Posted in Uncategorized on January 2, 2012 by rrryan


2012, ya’ll. i don’t know about you, but i am STOKED about it. in years past, the calendar change has always come with anxiety and a vague sense of unfulfillment for me… usually related to growing older and weirder or having no idea how i’m ever going to be an adult or if anything i care about will still be around. but, for the first time in maybe ever, i am excited about moving forward and not looking backward. contentment has replaced complacency. no worry, no hurry. everything is going to be awesome.

i found this jellyfish at the coast.

i’ve been really bad at taking tattoo pictures lately…. in addition to taking terrible photos when i get the opportunity, i haven’t finished a whole lot of stuff to get pictures of anyway. but, i’ve started a few projects recently that i’m really excited to work on and are pretty much exactly what i want to be doing more of, so take notes here, kids.

dustin came back to portland to work on his arm a bit more, so i took the chance to get a nice healed photo of his front piece. i love how tattoos look a few months after they’re healed.

finished circus elephant on one of my favorite, best clients. we’re gonna start her back in the next few months and it’s gonna be rad. keep an eye out!

kasey came up from oakland to finish this black and grey peacock(her first tattoo!).  we did the outline and a little black shading a few months back, and finished everything else earlier last month… about 8 hours total i think. kasey sat super well like a champ for this, especially considering the size and painful placement for a first tattoo. her husband brian stayed with us all day both sessions and compiled a nice little mini-movie of the process on his phone:

iphones, man. taking the world by storm.

what’s more remarkable here is that kasey got this peacock shaded the day after we spent four hours tattooing this skull on her arm, too.

tough girl!

owlz on legz


aaaaand, in progress:

more of these^, please!

and this

and this too


finally, for anyone who has been patiently waiting…. i am now taking appointments for february – april 2012. if you would like to get tattooed during that time, email me at with your ideas and a list/general idea of dates within those three months that could potentially work for you to get tattooed, and i will get back to you(make sure to read the info page all the way through first, if you haven’t already). it may take a week or two for me to respond, so please be patient… as always, i owe scheduling priority to ongoing tattoo projects and regular customers. from there, it’s first-come, first-serve. i will take the next few weeks to book appointments, close booking when all of feb, march, and april are full, and repeat this process in may (for appointments june-august). i’ll make another blog post when this round of booking closes.

and, of course… thank you, everyone, for the continued interest here. someday i may be able to properly express how grateful i am for all of you, but for now this all i can do. best wishes for the new year, friends. onward!

witch hunt

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8, 2011 by rrryan


i am going to have to try really hard to not overload ya’ll with photos, because this month was CRAZY. so much stuff going on. so even though i’m going to try not to, prepare for a monster photo post.


i drew this lil’ thing for my brother’s metal blog, the living doorway…..which you should read. it’s much more interesting than anything you’ll find here anyway.

i sprained my ankle playing basketball and it looked like this for a few days. i’m mostly just bummed about not playing basketball.

i spent a few days in chicago and got tattooed. tim biedron has been a pretty big influence for me and my own work over the years, and it was awesome to finally get something done by him and find him to be such a likeable, down-to-earth dude. i’m stoked to go back and see it progress. check his stuff out… anything i’ve done, he’s probably done better.


oh right, i went to work too. busy month!

i did this violin-fish on my lovely friend and co-worker, silje hagland. it’s for her grandpa and i’m glad i didn’t mess it up because grandpas are cool…. plus i’m going to have to look at it a lot.

sayaka came from LA for this nouveau lady + kitty. stoked on black n grey lately.

owl from a decorative candle she brought in for reference.

we actually finished this a while ago, close to a year now, but just got a chance for healed photos. this snake is one of the largest tattoos i’ve ever completed, and certainly the one that travels the most distance between different body parts. the portrait of the bearded dragon on her thigh is a coverup that i did years ago. mara is a great client and heals so well… i feel compelled to mention that these photos are not manipulated in any way beyond cropping and blurring(i never do that shit anyway), the colors just really are that bright. oh, and  i didn’t do the autumn leaves/flowers on her am, nor the stars on the other side of her back.

lo’s treehouse is done and healed! also, this is my dream home. if i became a weird hermit and only did tattoos out of a treehouse in the middle of the oregon woods and not portland, would you still come get tattooed? please let me know, i need this information to write up a business /retirement plan.

finished carrie’s capricorn/chrysanthemum leg… the flowers and a few spots of grey are fresh but the rest is healed. carrie is my massage therapist and may be single-handedly responsible for keeping me in good working order for tattooing. i’m thankful for her.

carousel horse, also done! mostly healed but there’s some fresh black and grey in the background so it looks a little red. i really like this one.

geisha rat/ninja otter… fresh color on the rat and kimono, the rest is healed. more like this please!

coyote head on edwin…. no, it’s not a fox. sorry edwin, idiot people will probably be saying “i like your fox” to you for the rest of your life.

baku (nightmare-eater) on cody. i love all the crazy mythical japanese creatures like this. i even have one of these on me. more like this please!


oh, and THEN, there was halloween. for those of you who are unfamiliar, every year at scapegoat we draw sheets of little halloween tattoos and do them for $31, walk-in style, all day. and every year, it ends up being an absolute madhouse all day and we all work our asses off and then go home and think that we’ll be better prepared the next year. but we never are. this year we had 7 tattooers smushed into 5 stations, three assistants, and we all tattooed until midnight or later, and still fell short and didn’t get nearly close to tattooing everyone we wanted to. maybe next year?

i’ve made no secret of my inability/unwillingness to paint, especially for tattoo designs, and every year i’ve been a total jerk about it and refused to draw anything for our halloween day. but i actually broke down this year and drew and painted my first flash sheet, of which i would proud except that no one actually got count chocula, frankenberry, OR “kenny rogers, the retarded inbred tiger,” tattooed on them. therefore, it was a monumental disappointment and i now consider my efforts a total failure. THANKS A LOT, HALLOWEENIES.

that said, i almost- almost- enjoyed the painting process and may be more inclined to do it again in the future. well, at least as long as the nba lockout continues. when will it end?


see ya next month!





Posted in Uncategorized on October 3, 2011 by rrryan

hi guys.

i’m back from europe, and happy to be home. i had a good time (copenhagen was especially fun),  and big thanks to allan and amalie for accomodating me so well, i loved it there. but i still like home best.

as usual, i’m feeling a refreshed perspective from my travels, and am happy to announce a few changes around here. it’s a new era, change is good!

-first off, i won’t be carrying a waitlist anymore…. it’s become far too stressful for me to manage. there are still some folks on it who are awaiting appointments and they will be scheduled as originally planned, but beyond that, i will simply book 3 months at a time, 4 times a year. once those months are full, booking will closed until the next booking period, which i will announce here on the blog. because i’m still booked for the rest of 2011, the next booking period will start january 1st, 2012, for appointments in feb, march, and april. so if you’re looking to get tattooed, email me in january and no earlier (unless you are a traveling client from far away and need to make travel plans). it will be first-come, first serve. if you miss out, you’ll have to wait until the next booking period.

i also will no longer have a set schedule of days at scapegoat, and will now operate solely by appointment only. this doesn’t make me any more or less available than before, as i’ll still be at the shop more often than not. it was just inevitable. for those of you looking to track me down… email is still best, but you can also call the shop 503.232.4628 and check to see when i’ll be around. i’ve revamped and updated my info page to explain the scheduling changes and included some more relevant information to my current workload. have a look through and maybe let me know if anything seems unclear or if i forgot anything.

this is all in effort to reduce stress on me, to help me focus more on the quality(not quantity) of the tattoos and client experience, and not spend every day dealing with scheduling, constant emails, and other crap that bogs me down and turns me into a jerk every day.

-our crew here at scapegoat is turning over a new leaf as well. henry rodriguez and dylan fram are both leaving scapegoat this month on to bigger and better things. with some sadness, i wish both them and their respective families the best of luck on their new endeavors. that said, there’s always a silver lining, and i’m happy to announce the new arrival of allyson bennet to the scapegoat crew. we think she’ll fit in nicely.

SO, after all that, my trip to europe seems a little mundane. good thing i have pictures.

hey. this was amber’s FIRST tattoo. seven hours of work in london. fucking badass.

bear done at the convention. dan got the back of his forearm done by chad koeplinger the next day, poor guy. must’ve felt terrible on all that swelling.


i was stoked to get a healed photo of this strongman i did in london last year, on faridah. looks an awful lot more like freddie mercury than i remember.

this was also laura’s first tattoo, done in copenhagen. i think it’s cute.

rebecka got her whole lower arm done in one session, all the way around with a fox and a hare, in 6 hours. i didn’t get very good pictures so this is all i have to show, but i’m pretty happy with it.

kasper’s magpie. i did this is copenhagen with uncle allan and eckel looking on. those guys pretty much wrote the book on tattoos with this subject matter so it was little nervewracking, but i think it came out nice.

matthias came from germany to get this hourglass done in copenhagen. nice guy, fun tattoo.

fox neck in london on a lovely italian lady.

more like this please

it’s funny to do adorable tattoos on necks. like, it looks all badass to have your neck tattooed until you realize it’s some cute little tanuki daruma, and your only reaction is “awwwwwww…”

finished sam’s peacock. the tail feathers are the only part that’fs fresh in this photo, but i’d really like to get a healed one to see how everything levels out. otherwise i’m happy with it and hope to experiment with this kind of rib/thigh placement on other tattoos.

this elephant was actually finished in one session way back in june, but i just got a healed photo. iiii like it!

ok, i don’t really have anything else for ya’ll. i’ll be working my ass off this next month, so check out tumblr if you wanna see more in-progress stuff. thanks for checking in!



Posted in Uncategorized on September 5, 2011 by rrryan

it’s labor day, and i’m tired and sick. great day for internets.

i usually get sick with a sorethoat/stuffy nose/upper respiratory bullshit when i’m exhausted and stressed out, and this time i’m blaming it on scheduling and traveling plans…london and copenhagen are coming up real soon, so i’m scrambling a bit to finish things up and/or clear some workload before i leave, in 12 days. aaaaand i still had no idea i was leaving that soon until i just typed that. wow.

k, fun’s over. work time. lots of stuff happened this month.

four half-sleeves, in various states of completion, on girls wearing tank tops. must be summertime.

them kids on tumblr are gonna love this one.

no elbows on the dinner table, because it will fucking hurt until these heal.

that snake on the right plays for the lakers

pretty stoked on how this one came out.

healed, and upside-down, kinda. this is on a wonderful longtime client of mine who is moving to alaska… hopefully temporarily, but i will miss working on her just the same. good luck megan!

done on a really nice tattooer from hawaii… eventually we’re gonna do a white horse on the other side when we can get her back out here.

i owed this lovely italian lady a tattoo for some trade work a few years back, and she finally visited portland again so i made good on it with this conch shell. and i also got a chance to photograph her arm, which we completeed over about 6 weeks, start to finish, in summer 2009. design-wise it’s pretty different from how i would handle a similar request nowadays, but i love the way the greys and  rich colors have all settled in together and really become part of her arm. i think it looks great on her and for that i’m really happy with it.


thanks everyone, for your continued interest. the rest of this year will be very busy for me, and if you are looking to get tattooed i’d suggest getting back to me in december or january, as i think i’ll be changing my booking system a bit to manage demand a little better. let’s hope that works out. thanks, ya’ll… see ya when i’m back from europa!







Posted in Uncategorized on August 1, 2011 by rrryan

hello friends,

i’ll keep this one short… everything is busy busy and i’m mostly having fun with it.

-i’m booking appointments for london (sep 19-25) and copenhagen (sept 27-30) now. if you’re interested in getting tattooed in either city, send me an email at, including a good idea of what you want for a tattoo and what days are best for you.

-it’s probably safe to say at this point that i am waitlisted/booked out for the rest of 2011. i will probably be re-doing a lot of my scheduling/waitlist stuff in the coming months to accomodate for the higher demand, hopefully for a fresh start in winter. in the meantime, thank you, everyone, for you continued interest and patience.

-i don’t know if ya’ll knew this already, but i have shirts for sale here. i’ll have some in london, too, though in years past they’ve sold out quick so it might be easier to buy online!


carl sagan as holy man? now that’s a tattoo idea.

dustin still has an arm to finish, but we decided to just knock this thing out while we had the chance. i’m pretty stoked on it, and the whole thing only took about 7-8 hours. that said, i think this will be the last deer/elk tattoo i do(with the exception of completing a few that i’ve already started).

carrot-man playing a concertina. from an awesome old german postcard.

picture sucks, but you get the idea?

matt moreno was in town doing tattoos at scapegoat this month, , and he had me tattoo this snail-helmet battle-lady on his hand. i thought it was a cool idea. looks like mr. moreno will be in town for a while, so hopefully we can get a healed picture at some point. thanks matt!


and theeeen, there’s all the ongoing stuff… if you like seeing the in-progress work you might like my tumblr page, which i’ve devoted solely to documenting the process of larger-scale tattoos.



oh, and then i had fun. also, i’m 28 now… you can tell because my office is full of balloons and a lovely lady made me an excellent cake.




good job.



Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2011 by rrryan

right after i made my last post, i started to realize that maybe this thing wasn’t so obsolete after all… i just never had the time to write anything worth writing. i still don’t, but i now recognize that i’m not done just yet. as we learned in my last post, i have all kinds of anxieties and assorted malaise about my ability to maintain my chosen field of work, and i think with that there will always be something worth sharing there. because as we also learned, in the comments of my last post, people tend to think of “artistry” and “talent” as the driving force behind this tattooing thing… and i strongly, yet respectfully, disagree. it is, at least for me, much more a product of focus, patience, determination and resolute stubbornness that i’m able to keep doing this for a living. i’m sure there are plenty of other tattooers whose artistic passion and creative muscle paves the way for their tattooing, which i admire greatly… because, in truth, i am not one of them. this is where i think things get interesting, and where this blog starts serving a real purpose. so it’s not dead yet.

anyway. to continue on would be heavyhanded. i have pictures for you now.

*summertime commences*

i’d like you to meet my new new girlfrie… i mean, motorcycle. she’s beeauuutiful.


fernhill park

mt. tabor


i also went back to new england for a minute, to celebrate the wedding of two of my favorite people anywhere.

stayed here

the backyard

the moon, one hot night over the atlantic.

in between all the real fun, i was working my ass off.

an dear old friend of mine from NH visited portland from phoenix, and had me tattoo a tiger-moth on her throat (!). it was the first time i’d ever worked on a tattoo with that placement, and i’m pretty excited about it. she sat like a champ and it was, all-around, and excellent experience. thanks lexy! more tattoos like this, please.

cris cleen spent a week doing classy tats at our shop earlier this month, and we traded tattoos on each other. i basically stole his entire aesthetic for this tattoo i did on him, which was smart because it’s better than my own. i think he’s got a photo of the st. bernard he did on me on his blog.

i started a pile of big new tattoos over the past month, so that i wouldn’t have to stay home and draw during the summer….we’ll see how that actually works out.

and now, since it’s summer, i’m going camping. happy birthday, america, you are now 235 years old!


Posted in Uncategorized on May 29, 2011 by rrryan

hello friends.

so, although it’s been a good run, i think this blog has become mostly obsolete. i think at first, it was a time when i needed a thoughtful release from the day-to-day travails of my own mind and heart, and it served well as journalistic therapy for me as much as a medium to connect with folks interested in the tattooing. i’ve often seen myself as an underachiever in the context of tattooing as a profession, weighed down by the responsibility and workload presented to me every day, continually buried in the self-doubt that comes with navigating my way through it.  permanently marking another person’s skin calls for a great deal of confidence, especially when you have to do it every day. but i’ve never felt that i’ve had that confidence, and have had to find a new way around that requirement every day of my life. maybe i thought there was something interesting there, something worth sharing within those daily misadventures of a left-brained math-type constantly being mistaken for an artist. i think it’s probably common for people to imagine this line of work as easy for me, as if i shit art or something. but i assure you it is not. this is really, really hard for me, and it never gets any easier. i’m a human being with emotions and deficiencies, my brain always hurts, i can’t sleep most of the night, and i’m convinced that stubbornness keeps me going more than anything else… but i ‘m still doing the best i can. perhaps that is all i ever really wanted to show.

that said, the therapeutic benefits of sharing my workdays and thoughts here have fallen to the law of diminishing returns. i don’t have much to say that i haven’t said before; this  has more or less turned into a photoblog with too many words. so, what it’s all lead to and what i’m trying to say is, i’ve started a tumblr and i don’t really know what to do with it yet. i do intend to keep up with this stuff and keep sharing, probably in much the same way and about as often as i have in the past few months, but i’m pretty sure the tumblr page will be more photography and process-oriented, and updated way more often…. but i don’t really know yet. you never know just how the cookie tumbls.

now that’s out of the way, onto the good stuff…. i’ve been busy.

i did this tattoo two years ago, and just got a healed picture this month. i love how tattoos look after a year or more, with everything all settled and really looking like it’s part of that person. it’s also great to see it after that much time and realize you like it more than you did when it was just finished. i had another one of those recently, too, probably done around the same time:

it’s a shoe. i still like it.

dustin’s arm has been done for a while but i just got one decent picture. oh well.

this arm got completed awfully quick… 3 months. maggie came all the way from DC to get this texas-themed lady done, so we did a few two-day sessions to make the most of her visits here. i had the idea to make her dress all huge and lacy and frilly, and have that form the basis of the background in a similar way to the black and grey wind and water bars used in japanese body work. i like how it worked out.

i don’t really remember why the owl has ram horns, but it made sense at the time.

i am really happy about this tattoo and wish i got to do stuff like this more often. you can’t go wrong with traditional japanese themes…. this might be my favorite thing i’ve done in a while.

*brief hiking interlude*

*back to town*

BUT, this month was more about the stuff i started than what got finished:


aaaand, that’s about all i care to show for the moment.

also some of you may be interested to know that i have confirmed that i will be at the london tattoo convention again this year in september, and though i haven’t set dates yet i will probably be tattooing in copenhagen with the good folks at conspiracy inc. around that time as well. i probably won’t be booking any appointments for the convention or copenhagen until august or so, so if you’re interested in setting something up, email me in august!


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