Lady Tattoo Artists We Love: Karen Glass

karen glass tattooKaren Glass is an incredible artist -- tattoos, performance, and music are where her talents shine. Her work is as magical as she is, filled with vivid color and gorgeous black and gray shading, and placed in spots that truly complement the human body.

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The self-professed country girl at heart has called Brooklyn home since 2000. She's married to a native Brooklynite Zach (owner of the Bushwick bar Our Wicked Lady), and they have a 1-year-old daughter, Bianca, and a 10-year-old dog named Trolley.

Karen and Zach also play in the indie band Bugs in the Dark. Karen tattoos in a private studio in Williamsburg, and as you can see, her work is enchanting. Check out what she had to say below.

karen glass tattoo

karen glass tattoo

How did you get into tattooing?  
I got tattooed by a good friend and fell in love with the process. I was drawn to the artistic design, the technical aspect, and the intimate human connection. My friend owned a Brooklyn tattoo shop and eventually decided to teach me. I managed the shop during my apprenticeship. It was an invaluable combination because I learned about running a small business while learning to tattoo. Watching how the different artists at the shop worked gave me insight into how I wanted to approach my career.  

More from CafeMom: 21 Majorly Cool & Tiny Micro Tattoos

karen glass tattoo

karen glass tattoo

What was the first tattoo that you got?
Oh boy. I got my first tattoo when I was 14 and it was done by a scratcher in a dirty squat house in central Pennsylvania. It was a horribly executed image of Goofy on my foot. Luckily it was small and I had it covered up when I turned 18.  

karen glass tattoo

karen glass tattoo

Share a good story about a tattoo that you have done.
Most tattoos sessions are an emotional experience for me. There is an energy exchange between the tattooer and client, and I have always been affected by it. I am an empath, and I have learned to protect myself from taking on negative energy by creating a positive exchange. Even the trauma from pain during a tattoo can be passed on, so I think of tattooing as energy work. I can tattoo while giving positive energy and turn it into a healing experience.  

I recently tattooed a woman who has a daughter the same age as mine. We talked about how becoming a mother drastically changes your view of yourself. Having a small child can make you feel like your body is no longer your own. She decided to get her tattoo on her sternum to reclaim a part of herself. The rose was an adornment that made her feel beautiful. As a breastfeeding mother I understood her feelings at a deep level. Doing this for her was healing for me.  

flower tattoo

Have you ever tattooed yourself? 
The first tattoo I ever did was on myself as part of my apprenticeship. My mentor insisted that I shouldn't tattoo anyone else until I was ready to wear one of my own tattoos. I did a blossom on my thigh and I still love it. Tattooing myself, however, was awful! It's way more fun to have an artist you love tattoo you while you chat and connect with them.   

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karen glass tattoo

karen glass tattoo

Who and what influences you in work/life? 
I'm inspired by so many people -- other tattooers, musicians, friends. I am constantly finding photos that spark new ideas -- that's my favorite thing about Instagram. It's endless inspiration to keep growing as an artist. I've always gotten a lot of my creative ideas from dreams. I have a vivid dream life and I try and capture some of that powerful imagery in my songs and drawings.

karen glass tattoo

karen glass tattoo

karen glass tattoo



Images via Karen Glass; karenglasstattoo/Instagram

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