Baby portrait tattoo.

 After seeing the latest work from black and grey tattoo artist Andy Pho, it’s safe to say that excellence runs in the family. This latest baby portrait tattoo was done on a client (@barberdeef) just yesterday, and he flew in all the way from Ireland.

Take a close look at the details and the shading and it becomes pretty evident that Andy’s finesse and attention to detail is outrageously accurate. To tattoo a portrait of a loved one is a very sentimental experience and we’re glad to have been a part of this occasion. This also marks the second tattoo from two clients who flew in from Ireland to watch the UFC fight go down.

If you’re looking for the best portrait tattoos in color or black and grey then be sure to stop on by Skin Design. We’re located a few miles from the Las Vegas strip and we’re open 7 days a week. 



Dog portrait tattoo by Andy Pho

When Erica’s dog, a 7 year old Golden Retriever named Kahlua, passed away in her sleep, the owner decided she was going to get a memorial tattoo done in memory of her beloved friend. That’s when she decided to catch a flight from Washington to Las Vegas, to get a black and grey portrait tattoo done by Andy Pho.

You see, a dog’s love is uncontested and unconditional, which is why they’ve earned the term, “Man’s best friend”. They see no wrong, they pass no judgement and in the end they will become  a part of our lives, but to them, we are their whole lives. So when Erica flew in from Washington, DC flew to get a tattoo we weren’t surprised by her devotion and dedication. In fact, resident Vegas tattooist Andy Pho was more than happy and honored to take on the job and the end result was stellar. That said, we’re sure that Kahlua is looking down proud and wagging her tail knowing that her owner’s love and memory of her hasn’t faded one bit. A special thanks to Erica for trusting us with such a precious and powerful piece.



Portrait tattoo by Fernie Andrade. 

There’s a reason why Fernie Andrade is highly regarded as a premiere black and grey, portrait tattoo artist. His distinct style makes him one of the most sought after in Vegas, and his work speaks for itself. Aside from being a humble and level-headed artist, Fernie has already captured some of the biggest awards in the industry and his gallery is all the proof required.


We’re also proud to have SDT resident artist, Andy Pho, as part of our family. His captivating style, and attention to detail, makes him another highly sought after Vegas tattoo artist and his latest body of work is simply incredible.

So if you’re in or around Las Vegas, or are planning a trip out here, then be sure to stop by our facility to experience the ultimate in tattoos and laser tattoo removal. We offer free consultations with our staff of highly experienced artisans, and in the end we are committed to providing the Ultimate Las Vegas tattoo experience.

Skin Design specializes in:

Black & Grey tattoos  |  Color tattoos  |  Photorealism  |  Laser tattoo removal  |  Hyperrealism  |  New Traditional  |  Neo Traditional  |  Portrait Tattoos |  Script  |  Lettering  |  Americana Tattoos  |  Sterile & Clean tattoo environment  |   Tattoo aftercare products by H2Ocean  |



If you’re looking to get a meaningful portrait tattoo, but can’t find a figure that represents something powerful (and isn’t overly used), then here’s a few people that may inspire you. The stories of these popular, yet not too famous people are incredible, and they have all displayed an unmistakable will to survive that makes them heroes in their own right.

Take for example the guy pictured on the header of this post. His name is Simo “Simuna” Häyhä , and he was nicknamed “White Death” by the Red Army. He was a Finnish marksman that used Finnish M / 28-30 rifles,  in the Winter War, and killed at least 505 men – the highest recorded number of confirmed sniper kills in any major war. It was an incredible feat that goes down in history, especially when you consider that he did it all in 100 days – which technically means he had to kill roughly 5 people a day.

Of course there are many more people who could have qualified for the list, but if you for one minute were thinking that Chuck Norris should have been on the list, then please jump off your local bridge. OK…we’re kidding don’t do that. But just remember that a tattoo lasts a lifetime, so pick someone that you’ll be comfortable sporting because a tattoo can offer a life time of pride…..or shame.



Robert Pho’s gallery has been updated with some of his newest works. To visit his gallery please click here.


So I ran across a black and grey portrait that was done by Robert Pho, and in turn I ended up throwing on a track by Miles Davis – a track which subsequently influenced this post. With the volume up and the coffee brewing, the tracks smooth and rhythmic melody brought me to a peaceful place – while the songs name, “Freddie  Freeloader”, made me bust a smirk because of all the f*cked up memories and people it can relate to. (read on and you’ll find out why)

As artists, we all have our opinions and criticisms. Whether it be about technique, subject matter, tools of the trade, or simply art, the opinions we form can be relevant, ignorant, arrogant and sometimes downright argumentative. But for the most part, our opinions help ignite creativity and bring us closer together. On the other hand, the one thing I’m sure we can all agree on is the fact we all started in this industry in the same place: The very bottom.

Regardless if you tattoo, paint, draw or even write, we spend countless amounts of hours honing our craft, mastering our techniques and building our books/ portfolios. In the beginning, the encouragement we receive from friends comes deep and plenty, but ask someone to let you take a pass at their skin and the confidence and hoorah soon diminishes. But as time progresses -as does your skill – you soon create a following, and a book of business. It’s a natural progression that happens as a result of experience, confidence and improved techniques and in short,  it’s a part of surviving.  But along with that exponential growth comes an increase in what you can charge for the work  you do.


Freddie Freeloader by Miles Davis.

Soon after you raise your rates, comes a somewhat awkward moment where you have to announce the price hike. It’s at that moment that you realize that most old clients along with new clients don’t mind at all. Sure you hook up some of the regulars at discounted rates (as a way of thanking them for their loyalty), but what about the ones that still want your rates from when you were first practicing 15 years ago? Or how about the ones that want it for free? You know what I’m talking about! C’mon now….and if you don’t have a clue about what I’m talking about then soon enough you will. These are those folks that are classified as “Freddie Freeloaders” or “Captain Mooch.”


If you still don’t know what I’m talking about then listen carefully for anyone that uses typical key phrases such as….


“C’mon homie. Hook it up. I’ve been down since day one!”

“You got a cancellation? Yo..hit up my arm really quick with a small piece!”

and once they find out about your new rates, you’ll get the proverbial….

Oh! It’s like that now?! Glad I’m still getting  the homie hookup right?”

“I know I’m not paying that. We boys. Right?”


At first you may entertain a few of the offers but soon enough they’ll pester you to a point where you can’t help but laugh – or kick them out of the shop. So are we here to tell you how to solve this problem? Absolutely not, it’s a problem that we will all encounter soon enough and a dilemma that’s handled differently by each of us. In the meantime, get your hours in, your skill set up and know your worth.

If you’ve figured out the perfect way to handle a Freddie Freeloader be sure to leave a comment.


Side notes:

So how did this track get its name? There are two sources which cite that the song was named after a friend of Davis. The friends name was Freddie, and he was known for trying to see the music Davis and others played without paying. The sources came from a documentary, Kind of Blue: Made in Heaven, and an anecdote from the jazz pianist Monty Alexander. The name may have also been inspired by Red Skelton’s most famous character, “Freddie the Freeloader” the hobo clown.