The Art of Tattoo with Local Artist Alex Renae

Issue 25: February 28, 2024

Our bodies serve as blank canvases, ready to be decorated with the vivid tales of our lives. We acquire natural marks of life, like freckles and scars, but the art of Tattoo turns our bodies into walking tapestries; where stories, symbols, and creativity are immortalized in ink.

Over the weekend, the McMurry Art and Design Department organized an event featuring a workshop led by local tattoo artist Alex Renae. She presented a class dedicated to the fundamentals of tattoo design, and I had the pleasure of attending. Today, I’m excited to share an overview of what we covered and my personal reflections on the process.

Renae started the workshop by giving us brief history lesson on the “American” style of tattooing. She explained that this particular style is recognized by vibrant primary colors and strong, bold lines, often depicting iconic imagery such as roses, skulls, and eagles. Following this introduction, Renae informed us that we would be practicing this style ourselves! Our task was to create a flash sheet featuring 3-5 designs of our choosing, all crafted in the classic “American” tattoo style. Once we finished our designs, she passed around utensils tattoo artists use when creating their designs; like the tombow (a felt tip marker that blends with water) and colored ink. I thoroughly enjoyed attending this workshop. Given that I already have six tattoos, three of which I designed myself, this workshop was right up my alley. Renae was very knowledgeable and could answer questions about tattoo history and design processes, making the learning environment very enjoyable. This workshop provided me with a valuable opportunity to delve deeper into a medium of art that I’m passionate about, and I am immensely grateful for the chance to expand my skills and knowledge. Thank you, McMurry Art and Design!