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Shona Furlough





Name: Shona Furlough



Location: Port Charlotte, FL

Your Website & Url: 

How many years in the biz: more than 20

Your shop website & Url: 


Hobbies & Interests: Camping, hiking, photography, motorcycles,
Volkswagens, music, art, human behavior (everybody funny... now you
funny too), tattoos (well- duh), Indian artifacts, anthropology and
archaeology, orchids, gardening, yadda yadda yadda....
BAW: What made you want to become a Tattoo Artist?

Artist: I like to draw...I used to be an illustrator, a designer, a
commercial artist, a sign painter...but something was lacking. Where was that tiny bit of joy I was seeking?  Everyone who saw my work would tell me that I should become a tattoo artist. When the person who annoyed me the most said it one too many times I told him FINE! then just buy me
the damned equipment already and shut up!...He said OK, no strings attached and then.... ....Having had a love affair with tattoos for many years, I immediately fell in love with a new form of self expression! A whole new type of paper, and definitely a different kind of brush. A living canvas brings joy to my heart, the sound of a tattoo machine was a lullaby to my children for many older and grown (and tattooed) I've left them a legacy that they will never forget.

BAW: Who are your influences?

Artist: Oh my....that is such a hard question. I can't answer that. There are so many wonderful artists with such varied styles. I suppose my style is my own, but I really do admire one artists shading styles, another's' use of color, the musculature used by yet another...It's too hard to divide up that collage of talent and name individual names. I try to incorporate things I see that are innovative, and that I think will make my tattoos stand out. Guy Atchison does some really cool special effects tattooing and I would love the chance to bring some of that into my work. Hopefully someone will come in and let me play a bit!

BAW: What is your favorite style of work?

Artist: I love detail! I love realism...I love intricate little things,
winding, weaving things that some tattoo artists just hate to do. I've found that I enjoy highly detailed pieces with maybe just a hint of color to emphasize the black work. If its a challenge, I love to do it...of course, I'll never get rich that way, cause it's time consuming, but most of those pieces are a labor of love anyway.

BAW: Tell us about your first Tattoo Inkspierence?

Artist: My first tattoo was done at a carnival in New York State in 1963. Right on my left forearm where God and everyone could see it. I suppose that I was a wicked girl. Thank goodness they're more acceptable now....wicked girls and tattoos both! It was done by "Sailor" somebody...I would like to think it was Sailor "I tattooed your daddy" Bill, but I'm sure it was done by someone far more generic.


BAW: What is your favorite piece you own?

Artist: I think my favorite tattoo is the one on my lower back. Its a sad angel (who looks kind of like me before I got fat and old) on some roses (which are a cover-up) with the life/death reversible tattoo below it all. I drew and designed her myself. In essence, I feel she represents me...I am often sad and feel alone, I still love my roses....beautiful but and death pretty much sums it up... and since ink spreads (like everything else grrrrr) on me we did it with a single needle so there's a little pain factor involved too. I guess its just a pretty well rounded tattoo!

BAW: What is your most memorable Tattoo given and why?

Artist: Let's just say it involved a smiley face and an organ and leave it at that. Actually, on my website there's a little story about a guy named Donnie and that was one of the more meaningful pieces I've done. I will, of course, never forget the other one though....

BAW: Is there a part of the body you won't Tattoo and why?

Artist: Well...hmmm....ok...ears! that's it! EARS! Whew...thought I was gonna have to say something else there for a second. They're awkward to work with and they bleed.


BAW: How do you feel about female Tattoo Artists?

Artist: You really don't expect me to be completely unbiased here do you? Actually, just a general viewpoint, I find that most women tend to be more picky about the things they do than men. I know that I am more thorough and pay more attention to detail than most male artists I know, and that I have a lighter touch.


BAW: Do you support supply co. that sells to the public?

Artist: I would have to say that I do. Now before everyone yells at me. I have seen the damage done, I know the cleanliness concerns, I am a responsible artist and always have been...even before I had a shop. Yes...I was one of the dreaded "scratches" (I do resent the implications of that handle because, well, because, quite frankly even when I started my work was better than some of the shit I see coming out of some shops with low quality control these days)...I kept things clean and up to standards because I wanted to...not because I HAD to, and I got my supplies from a company that sold to the public. The reason I support a public supplier, is that every yahoo who thinks he wants to tattoo can be so damnably clever. They mix ink from soot from burned checkers or melted Styrofoam cups, and whatever they can find in the hobby stores...they make needles out of guitar strings, sewing needles and thread and god knows what else. They sterilize in alcohol or spit or WHATEVER... The more serious people who are a little more evolved at least look through tattoo mags, order a catalog from you know who and figure out that there's more to it than what they think. Yes, there is always damage done....But I would rather see it done with clean ink and manufactured needles and machines than with stuff someone cobbled together on their kitchen table.

BAW: Do you feel there now should be mandatory schooling for soon to be tattoo artists?

Artist: YES! I feel that there should be mandatory courses on cross contamination, along with an extensive period of apprenticeship. Some people will take on an apprentice, take their money, and two weeks later turn them loose in their shop. I think that an apprenticeship should take a minimum of 6 months, and longer depending on the individual. I believe every artist should stay up to date on sterilization and cross contamination procedures, etc....So I guess you could say that the learning is a continuing thing, even for advanced artists.


BAW: Do you feel Tattooing has changed over the years, and if so why?

Artist: Tattooing hasn't changed that much over the years, but the aspect of what an artist can do has. Does that make sense? Tattoos are pretty much applied (ok, I hope you're referring to tattooing in the USA in the last century) the way they have been for years. It's our realization of what we can do as tattooist that has changed. We have better inks, better needles, more possibilities than ever before. Its a big brand new world out there and we have to take our knowledge of our craft and figure out cooler things to do with it all the time! Bring on the skin!

BAW: Do you think it is important to do as many conventions and shows as possible?

Artist: If you want fame and fortune and whatever, I suppose it is. I've always been too busy running my shop to go and set up at conventions. I'm getting old, and the energy thing is just not there. I love to go to conventions and see what everyone is doing, take a seminar or two, see all the tattooed and pierced people, meet the artists....but there again...the non-stop energy required for working a three day convention is a little too much for me these days. I go to as many as I can, I enjoy them, I party hearty and hit the hotel room and go nightly nite.


BAW: What advise can you give to someone who is starting or looking to get into the tattoo business?

Artist: Know what you are doing! Cleanliness and disease control should be your primary concern and learned before anything else. Apprentice yourself to someone who really knows what they are doing. There's nothing like one self proclaimed artist teaching someone else how to do something that they don't know anything about. Take pride in your work. Don't let your head get swelled by people who don't know shit about anything telling you how wonderful you your own worst critic!

BAW: What could you say to someone who has had a bad first Inkspierence?

Artist: In over twenty years of tattooing I have only had one person not capable of sitting through their tattoo. If tattoos were so horrible, nobody would have more than one. Not all artists are the same, some are gentle, some are heavy handed. Fear and nervousness are more your enemy than a tattooist will ever be. If you still want to try to get a tattoo, go to someone else, be comfortable with them, know their work, explain that you have had a previous problem with a tattoo. If they won't work with you and be kind and patient....go somewhere else.

BAW: Please share any other comments or views or questions to the public you might have.

Artist: ADVENTUROUS ART TATTOOS IS LOOKING FOR A (COMPETENT) BODY PIERCER/TATTOO ARTIST or just a BODY PIERCER We are located in sunny (boring) Port Charlotte, FL ...home of the newly
wed and nearly dead. Actually, I would like someone local so I don't have to baby sit someone through the inevitable period of culture shock. Please contact me at

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