When Sarah Miller started Wyld Chyld Tattoo in 2012, her goal was to create a studio where she and her crew of artists would have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
“Going into work, you want to be in a beautiful, safe, creative environment where you can share ideas and grow,” Sarah says. You may recognize Sarah from the TV series Ink Master, where she held the distinction of the being the first female contestant to make it to the finale. But the talent for which she is recognized comes from eleven years learning the craft after working as a professional graphic designer. Sarah’s roommate in college, Alex Branwin (AKA Ashley Claypool), was a tattoo artist, and after seeing her artistic talents, encouraged her to try tattooing.
“When I first picked up a tattoo machine, it was like a piece of me that had been missing,” Sarah says. “I knew the moment that I started tattooing that I never wanted to stop.”
After graduating Magna cum Laude from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor’s of Science in Graphic Design, Sarah worked as a graphic designer by day and a tattoo artist by night and on weekends. Working 80 hours a week between the two, it wasn’t long, though, before she had to decide on her life’s direction.
“My family and friends told me not to quit my graphics job because it had good pay and benefits,”Sarah says, “but I just didn’t see myself being happy or fulfilled designing grocery store circulars.”
There’s no lack of creativity at Wyld Chyld; there’s an artist for pretty much every tattoo style imaginable, from black & grey to new school and realism and coverups. Sarah’s specialty is portrait realism, and in her case you could even call it ultra-realism, as she breathes real life into the faces. Some of the artists that have influenced her style range from master painters from antiquity, such as Jacques-Louis David and Alphonse Mucha, as well as modern painters and tattoo artists like Corey Miller, Nikko Hurtado, Jeff Gogue, and Dmitriy Samohin.
“Portraits are an art form to which I’ve been drawn to my entire life,” Sarah says. “Not very many people are able to accurately do portraits – it’s a very technical branch of tattooing. It’s not just the eyes, nose or lips – it’s the entirety of the face as a whole that’s able to give the face its unique expressions and character. Portraiture is something different than any other style of tattoo, and you’re able to immediately connect with the piece.”
No matter the style, the goal at Wyld Chyld is give clients great artwork and an exceptional experience.
“It’s a shared experience where you’ve put your heart and soul into your work and they’ve endured the needle and the time… It’s one of the most rewarding things in life,” Sarah says. “To sit with somebody and to hear their life stories is amazing – what you create is a bond that transcends tattooing.”
Adding Tatt2Away® to the Studio
Over the years, Wyld Chyld has gotten a lot of requests from people who wanted to get their tattoos lightened, removed or covered. As Sarah points out, a lot of the time, the tattoos that people wanted to get covered are simply too dark to do anything with. “If you did anything over the top of it, you’d be looking at a mess,” she says.
It was while Sarah was doing a guest spot with Halo, at Black Lotus Tattoo Gallery, in Hanover, Maryland, that she was introduced to Tatt2Away. Sarah was amazed at how well the process worked, and how much better it was than the laser treatments she had seen.
“I’ve seen tattoos treated with laser where the skin had bubbled up and was filled with pus and fluid… The healing process can be a complete mess,” Sarah says. “Everybody complains about the pain (associated with laser) and has to go through it multiple times… There was one lady who’d had 13 treatments and you could still see her tattoo.”
“With Tatt2Away, it’s one treatment, and after that area is healed completely, the skin has been regenerated and there’s nothing there. . . It’s new skin,” Sarah adds.
Sarah’s goal with offering Tatt2Away at Wyld Chyld is to give clients an alternative to laser for removal. As Tatt2Away and DEScoverup® represent a selective removal process, they also give a tattoo artist more options when it comes to doing a coverup.
“If one of our artists wants to work with our Tatt2Away technician to selectively lighten or remove a specific area of the client’s tattoo, we have that option. If the client wants to work with the technician and complete a couple of sessions before have a consultation with an artist, we can do that too,” Sarah explains.
“If you break up a black tattoo, even if it’s only one session of Tatt2Away, you’re able to do so much more with the coverup just because of the textures you can create and the colors you can choose –you’re not limited to just roses and skulls, or depending on how dark the old tattoo is, just a black blob,” Sarah adds. Tatt2Away opens the horizons. It’s a game-changer for both client and artist.”
The ultimate reward, Sarah says, is to make the client happy and to give them an experience that they will remember for the rest of their life. Tatt2Away, she points out, goes hand-in-hand with everything that they do.
“It makes coverups so much sweeter,” Sarah says, “because we’re no longer limited and the client can get whatever they want.”