Expressing Individuality

Beauty Beyond the Ink

Words by Sam Lauron  Photos by Eric Morales

Tattoos mean something different to everyone. Whether it represents something or someone you love, provides a sense of identity, or just reminds you of a certain time in your life, a tattoo can carry a lot of meaning and memories.

For Wendi Ramirez, owner of Dovetail Tattoo, there’s beauty in creating that personal mark. With a background in art and an Advertising Design degree underway, Ramirez went to get her very first tattoo and ended up leaving with a newfound passion. “I knew at that moment I’d rather be a part of this subculture than struggle with commercial art.” Ramirez went on to work for different shops and countless artists to learn about the art of tattooing and discovered her own artistic style. In 2009, she opened her first shop, Dovetail Tattoo.

Seeing much success from her shop and having a growing team by her side, Ramirez realized she needed more space. A fateful chain of events led her to take over the Bat City Tattoo space on East Cesar Chavez where she opened Dovetail Tattoo East. “The eastside was my obvious top choice for a location,” says Ramirez. “It maintains its culture, and I don’t want to see that change. I want to assist in maintaining it.”

While all tattoos are personal, Ramirez’s top three most cherished tattoos of her career so far have been ones that involve part of the most personal aspects in life: family. “My very first tattoo was a Boris Vallejo dragon on my dad’s chest. It was the first tattoo I ever did and his first tattoo. The second is a blue monarch butterfly on my mother’s forearm for her 77th birthday last year. It was her first tattoo. The third is a number “13” my son, Angel, did for me in 2013 when he was 13 years old on Friday the 13th. It was the first tattoo he ever did.”

Creating something that represents so much more than the tattoo itself is something Ramirez values in her work. “The art of tattoo is beautiful for its diversity and organic nature. It is permanent and therapeutic. It involves people of all cultures and ages. It can represent absolutely anything one chooses it to because it is sacred and personal.”

1703 E. Cesar Chavez St.

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