Thirty years ago, Zoey Taylor was sketching portraits by candlelight from the Oregonian cabin where she grew up. Sixteen years ago, she packed up her art supplies and moved to LA to become a tattoo artist. Two years ago, we first met Taylor at her one-woman tattoo studio in Lincoln Heights—a cozy gold-and-gray space accented with antique mirrors and hand-painted furniture—where we fell slightly in love as she told of her fondness for vintage clothing, bunny tattoos and the creative intimacy that comes with her work.
This month, Taylor joined the major leagues of LA's tattoo scene by cutting the ribbon on The Warren, her sparkling new, full-service shop in West Hollywood.
"I feel like I have come full circle," she says. "This exact location is the place where I became a real artist." Taylor spent well over a decade paying her dues in LA's heavily saturated tattoo community and worked for eight years under the previous owner of what is now The Warren before venturing out on her own. It's also the place where she met tattooer Danny Dunbar, now on staff at The Warren, as well her assistant Nicole Crown and manager/fiancé, Swedo. "It's amazing how life works," she says. "My staff is my family."
Zoey Taylor doesn't have the hardened look of a typical big-city tattooist—every morning, she enters the shop decked in head-to-toe '40s- and '50s-inspired attire, her hair in a teased updo, her face curved into an inviting smile. That classic spirit is reflected in the elegant interiors of The Warren.
"I've been told that my shop looks a little more like an art gallery or classic hotel lobby than what you'd expect to see in a tattoo shop," she explains. Her years of working in different studios around LA helped her cultivate exactly what she wanted in her own shop, a vibe she describes as "classically beautiful, while minimal and comfortable."
The Warren's procedure rooms are completely private, and each is stocked with necessities for a relaxing experience: Netflix, cable and an extensive library of hardbacks. "Most of my clients book full days, and I designed this place with that kind of comfort in mind," Taylor says. "I want it to be an environment where you can feel at home among friends, even when you're at your most vulnerable."
Regarding the artwork itself, Taylor's is a world-class artist. She specializes in everything from realism and portraits to colorful floral designs, challenging lettering and line work. In addition to Dunbar, she's currently seeking two more full-time artists. (So, if you know someone awesome, holler.)
If you're looking to get inked, you can hit up the shop now for a tattoo of your own either by appointment or as a walk-in. Call the shop manager, Swedo, at 310-659-3502 or email email@example.com. In need of some inspiration? Visit Zoey Taylor's personal site or check out her work on Instagram.