Silje Roe Hagland, currently tattooing at Scapegoat Tattoo in Portland, Oregon, is one of my all-time favorite tattoo artists, primarily because of her adorable pet portraits. I had the pleasure of meeting her last spring when my daughter and I drove to Portland, where my daughter would get her first tattoo for her 18th birthday and I would add another to my collection.
Silje had our custom designs ready at the time of our appointments, much to our delight, as we were planning to return to Seattle that evening (we had scheduled our appointments months in advance, but I’ve found that tattooers often run behind schedule). It was exciting to finally be present in a moment we’d been anticipating for almost a year.
Silje was not only ready to go on time, she also tattoos fast. I love tattoos, but sitting for them is not always my favorite thing. Tattoos hurt. There are folks who will tell you otherwise, but I find them to be painful, and more so the older I get. Sitting or lying in one position for hours at a time isn’t as easy at 41 as it was at 18.
However, there is one advantage to waiting until you’re older to get tattooed. I’ve taken the time to research artists whose work I sincerely admire before covering my whole body, and I’m pretty sure that the images I like in my forties won’t change all that much in subsequent decades.
If I were wealthy, I’d have an enormous collection of Silje’s art. But I’m not, so I just stalk her Instagram page when I want to feel inspired for future tattoo ideas. Here are a few of my favorites:
Silje’s work is both whimsical and vibrant. Her style incorporates fairy tale magic with the bold outlines and bright colors made popular with traditional American sailor tattoos.
Silje’s flair for tattooing animals is one of the things I love most about her work. Her dog tattoos will warm the heart of any enthusiastic dog lover.
You can book an appointment with Silje Roe Hagland at Scapegoat Tattoo, located in Portland’s vegan mall. Be prepared to wait, though, as her schedule is usually full. Alas, pets are not welcome in the shop (which I found out when I brought two of my Chihuahuas inside). The tattooers love animals and have their own, but it’s not good to bring pets in for a variety of reasons.
I’ve literally spent hours stalking Silje’s Instagram because I adore her work so much. Don’t you love her dog portraits?
See more Pix We Love:
About Kezia Willingham: Also known as the Breadwinning Laundry Queen, Kezia lives in Seattle with her family, which includes her kids, a pack of rescued cats, dogs, and mice. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Seattle Times, and xoJane.com. A professional member of the Cat Writers Association, you can follow her on Twitter @KeziaWillingham.