Shannon Perry — the multi-talented tattoo artist and singer with the band Gazebos — is living proof that the creative mind can simultaneously be a both a blessing and a burden. When you are skilled in multiple mediums of art life becomes a juggling act; driven by so many different passions it’s difficult to balance everything without letting the other passions suffer.
Art has been a staple in Perry’s life from all the way back when she was in elementary school. Music was her first love as she learned to sing and play various instruments from a young age, but her passion for visual art, tattoos in particular, was as strong. When she was 15 this fascination led to her very first tattoo — a stick and poke she did on her own ankle. Of course, it would be another 15 years before she considered making a career with a tattoo machine.
Perry didn’t set out to create a completely new style of tattoos, it just sort of happened as she tried to avoid the tattoo fashion trends that she found disdainful. “Initially, I just tried to avoid doing anything I saw in the 90's, and tried to keep styles as plain as possible in hopes that they would transcend time better that way,” Perry says. “My style has shifted and expanded over time, and now I generally specialize in single-needle work. I love miniature tattoos of fruit, realistic shiny stuff, minimalist portraiture, snakes and most things punk or funny.”
Shannon Perry owns and tattoos out of Valentine’s Tattoo Co. in Seattle, Washington. Gazebos will be performing at Chicago’s Riot Fest in September and will jump into the studio to record their second album in the not too distant future.
This article was written by Charlie Connell with reporting/interviewing by Ross Howerton.