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Kathryn Moore: Dogstar Tattoo

Updated on September 23, 2013

Inspiring Heart and Spirit with Ink

  • Kathryn Moore is the owner and feature artist at Dogstar Tattoo in Durham, NC. She is a phenomenal artist who specializes in custom work that portrays the emotional importance of the piece and is perfectly designed to fit the wearer's body. Kathryn has the innate ability to translate her client's requests and interests into an wearable work of art.
  • Kathryn is a Linchpin for her contribution to the transformation of the tattoo industry, education in the field, and her ability to provide depth of heart and spirit in each piece.

Dogstar Tattoo
Dogstar Tattoo

The History and Philosophy of Dogstar Tattoo

  • Kathryn Moore graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a degree in Fine Arts. She followed that up with a certification as a Flight Instructor and taught for many years in Durham. Kathryn decided to go back to her artistic roots and began an apprenticeship in tattooing. Soon after that she opened her own studio.
  • Dogstar Tattoo opened its doors on Ninth Street in Durham, NC in 1997. At that time it was one of the very few female-owned tattoo studios in the U.S. She had worked in the industry for a few years when she decided to open a shop with a healthier environment than the ones she had already encountered. Dogstar is a drug-free shop and Kathryn accepts employees based on their skill-sets and portfolios regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. Compensation for all employees would be based on the work, not gender. That is was not a common practice 13 years ago. An all-inclusive, accepting environment is the corporate mission at Dogstar Tattoo.

Phoenix Tattoo

Phoenix Tattoo
Phoenix Tattoo

Custom, Unique Artwork

  • Kathryn specializes in custom tattoo designs. She trys to make each and every design as specific to the individual as possible. "I really try to view it from their perspective. What is the piece saying to them, or doing, or representing? Sometimes it's really not that much, and that's what you perform. But if people really want to get in depth, and the idea has all these personal layers, I try to address all of those to the best of my ability. Keeping in mind that I have to create a tattoo that is going to age gracefully."

Quan Yin Backpiece

Quan Yin Backpiece
Quan Yin Backpiece

The History of Tattooing - Evidence of tattooing has been found on mummies from the Ice Age! Find out all about the fascinating history of skin art.

Customizing the Body: The Art and Culture of Tattooing
Customizing the Body: The Art and Culture of Tattooing

Originally published in 1989, this ground-breaking ethnographic exploration of tattooing - and the art world surrounding it - covers the history, anthropology, and sociology of body modification practices; the occupational experience of the tattooist; the process and social consequences of becoming a tattooed person; and the prospects of "serious" tattooing becoming an accepted art form.

 

Wearing The Artwork

  • Placement and positioning of the tattoo is vital. "I don't see the image as being separate from the person," says Kathryn. "It's of primary importance to me that a tattoo fits the body, how the person moves, how they're going to wear it and how it's going to age. To me that's key. I really don't like to take an image and just stick it on."

Artemis Tattoo

Artemis Tattoo
Artemis Tattoo

Tattooing as a Personal Ritual

  • I asked Kathryn if there is any one particular theme or style of art she prefers to work with. "I don't think there's imagery that I can nail down as one thing that I love to do, but what I do love is to assist people with a stated goal. This could be a spiritual transition, a mile-marker, the grieving process, or empowerment symbols."

Hawaiian Bouquet

Hawaiian Bouquet
Hawaiian Bouquet

The Deeper Significance of Tattooing - Throughout history tattooing has been used as a method to connect with the Divine!

Spiritual Tattoo: A Cultural History of Tattooing, Piercing, Scarification, Branding, and Implants
Spiritual Tattoo: A Cultural History of Tattooing, Piercing, Scarification, Branding, and Implants

Professor John Rush outlines the processes and procedures of these radical physical alterations, showing their function as rites of passage, group identifiers, and mechanisms of social control. He explores the use of pain for spiritual purposes, such as purging sin and guilt, and examines the phenomenon of accidental cuts and punctures as individual events with sometimes-profound implications for group survival. Spiritual Tattoo finds a remarkable consistency in body modifications from prehistory to the present, suggesting the importance of the body as a sacred geography from both social and psychological points of view.

 

Tattooing as a Personal Exploration

  • From the Dogstar website: "The people who envision a tattoo as an expression of the inner search or understanding, their connection to the universe, will hopefully discover that this shop has been opened to allow that search and expression to emerge through the tattoos produced by our artists. So if you discover your inner path and want to immortalize it in a visual representation on the surface of your skin, you will find, at Dogstar, a place that will help you realize your vision."
  • - Kathryn Moore

Portrait Tattoo

Portrait Tattoo
Portrait Tattoo

Tattooing as Personal Artwork

  • Any final thoughts? Kathryn replied, "I think frequently of my stay on this planet in a historical context and feel lucky that I've been able to be in the tattooing industry as it has really grown and blossomed into and art form."

Mechanical Hand Tattoo

Mechanical Hand Tattoo
Mechanical Hand Tattoo

Women and Tattooing - Tattooing has provided a new means for expressing & experiencing the Feminine!

Chick Ink: 40 Stories of Tattoos--and the Women Who Wear Them
Chick Ink: 40 Stories of Tattoos--and the Women Who Wear Them

Life. Beauty. Womanhood.

That's what tattoos today are all about. Join the women of Chick Ink in this celebration of the tattoos that grace our bodies, tell our stories, and mark forever the significant moments of our lives. Because if you're a woman with a tattoo, you're woman enough for anything.

 

  • Have you ever visited Dogstar Tattoo? Have you worked with Kathryn? Have you had an experience with a fantastic Tattoo Artist? Share your experience!

Tattoo Reference Links

  • If you have been considering a tattoo, here are a few links to articles describing how to select your tattoo, what the tattooing process is like, and how to care for your new piece of artwork!

Linchpin, the book

Seth's new book is all about the people we can't live without. The Linchpins. People like Kathryn Moore: Dogstar Tattoo.

Share Your Thoughts!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very nice tattoos!

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 7 years ago

      Amazing lens. Ms Moore clearly is a talented tattoo artist. Thanks for sharing about her!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I haven't visited Dogstar Tattoo and I live in Chapel Hill. I am fascinated by tattoos, but never desired one. 5*

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      I have not visited Dogstar Tattoo. These tattoos are amazing. I do not have any experiences with tattoos but think they are fascinating.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 7 years ago from USA

      Beautiful tattoos!

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 7 years ago from Quezon City

      Her art is gorgeous, and I like that she makes sure that the artwork she tattoos will age gracefully along with the wearer (I doubt if a tattoo of Tweety bird will still look great when I'm 90!). Lovely & well crafted lens, *blessed*

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 7 years ago

      Amazing tattoos. Obviously, this is the vehicle for her at. Very nice tribute!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      It really sounds like she puts her heart into her work. Although I don't know much about Tattoos, I can see why you chose Kathryn of Dogstar Tattoo as your linchpin.