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Empire Tattoo: The Sugar Skull Master

How Jesse Priest, Owner of Empire Tattoo Co and Artist, Created a Stunning Sugar Skull Portrait and Delivered an Amazing Experience!


I would like to share with you my latest tattoo adventure. Recently, my wife was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. After almost 20 years of amazing memories, she continues to inspire me and those around her with her bravery, love and bona fide beautiful personality. She is #KickingCancersAss and I wanted to capture my warrior queen with timeless art that I could be proud of for the rest of my life!


I have always been fascinated by my Hispanic heritage and my love for sugar skulls, the colorful and festive symbols of the Mexican Day of The Dead. I love the idea of celebrating life! So, when I decided to get a portrait of my wife tattooed on my arm, I wanted to incorporate a sugar skull element into it.


I did some research online and found out that there is a great tattoo studio in Colorado Springs called Empire Tattoo Co. The owner and tattooer is Jesse Priest, a local artist with more then10 years of experience and a lot of positive reviews. He specializes in all styles of tattooing, but I was especially impressed by his neo realism and neo traditional artwork. I contacted him through his Facebook Page and booked an appointment.


When I arrived at the studio, I was greeted by Jesse and his friendly staff. The studio was clean, spacious, and decorated with some amazing artwork. Jesse showed me his portfolio and some of his previous portrait work. He took the time to listen to my story and asked me questions about my wife, her personality, and passions. He then sketched a rough draft of the tattoo on a tablet, overlaying a photo of my wife to ensure he captured her facial features, and walked me through the process.


I was blown away by his creativity and talent. He captured my wife's likeness perfectly, but also added a sugar skull twist that I was looking for. He gave her lushes eyelashes and a blue feather headdress, symbolizing her battle with colorectal cancer, then said, "Now that is a warrior queen!"


I loved the design and gave him the green light to start the tattooing process. He prepared his equipment and made sure everything was sterile and safe. He then transferred the stencil onto my arm and began to work his magic with the tattoo gun. He is a master of detail, using multiple needles to create specific features, textures and colors. He had a light hand and always checked in with me to make sure I was comfortable and relaxed throughout the session. He also chatted with me about his own background, his experience as a tattoo artist, and his passion for transforming people's stories, emotions, and identities into art that they can wear with pride! He credits his mother for all of his love and success as an artist. I am very excited to announce that I will have Jesse on my Studio Podcast, "Boozy Coffee w/ Friends", to share his story of courage and love for the tattoo industry.


The tattooing process took about four hours, but it felt like no time at all. Jesse did an amazing job of bringing the design to life with vivid colors and sooth shading. He also added some finishing touches, such as some extra sugar skull features. He then cleaned the tattoo, wrapped it with a bandage, and gave me some aftercare instructions. He also took a picture of the tattoo and posted it on his Instagram [@Tattooliganco], where he showcases his work.


I am very happy with the result and thanked Jesse for his awesome work. He thanked me for choosing him as my tattoo artist and gave me a hug. He also gave me his business card and told me to contact him if I have any questions or concerns about the tattoo. He invited me to come back anytime if I want to get more tattoos from him. I am already planning my next piece of art!


I left the studio feeling great and proud of my new tattoo. I think it is a beautiful tribute to my wife, who is my soulmate and my best friend. I couldn't wait to show her and see her reaction. She loved it and was so happy to see how he captured her true beauty.


If you are looking for a great tattoo artist who can create amazing art, I highly recommend Jesse Priest from Empire Tattoo Co in Colorado Springs CO. He is not only talented, but also friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. He will make sure you have a wonderful tattoo experience and leave with a stunning piece of art on your skin!


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See you next time!

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