Photo Essay: The Tattoos of Dallas' Nightlife Scene

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

See also: The Tattoos of Dallas Nightlife Slideshow

Photographer Roderick Pullum has been out chronicling nightlife for the Observer for a while now. For the purposes of this post, however, we got him to capture the tattoos imbued in Dallas' nightlife scene, and the stories that go with them.

Jeff Thornton Artist Jeff Thornton got his first ink at the age of 23. He now has 22 tattoos. The two most meaningful in his collection of ink are his son's initials, A.R.T., and commemorative tattoo for his close friend Erica Soto, who passed away last year.

Madalyn Coon Madalyn chose the "Tree Of Life & Death" as her primary piece. It's an amazing piece of art that stretches from her shoulder blade to her upper thigh. She says it's still in progress. She also has portraits of her father, brother and her mother's name in her collection of ink.

Samantha Lutz Samantha's first tattoo was done when she was 15 years old in Okinawa, Japan. She got "Sammy" on her lower back, and now has gone under the needle 17 times. She said all of her tattoos are important because they represent someone or something in her life that has had significant meaning. Her favorite, however, is the chessboard on her neck because the game represents life.

Kevin Chitwood All of Kevin's body art comes courtesy of Luise at the Love & Hate tattoo shop in Lewisville. He has 11 total, and his favorite is a portrait his daughter drew of the two of them together. Kevin didn't play it safe or conservative on his first tattoo - he got his first on the back of his head at age 18.

Ilene Rene Ilene's colorful sleeve of roses is a tribute to her Aunt Rose. There are angel wings and script within the design that reads, "No One Ever Really Dies." She says Pharell (of the Neptunes) is her favorite musician, so she chose to include that as an homage to his rock group N.E.R.D.

George Rose George also chose roses for his tattoos. He has a sleeve of 10 to represent important women in his life like his mother, grandmothers and aunts. George now has four tattoos total and got his first one done at a shop in the haven for ink, Deep Ellum, when he was 18.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.