After graduating high school early at 16 years old, Amy followed the art track she began in the 1st grade and proudly received a Pell Grant and 4 year partial scholarship to attend the prestigious private art school Columbus College of Art and Design(CCAD) (1991-93) in Columbus,OH. There she developed a strong inclination for Fine Art Oil Painting with a focus on Anatomy, Figure Drawing and Painting, Figurative Oil Painting, and Color Theory. It was in art college that Amy received her first tattoo and began collecting tattoos. Amy pursued years of painting for both corporate art warehouses that supplied art to places like Disney, Hard Rock Cafe, the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas, Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works and other corporate businesses throughout the US and hand painted interior decorating/muraling and faux finishes for private owned homes while also continuing to paint for her own art.
In 1998 she moved from Columbus, Ohio to Richmond, Va where she began doing administrative duties for the Tattoo Studio Alive Gallery of Timothy Hoyer and Chris O’Donnell. While working for Hoyer and O’Donnell she continued to cultivate her interest in art and helped to curate the gallery space in the front lobby of the studio while also gaining an interest in not only collecting tattoo art but also considering becoming a tattoo artist for a living. She started pursuing a tattoo apprenticeship thru Timothy Hoyer in 1999 and began tattooing in 2000 as well as taking over O’Donnell’s co-ownership of Alive Gallery and became Hoyer’s business partner of Alive Gallery which transitioned into Alive Tattoo.
Amy took over full ownership of the studio in 2005 and retains full ownership currently.
Amy enjoys an eclectic array of art styles/genres and continually shifts from one theme to another from client to client. The variety keeps her consistently challenged and engaged in each piece as each client requires shifting into a new headspace and complete devotion to the piece’s inception, energy and theme from start to finish which requires a tremendous amount of focus and controlled creative output, usually for many hours spread across multiple visits for most clients. She throws herself into her work, always mentally and emotionally and physically as she has to keep a constant eye on her output to make sure she gets the perfect results that will stay with her clients until the end of time.
She tends to engage in a lot of nature themes, but also heavily enjoys oriental genres with an emphasis on japanese, chinese, tibetan and hindu. She also does realistic looks as well as honoring many art masters like Klimt, Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Dali, Picasso, Miro, Van Gogh, and some abstract looks. she also gets many requests for botanical and scientific themes which are also very enjoyable.
Amy also began working in another field of tattooing lesser known to the mainstream public in 2011, known as “nipple and areola repigmentation” or “nipple and areola tattooing” as a part of breast reconstruction for patients post mastectomy due to breast cancer or getting a prophylactic mastectomy due to testing positive for a breast cancer gene. Mastectomies are performed on both men and women, and typically require removing the natural nipple and areola to either prevent or remove existing cancer tissue(s) from expanding. The patient is left with no nipple/areola in the area and can sometimes elect to have one surgically rebuilt from other donor skin areas of the body, however the natural coloration is still missing. The only technique to recreate the natural coloring is thru tattooing, and Amy is able to do many variations of coloring and create the illusion of realistic nipples and areola textures and shapes and sizes with tattooing. She currently works with patients who come to her tattoo studio, and also in conjunction with plastic surgeons throughout the Virginia area and beyond to help patients receive their desired reconstructive results for their breast(s).
Amy founded The Pink Ink Fund in 2011 almost immediately after beginning the nipple/areola tattooing in response to seeing friends who were concerned about their own nipple/areola tattooing costs who had no health insurance. The need to expand the private donation fund’s reach and services quickly made sense and blossomed from there as she learned about many of the financial hurdles patients could be facing in attaining their desired nipple/areola tattooing. Ranging from things are simple as offsetting service fees to helping them with travel and lodging expenses, Pink Ink Fund aims to help ease the burdens that may impede their path to complete healing post mastectomy. Pink Ink Fund is also very excited to help with all military patients as military health insurance does currently not cover the tattooing. Pink Ink Fund also looks forward to helping increase awareness for realistic nipple/areola tattooing, to help find ways to educate and train technicians, outreach to the medical community, and more.
Amy attracts tattoo collectors throughout Richmond, Va and also as far as New York, Los Angeles, Texas, Portland, San Diego and more. Her nipple tattoo clients have also travelled from many part of the United States, and she continues to get requests from outside the US as well which she hopes Pink Ink Fund will be able to help her eventually get to any patient, anywhere.
Her workspace/tattoo studio is in a renovated historical 2 story structure on the 2nd floor in the eclectic shopping district called Carytown in Richmond, Va where she typically tattoos 5 days a week.
Proud recipient of Style Weekly’s “Best Tattoo Artist” Reader’s Poll 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, One of Richmond Magazine’s Best Tattoo Parlors 2011, RVA Mag’s “Best Local Tattoo Artist” in their 2012 Reader’s Poll, and 2013 Honoree of Women in The Arts Award, Amy looks forward to continually bring her best services to both clients and patients.