Steph Hanlon {E} Tattoo Artist Feature

{E} Artist Feature on Steph Hanlon

by Christina Diaz

Currently tattooing at Apocalypse Tattoo in Seattle, Washington, tattooist Steph Hanlon has developed a beautiful tattoo style she refers to as eclecticism. What is eclecticism you ask? In her words, it “is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.”

Tattooing for 10 years now, Steph’s artwork much like herself is eclectic. It’s beautiful, whimsical and timeless. Steph likes to “take inspirations from everything and use those inspirations in my designs. I try to not get locked into a box of one way of thinking when I create something. I find I am happiest with this process.” Keep reading to learn more about Steph’s creative process..

{E}: What, or who, got you interested in art? 

SH: I don’t know exactly, I always liked drawing as a child and had a lot of friends who were the same…so it always felt natural to be interested in art in some way

{E}: Were you artistic as a child? 

SH: Yes, I liked to draw and doodle a lot when I was a kid. We also used to do a lot of crafts when I was a child.

{E}: Are you self-taught or did you attend a trade school? 

SH: Mostly self-taught, but some schooling in graphic design and a few painting and photography classes in high school

{E}: Tell us how you got into the tattoo industry.

SH: I was going to school for graphic design when I started dating a tattoo artist, he saw my drawings and said I should learn to tattoo…so I decided to try it, since I already loved getting tattoos, it seemed natural to me…needless to say I stuck with tattooing and not graphic design..haha!

{E}: How has your art e-volved over the years?

SH: Well, I like to challenge myself…so I feel that through experimenting with different styles over the years I have become more of a well-rounded artist. I feel the work I am doing now as opposed to say 5 years ago is more where I want to be…artistically and technically. I truly believe hard work is where its at, nothing comes easy. You must always push yourself as an artist to stay inspired.

{E}: What do you enjoy  most about tattooing? Least? 

SH: I love that its always evolving, there will always be someone somewhere experimenting and making the industry push further artistically and technically. I think this is one of the best things about tattooing, I am always learning…I never get bored with what I do, and that’s really a blessing. The least? I guess the moments of stagnation, when you get stuck and need to get out of  a rut.

{E}: What inspires you?

SH: Everything…from a song to a piece of fabric is inspiration for’s really the feeling I get from those things that inspire me…

{E}: Whom are some of your favorite artists and why? Both ink and fine art.

SH: Tattooers, I would have to say Bugs, Xoil, Fabien Batista, Marta Lipinski…and many more. Fine art I would say Kandinsky, Mucha, Van Gogh, Lempicka.

{E}: Where and when did you get your first tattoo? Who did it? Tell me about this first ink experience. 

SH: I was 17 and it was a Celtic design on my chest, which is covered now…a friend of mine did it in his house…it was a great experience, I loved it immediately and wanted more.

Check out more of Steph’s work at
Instagram @stephhanlontattoo
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Steph Hanlon {E} Tattoo Artist Feature