community, spirituality

The Healing Art of Tattoo

BUSINESS NAME: Maneki Neko Tattoorobyn blog

OWNER: Robyn K Town

WEBSITE: Tattoos By Robyn


FACEBOOK:  maneki neko tattoo

ADDRESS: The Granary, 41 John St. Port Hope

This feature is written by tattoo artist Robyn Town.


What is a tattoo? This will mean many things to many people, art, expression, individuality, inclusion, healing and closure are some of the reasons I am told bring my clients into my studio. A tattoo to them represents much more than just a fad.


I started Maneki Neko Tattoo in 2004 in a tucked away little studio in the Granary of Port Hope. I had a dream and a business plan to create a tattoo studio for women, where the intimidation factor was gone, private, somewhere you could feel you were listened to.  It was a personal goal of mine to design a life where I had the freedom to create art for others without stress. I use all vegan inks, and I also use 100% disposable equipment, so it’s totally safe. I work strictly by appointment now, and tattoo men and women from 18 to 80.

My past has taken me many places, I started in the music business, and “fell into” a job in the tattoo industry over 20 years ago, managing a large chain of tattoo studios in Toronto. I found my passion. I traveled the country and abroad, working and visiting tattoo conventions throughout my 20’s, being inspired by some fantastic artists along the way, and finally began tattooing at age 28. I could tell some very colourful stories about my past, and you may hear one or two for comic relief if you come in to be tattooed.  I consider myself a life-long artist, drawing from as soon as I was able to hold a crayon. I enjoy doing every style of tattooing, from linework to portraits to graffiti style bold colour. It is as I say, my pleasure, I may do the same tattoo again and again but I get to connect with my clients, hear their stories and help them mark a time in their life.

You may think tattoo, ouch! It’s so much more than that. Living breathing art, it’s a canvas to paint your story on. There are so many reasons why one might choose a design, it can be as deep or as silly as you want it to be, the sky is the limit. Who are you? What image represents you? What makes you happy? Is it your child’s name, your favorite Grandpa’s nickname for you, your beloved pets pawprint? A cancer ribbon in support of a friend. A tattoo can memorialize loved ones, and place a stamp on your body which will forever feel as if they are a part of you. Closure, in a very personal way, this can be very healing.

The transformation can be life changing, altering the perception of your body or taking possession back of an area of the bodily landscape that you had previously written off as scarred, blemished or otherwise not worthy of showing off. A tattoo by choice can take that trauma back, and make it a positive, the tattoo is not a band-aid but it them becomes part of you, and your story. I had a client who survived breast cancer whom I was able to make smile when she looked in the mirror naked again, the client who had a birthmark on her upper leg, I made into a sun. She  had never worn shorts her entire life, but proudly showed her leg off with her new tattoo. A cutting scar turned into a tree, a symbol to give you strength or courage through a hard time,  a reward for something you worked really hard to achieve.

There can actually be a euphoria or high from the adrenaline and endorphins your body releases while being tattooed, some people find this therapeutic as they are able to work through and subsequently let go of emotional pain that has been stagnant in the body in a physical way. The healing tattoo can be a visual representation of the wound closing, the ink drying, time passing. It’s part of your life now, and will still be there telling that story at the end of your life. It is such an honour to be the person sharing those moments and leaving my imprint on the lives of the people in this community.

robyn blog ink

Please do not be shy, contact me with any questions, or comments. Feel free to check out my Facebook Album of the work I have done as well.







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