Former Slicer starts tattoo studio


Students at LaPorte are pushed to reach for their dreams and not to shy away from their artistic abilities. One former student, Tina Brenda, went above and beyond when she created her own tattoo studio. 

While Brenda was a Slicer, her artwork was featured in Reflections Magazine, the magazine that is entirely student-made by Slicer students. Additionally, she took multiple different art classes to help fuel her love of creation.

“I did take two different art classes. One of them was with Mr. Turner, and I really liked having him as an art teacher. It was just a really supportive environment, and everyone really encouraged me to pursue art,” Brenda said.

After her time at LPHS, she joined the military, which is where she gained her love for tattooing. Before her time in the military, she never considered tattooing as an art form, but in the military, she saw a few of her friends with tattoos and decided that could be a medium that she could work with. 

Since leaving the military, Brenda has been self-employed her entire tattooing career, though it wasn’t until recently that she started working on creating her own tattooing business–Nephilim Studios.

“Starting my business the right way has been a little bit trickier than just starting it without worrying about the legal aspects. I’ve had to talk to lawyers, accountants, and other business owners to make sure I’m doing everything right. It’s been a process,” Brenda said. 

After spending her time tattooing, Brenda has discovered that her favorite things to tattoo are different types of floral tattoos. She also learned that she likes to tattoo realistic portraits, and she even has her own realistic tattoos of her cats.

As well as the tattoos of her cats, Brenda has the majority of her tattoos on her arms or someplace that could easily be covered by a long sleeve shirt, including a traditional Japanese style sleeve. However, she became more comfortable with visible tattoos,  and she has a tattoo of a mandala on her cheek. 

“I got the mandala last year around the time I became really comfortable with visible tattoos. I got it around the time I realized I could have visible things and not worry about what people think of me and their perspective of me and their opinions of me,” Brenda said. 

Currently, her shop is opening in Highland, and she won’t accept any walk-in tattoo requests. The majority of her tattoos range from $150-$200 an hour, but she does have a $100 minimum.

“Even if you come in and just get a dot, it’ll be $100. I do have special all-day rates. So if you book a strict four hour session with me, that’ll be $500, and if you book an eight hour session, which is an all-day appointment for me, that’ll be $1,000,” Brenda said.

She begins her tattooing process by discussing appointment times with her client. Then, the beginning of the appointment is spent discussing with the client exactly what they were looking for in a tattoo. After that, she draws up the client’s idea with them to make sure it’s exactly what they were looking for before she begins the tattoo. The ending of the appointment is spent going through tattoo aftercare with her client. 

Brenda describes tattoos as a freeing experience because it allows people to express themselves in a new kind of way. Additionally, she mentioned that many people get tattoos of their loved ones and hobbies which allows people to get a better picture of the person with the tattoos. 

Brenda’s story is a spark of inspiration for anyone that comes from a smaller school because it emphasizes that passion and talent can come from anywhere. 

If one were to book an appointment with her, they could reach her on her Instagram at @Tinabrendaart and her Facebook at Tina Brenda Arts.

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