“My clients have given me a lot of freedom to create the way that I want to do it. They’ll bring me concepts and ideas, and I truly have the ability to do it my way.”
— Toby Linwood
Richard “Toby” Linwood is an artist, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Possessing an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age, Toby got his start at fifteen painting murals. His artistic pursuits led him to exciting opportunities—travelling the world while working in movie production and sports marketing as a lead designer.
When the recession hit in 2008, Toby began looking for his next step. A friend suggested a tattoo school in Portland, and Toby went for it. “I was living in the Bay Area… and thought I would just do tattoos as a side project, between jobs. When I got into tattooing, though, I found out that you don’t want a part-time tattoo artist.”
After graduating, Toby returned to the Bay Area and focused on tattooing for the next year. But when friends offered him a spot in their new Portland-based shop, he didn’t hesitate. As Toby put it, not only did Portland have awesome tattoo clients, it also offered better schools and housing for his growing family.
A few years later, an opportunity arose to buy the tattoo shop he was working in, Hawthorne Ink Tattoo. “I hadn’t been tattooing very long. I didn’t really have any intention of owning a shop… and I was really worried at first about owning the shop since I didn’t have much experience.” But after consulting friends with years in the business, Toby knew it was too good to pass up.
Since buying Hawthorne Ink Tattoo in June 2016, Toby and his wife, Nisha, have focused on rebranding, as well as updating the physical space and the administration of the business. Now called Tattoo 34, the shop is filled with light colors, clean lines, art, and even an emotional therapy pup named Wes Anderson. “I think we’re on a really good path now. My goal is to continue… to make this a place where really good people, really talented artists, who have a lot of respect for the trade, want to work.”
Storyteller: Nicole Carmella Buchanan | Photos: Diego Diaz | Published: January 2018
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 503-235-3606