus on quality, not quantity. this usually carries over into tattooing.


i’ve been in portland long enough now that my schedule is usually kept about as full as i care for it to be at any given time. longtime clients and in-progress tattoos get first priority whenever i’m booking appointments, and usually there’s enough work there to fill out my schedule as far out as i’m willing to book.  this means that opportunities for new work on new clients are rare, and are only scheduled when time allows. unfortunately, the process for figuring out all of that stuff is dependent on many changing factors and i am constantly having to adapt my process and schedule accordingly… there is no set system for getting an appointment. i’ve made many efforts to systemize this process before, but all have only served to stress me out more.

i will say this… if you email me an idea and i’m stoked about doing it, you’ll hear back from me. often promptly. if i’m not, you probably won’t. i can only really take on the ideas that i feel most excited about(quality, not quantity). if 3 weeks go by and you don’t hear back from me, it usually means “you should find someone else to do that.” the truth is i get a high volume of email and can’t respond to everyone personally. i hate that, but sitting inside typing responses when i could be drawing or tattooing is something i hate even more.

as far as subject matter for tattoos goes, my tastes tend to evolve with time, so what interests me one day, might not the next… but it’s pretty safe to say i will always be most stoked about large-scale japanese/asian themes and traditional americana.  i also am interested in scientific illustration, mythology, animalia, geometrics, portraits (sometimes) and maybe even some blackwork here or there. i find the best tattoos happen when clients have respect for the classics of traditional tattooing, and are willing to be adventurous.

if you do hear back from me, keep in mind that scheduling may not always work out at first… but if you’re willing to be patient and persistent and you stay in touch, eventually it will. i can’t pinpoint wait times or guarantee future availability or anything like that. the only guarantee i’ll make is that i’ll do the best i can…i’m only one dude, and i’m handling all of this stuff myself.

if you are in town and wish to stop by to talk about a tattoo or anything else, please call the shop first 503.232.4628, to make sure i am there and i can be available. these days i pretty much work by appointment only and don’t follow a set schedule like i have the past. though i am at the shop more often than i am not, it’s often easier to track me down via email:


i do occasional conventions and guest spots in various parts of the world from time to time, but i do have a comfortable home, a heavy workload, and a dog that i like more than anything on the planet and hate leaving behind, here in portland.

to be honest, i hate tattoo conventions. they’re dirty, stressful, uncomfortable, everything is a hassle,  there’s always some asshole yelling into a PA system, and altogether the exhibition of tattooing doesn’t really represent me or how i feel tattoos are meant to be enjoyed. i think it’s more about the experience, the journey, and the relationships formed from the process. tattooing is a medium for two people sharing hours on end together in a room they otherwise might never be in together. this is what i love about it, anyway. the end product, the visual results, are always secondary to this for me. conventions don’t really aim to cultivate anything like that, so if i go anywhere i’d rather be in a shop setting, in a part of the world i’ve never been before. when i do work conventions, it’s often simply an excuse to go somewhere new.

for these reasons, in the future my travel will be somewhat limited compared to what it has been in years past. i like portland more than most places and i live here for a reason. i will still keep my travel page updated at all times… but you may want know that it’s probably going to be best for you to come here for tattoos, if you live far away. it’ll be worth the trip, i promise.

*please don’t email or message me asking if i’m going to be at a convention or guest spot here or there or wherever. if i’m going to be somewhere other than portland, i’ll post it here. feel free to let me know if you think a certain convention or guest spot might be really cool for me to go to…. but don’t ask if i’m going to be there, when i clearly have a whole webpage that is easily accessible and solely dedicated to where i’m planning on going. that’s just lazy internetting, people. you can do better.


deposits are required for all new appointments… it’s to ensure that you are as committed to the completion of the tattoo as i will be. it’s usually $100, though i may ask for more for larger projects that are more demanding of prep time and require more drawing. deposits go towards the cost of the tattoo, for which i charge $160/hr. otherwise, deposits are non-refundable, and are held until the last session of the tattoo… they will be forfeit if you prove to be a flake who needs to reschedule appointments all the time, or if a year goes by since our last session, or something like that. basically, all this means is that if you aren’t a jerk than you don’t have anything to worry about. if you are a jerk, then it might cost you extra money to get tattooed by me. so don’t be a jerk.


i don’t draw very far ahead of time, so if you have an appointment, please don’t ask “if i have it drawn up yet.” that’s really not how it works and it’s pretty annoying. 90% of the time,  i do the whole drawing the night before or morning of the appt. by the time your appointment rolls around i will have gathered all the necessary information i need from you in order to draw it to your liking. i also assume, that in this day and age with millions of tattooers in it, that you have looked through my portfolio, are familiar with how i do things, and there is a reason you have sought me out for your tattoo. this is my job and my profession…. i’ll have it ready when it needs to be ready, and i’ll make sure you like it. don’t fret.

also, it should be pretty obvious that all of the tattoos you see on this blog are custom drawn by me for the people they are on. this means that tattoos here aren’t to be copied. this should also be obvious, but there are a lot of douchebags who don’t seem to notice/care, and just trace other people’s tattoos and take credit for them.
truthfully, i don’t really give a shit about anyone trying to take credit for my hard work. i’m still going to be here working my ass off anyway, and i’m not really seeking credit for it personally. but it’s pretty lame for the people who have the original tattoo, to see a poorly tattooed copy of the same original design on some shitty tumblr page months later. so whether you’re a tattooer or tattooee… just don’t be a douchebag. don’t steal other people’s shit. if you feel the need to do that, you probably shouldn’t be tattooing/getting tattooed.

thanks for your interest, i hope you enjoy the work!

ryan mason
scapegoat tattoo
1223 se stark st.
portland, or 97214


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