the contemporary work of
T. R. Kaltreider
I am open to any subject or combination of subjects. I am especially drawn to florals, botanicals & fungi, snakes & reptiles, birds, all skulls, figurative work, costumes, psychedelic, surrealism, noir, nouveau, geometry, ornamental blackwork and color. My ideal projects include combining a number of these elements.
All genders, body types, and skin tones are welcome. Whether you choose to wear my predawn designs or share your ideas for me to compose & execute, every composition will be sized and adjusted to bespoke each client. Placement, fit, and flow on the individual body are important elements in all my tattoos—never to be neglected.
Available Tattoo Designs and Concept Sketches
The Van Go Tattooing project started in 2020 as an effort to combine all my favorite things into a life of art and adventure on the road. After completing three national tours tattooing at shops, conventions, trailheads, ski resorts, concerts, and epic van meetups, it was too hard to come back from the dream. And in March of 2022, my partner, Alexis, and I went fully nomadic.
The layout of the van has constantly evolved: from an empty cargo van, to a camper, to a fully functional, sanitary, and sometimes-licensed mobile tattoo studio. The van is currently set up to function as a painting studio and adventure vehicle. For now, you can find me tattooing at shops and conventions.
Tempe, AZ | Sentient Tattoo Collective
NOW - April 16th 2024
Seattle, WA | Triassic Tattoo
May 28th - October 6th 2023
Seattle, WA | Seattle Tattoo Expo
August 16th - 18th 2023
In 2013, I was frustrated with my studio practice. A self-taught multidisciplinary visual artist, I had been working with galleries for years, had my first museum exhibition Baltimore, Maryland's The Contemporary, and booked an exhibition at Frostburg State University. Hindsight offers a little more clarity, but I needed a change—a reassessment of my practice and a new direction.
I had been focused on painting & mark-making on different found surfaces and mixing two- and three-dimensional worlds & tableaus. I've always loved studio painting, but things happening in street art and tattooing continued to capture my imagination and aesthetic. Despite the fact that consistent, unsanctioned street art had the potential to fulfill my sense of aesthetics and humor, it would likely exacerbate the legal and financial issues in my life at the time. As I saw it, pursuing tattooing could be both creatively and financially rewarding.
Tattooing has been rewarding from the very start and continues to motivate and push my imagination. At this point, my studio and tattoo practices have become very integrated—continually influencing each other in a more seamless design process that allows my natural drawing and mark-making style to be present from concept to final tattoo.
Many clients choose their subject for symbolic rather than purely aesthetic reasons. Regardless, it is always my primary goal to work with each client to create dynamic and well-crafted, original and recognizable art that is both bold and detailed—lasting a lifetime.
After 10 years of tattooing, the most rewarding aspect for me has been seeing the way tattoos can transform someone's body image and exponentially boost self-confidence. I see it time and time again, and it always humbles and amazes me to be a part of improving someone's wellbeing.
Whether it's on skin, on walls, or in the form of merch, I make work that speaks to me and am continually elated each time someone shares that appreciation.