Carl Hallowell Traditional Japanese Tattoo Artist
Hello, and Welcome! I am Carl, your humble servant and guide to the esoteric art of Japanese traditional tattooing. My study and practice have now hit 25 years of experience, as of 2020. My artistry provides the most authentic Japanese tattooing in Dallas-Fort Worth from my Deep Ellum and Waxahachie private studio locations.
My locations provide authentic japanese tattoos in a way that brings the best client experience forward, intertwining good relationships and good work that will both last a lifetime.
Japanese Traditional Tattooing
The art of the Japanese traditional tattoo, also known as irezumi, or horimono, has been practiced since the 1800’s in Japan. It is an exquisite form that is extreme and elaborate.
It covers vast expanses of the body, if not the complete body, creating full bodysuit tattoos, backpiece tattoos, and sleeve tattoos. It is designed to fit the body, and enhances the body as it works and moves with it. The look is nothing short of iconic! The way the Japanese tattoo lays out on the body and terminates at strong borders and the way the colored foreground image leaps off the sumi black background toward the viewer set the scene for a gorgeous piece of body art.
Tebori – Traditional Japanese Tattoos
The Japanese tattoo predates the invention of the tattoo machine, which was invented by Samuel O’Reilly in 1891. The method of application for early Japanese tattoos was “hand carving”, or Tebori. This tradition of hand carving Japanese tattoos continues to this very day, although it is an endangered art.
The Japanese held a similar reverence for the modern as well as the traditional tattoo practices, with the western tattoo machine being introduced to Japan around the 1970s.
The result of this experimentation led to many traditional Japanese Masters, or “horishi”, adopting the tattoo machine for their outlining of tattoos. While still hand carving the beautiful horimono designs.
However, it was decided upon quite unanimously that the western tattoo machine could never match the quality, intensity, character or Tebori, when it came to the shading and the coloring of irezumi.
This led many horishi to use a split tattooing approach. First, they used outlining by machine, then coloring by Tebori. I am proud and honored to continue this split approach tradition today, one of only a small handful of American tattooists to do so.
Omotenashi is a Japanese service ideal that is translated as “hospitality.” Its goal is to serve the customer even beyond standard hopes and expectations, anticipate their needs, and create a superlative customer experience.
A trip to Japan will provide you an opportunity to enjoy this high level of service time and time again. My dedication to customer service may be based more on Texas’ own tradition of hospitality! But I think that the root of my love for my customers is respect, which was taught to me by tattooing itself.
When it comes to Japanese tattoos, respect is everything:
- The respect for the past masters of tattooing and one’s tattooing elders in the present.
- The respect for the sacred traditional tattoo images passed down through the generations.
- And the respect for the suffering and dedication it takes to receive a tattoo, which seems a more and more incredible feat, the more you experience it for yourself.
Respecting the customer, you care for them, their experience, their memories you leave them with, the marks you put upon their body. It is an honor and a responsibility to be entrusted with the great task of tattooing a person. The relationship between artist and customer always shows in the skin. The love, the soul, and the respect all shine through.
The tattoo is not just a picture on the skin but a complete experience, from the personal connection to the sharing of a journey, mutual admiration, and finally, to a great tattoo! I believe that my choice to work in an appointment-only private studio facilitates this high level of service and grand experience to the fullest.
Your work is out of this world. Keep up the great talent. Your one hell of a tattooer.
Real tattoos for real people…keepin’ the real texas tradition alive bud
first off carl is my buddy he does bad ass traditional tattoos he did a killer stray cats logo on my forearm in solid black he also did the state of texas that says dime for dimebag Darryl of pantera he also did a bitchin rockabilly chick with a deck of cards and a bottle of booze with some cherries it says rocker's dream I just went up to him and said I want a rockabilly chick and the genius he is came up with that carl is a very kind cool dude.
Carl is a great tattoo artist. Great with clients and makes sure everyone walks out with a killer piece that they will love forever. Very patient and kind, and it shows in his work and with repeat customers. Keep up the good work Carl!!!
I'm not sure what type of witchcraft/wizardry you did on me, but this tattoo is almost completely healed, and it hasn't even been a week yet! What the?!? Haha, awesome. Thanks again for a KILLER tattoo and arguably the best tattoo experience I've had thus far.
Love your site, very informative and helpful! I might need another?!?!?!?
Great stuff here man! Love it!
It’s amazing after all these years how you’ve stayed true to the art. The way you continue grow but still hold on to the raw power of what we hold dear. In a time when tattooing is going in a diluted direction and seems to have lost it’s magic, there you are to push the brakes. To give soul back to the sacred. Anyone that knows you knows that you are an asset to tattooing. I am honored to call you my friend. May you find enlightenment in this thing we call tattoo and finally capture the perfect panther!!!!
I've been getting tattoos by Carl for almost 20 years now, including two half sleeves, a back piece, and various other sundry pieces, and I've never gone to anyone else. Carl is a genuinely personable guy that gets along with everyone, and is a consummate professional that takes his craft very seriously. He is always prepared to give you a unique, personalized tattoo that you'll be proud to wear the rest of your life, no matter what the style.
I've been getting tattooed by carl for the better part of 2 decades. He always makes sure that we don't miss out on any painful spots. He's a great guy like that! I have trusted Carl with both sleeves and now my back. His light handed approach makes it easy to sit with him for hours.