Skin Deep: Sparrowhawk makes getting a tattoo like a day at the spa

Skin Deep: Sparrowhawk makes getting a tattoo like a day at the spa

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Skin Deep: Sparrowhawk makes getting a tattoo like a day at the spa

Cori James Amy Bransford and Juliana Ramus outside Sparrowhawk Studio at Studioplex in the Old Fourth Ward. While some tattoo parlors can be grimy affairs, a trip to Sparrowhawk at Studioplex in Old Fourth Ward makes tattooing feel more like a day at the spa.

The self-proclaimed intimate, feminist-inspired studio is an amalgamation of many different styles. The space stays bright with white walls, a fresh fig tree, fine art oil paintings and a comfy midcentury couch. Owner Amy Leavell Bransford, who also owns Aviary Beauty & Wellness Collective in Studioplex, used the help of interior designer Gavin Bernard and Atlanta based fiber artist Sonya Yong James to create macramé like partitions so tattoo tables have a private, but open feel. “The space has evolved into a gallery space where our clients are the canvas,” Bransford said.

Sparrowhawk may attract women, but Bransford has found both men and women trust the space and the expertise of tattoo artist Cori James. There has been some cross-pollination of clients from Aviary, other clients wish to support the female run shop and many who seek out James for her tattoo visions. A playful take on a Dalek from Doctor Who created by Cori James. Cori James has been tattooing in Atlanta since 2012 and is known for her own trademark technique: first she starts with a strong black outline, adds in black shading and then adds in color to make tattoos pop. This method allows for creative expression while a set process guarantees a tattoo that continues to look good years later. At Sparrowhawk, James tattoos by appointment only to ensure clients have time to curate the best design.
Bransford met James at Aviary, while the artist was getting a facial. James voiced she was growing restless at a tattoo shop in the city and wished she could tattoo somewhere like Aviary that offered a more personal feel.

There’s something about being in the chair that makes people open up. […]

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