Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Allen.
Hi Diana, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I was born in Great bend Kansas. I lived in a Coldwater Kansas with my husband Trent Allen and our son, Brett, for most of my adult life. I provided USD 350 with special education services for 13 years. Then, many years ago, a close friend and I made a trip to Louisiana to see my son after he was stationed there at Fort Polk. We decided to get tattoos during the visit. While my friend and I were getting tattooed, I was literally hit with inspiration to be a tattoo artist myself.
I started asking around about how to get an apprenticeship at that time and was discouraged by just about everyone. It was very expensive but I finally ended up with an apprenticeship in Leavenworth Kansas. That is how I became the first female tattoo artist of the first city of Kansas and I don’t regret my decision at all.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No, it has not been an easy road, especially for a middle-aged female artist. I had a very traditional style apprenticeship where you do absolutely everything your mentor asks of you even if it means cleaning the fish tank out with your bare hands or babysitting their dogs at their house for a week while they are on vacation. An apprenticeship in Kansas consists of 50 procedures completed with 1200 hours of logged time over the course of one year.
Then you take a written and practical test to receive your license. I had to move away from my family for a year in order to complete my apprenticeship. Working with others in the industry can be very difficult because tattooing can be very cutthroat. Getting in tune with a like-minded shop and being willing to give them a percentage of your earnings can be darn near impossible.
I am very fortunate to have my own shop now. It’s not a piece of cake but I am much happier calling my own shots and making my own decisions.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I tattoo anything from massive cover-ups to simple small meaningful pieces of art. I will not turn down anything that is within my abilities therefore I do not have a specialty. I would say the bearded lady tattoo shop is known for making you feel like family when you walk in the door and we make you feel comfortable and at home. We sincerely enjoy your company here. I take pride in knowing that other people around me are here pushing forward as hard as I am to make our studio the best it can be. When my husband, Trent is not working his other job, he’s here working right beside me.
My best friend, Steve also works with me as a piercer/tattoo artist and he works just as hard making the studio as good as it can be. The thing that sets me apart from others is a hard question to answer. I don’t feel unique or special compared to anyone else. I am the kind of person that just wants to feel like I’m part of the bigger plan. I just want everyone to feel better about their bodies and their appearances. I want to be proud of my art and I want other people to be proud they are wearing it.
What does success mean to you?
To me, success is setting goals and meeting them but also feeling good about the goals I have chosen to meet. I’m not in competition with anyone else but that lady in the mirror. I tend to push for the best I can be. I think this attitude can sometimes make it difficult for the people in my life because I push them to be their best as well.
Sometimes this can cause me to lose people in my life but it seems like the right people all ways seem to stick around.
- Diana’s hourly rate is $125 with a minimum of $100.
- Steve’s hourly rate is $100 with a minimum of $80
- Piercings are between $30 and $50 dollars depending on what we are piercing
- Website: www.beardedladytattoo.com
- Instagram: https://www.Instagram.com/dianaallentattoo/
- Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/thebeardedladytattoo/