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Meet the Tattoo Artist: Allie Moon of the Present Tattoo Parlor

This Minneapolis shop owner specializes in intricate blackwork.

Allie Moon

Welcome to Meet the Tattoo Artist, a series where we aim to showcase a variety of talented Twin Cities tattoo artists who are creating spectacular art on peoples’ bodies in Minnesota. This week we’re chatting with Allie Moon of the Present Tattoo Parlor.

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Are you from Minnesota? 

I am! Born and raised. So, 24 years!

How did you get into tattooing? 

I’ve always had an admiration for body art. When I was around four years old, my mom had just gotten a tattoo and I remember telling her, “I’m gonna do that on people when I’m older!” So, when I was 18, I got an apprenticeship at a local shop in Minneapolis, and it’s just kept going since then.

Credit: Allie Moon

What are some of the barriers/struggles you have faced as a tattoo artist? 

The tattoo industry is a place that used to be very white, and very dominated by men. It still is, but it is becoming a lot more accessible to all folx. I used to feel very out of place. When I was in my apprenticeship, I was taught in a way that has been passed down through generations of tattoo artists that were created by white men and navy sailors. I understand my mentors aren’t at fault; how the industry was created and is, but still, it wasn’t an easy time for me. 

I’ve always been someone who believes in evolution, change, inclusivity and kindness. I didn’t have that experience in my apprenticeship, and that’s always been hard for me; to realize the ways I learned, doesn’t have to be the way that I now teach my apprentices. Owning my own shop, the Present Tattoo Parlor, has taught me I’ve had to unlearn a lot of things. I’ve learned that kindness, being gentle, creating an inclusive, safe space for me, my co-workers, and especially my clients is the best thing that I get to do. 

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Do you lean towards a particular style of tattoo? 

I do! I love blackwork, and I lean towards an illustrative style. 

Credit: Allie Moon

Name three things that inspired you early on in your career:

  1. Cloey Zikmund (@cloeyzikmund) heavily inspired me when I was just learning to tattoo, and still does. 
  2. Old nature/vintage illustrations 
  3. Flower gardens in Minneapolis

Name three things inspiring you now:

  1. My partner, Clementine, who I’m now teaching to tattoo: @house.of_sleep
  2. Old magazines
  3. My co-workers, @housebabytattoo and @rachelradiant

Is there a tattoo that you’re particularly proud of? Can you take us through why?

Yes! I used to be extremely hard on myself, and I can still fall into self-doubt, but there are a lot of tattoos I’m proud of. I really love this ginkgo piece I did a few months ago. I feel like the shading and the placement looks really good. I took my time on it, and it paid off. 

Credit: Allie Moon

What about the weirdest/most original/most random tattoo you’ve even done?

Yes!! I did a whole arm sleeve full of bubbles early in my apprenticeship. My client told me she was taking a bubble bath and loved how the bubbles were laying on her skin, and decided to get it tattooed. It was really fun, and I thought it turned out pretty sick.

Do you create other kinds of art? 

Yes! I’m always doing some sort of art. I dabbled in ceramics for a while, which I really loved. I was a dancer growing up, and will take any opportunity to dance still to this day; dance classes, interpretive dancing in my living room, dance work-out classes. I also am really into interior design and have completely renovated my shop twice. I love changing the spaces around me to inspire me. 

Where can we find you when you’re not tattooing?

I’m a huge foodie, so I’d probably be out to eat with my partner, or cooking! I also love gardening, going to the beach with my dog, and spending time outside. 

Where Can We Find You? 

The Present Tattoo Parlor, 2224 E. 35th St., Minneapolis

Instagram: @thepresenttattooparlor and @alliemoontattoo

Credit: Allie Moon