There is a huge amount of trust involved when it comes to tattoos. While most forms of art can be rearranged, redone or removed, tattoos don’t share those luxuries. They require research, planning and confidence between the artist and the subject. With art education and years of work experience, Nychelle Elise has been inking residents from Plano and beyond with her steady, trustworthy hand.
After graduating from Texas Woman’s University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a focus on painting and drawing, Nychelle searched the metroplex for a creative outlet. “I started doing a lot of art shows and painting a lot around Dallas,” she said.
As her portfolio grew, so did her interest in tattooing. “I was always interested in tattooing just because it’s another form of art, another medium to explore,” she said. “I finally found someone willing to teach me at a shop in Arlington.”
While similar to sketching or painting, the canvas is significantly more precious for tattoo work. Those looking to get into the field can often expect years of apprenticeship before ever putting the needle to a client’s skin, but Nychelle was put on an accelerated path. “I started tattooing very quickly, but because everyone knew me as an artist, they trusted me. It was a good experience,” she said.
After putting in long hours Nychelle found herself looking for something more. A good artist never stops growing, but evolves and changes over time. That force pushed her into her own studio.
“I was working a lot,” she says. “I lived in Frisco but was driving to Arlington, to Dallas, to Duncanville, to the shops that I worked at. I got my own shop because I needed to make my own hours, needed to make my own rules and be able to work around my son’s needs and wants.”
After picking a suitable location off Park and Preston in Plano, Nychelle began building a client base and making herself known.
The world of self-promotion is extremely different from years ago. While Nychelle has a traditional portfolio on her website, a large portion of work – and subsequently clients – come via Instagram. What pushed her into a unique realm, though, was her appearance on the reality TV show “Ink Master.”
“I knew a lot of my friends who were on ‘Ink Master’ already, so I was familiar with the show,” she said. “When they emailed me, I was very excited.”
Even with promotion from the show, it wasn’t easy being in the spotlight. “It was fun but stressful, because when you’re an artist people critique you anyway, but it’s like critique critiquing,” she laughed, referring to a side effect of the publicity.
While Nychelle may be relatively new to her own studio, her work speaks for itself. With a focus on technical skills and an understanding of how to produce clean and stunning work on both light and dark skin tones, her gallery of work crosses all subjects.
“I like tattooing black and grey realism, flowers, just overall really pretty stuff,” she smiles. “I try to be well rounded as an artist.”
With Plano’s scarcity of tattoo shops, and the ever decreasing stigma against body art, Nychelle is all set to keep the ink flowing.Nychelle Elise Studio >
Plaza Park Salons
4909 W. Park Blvd. Suite 157