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Killer Women Tattoo Artists to Support in Columbia

Men dominate the tattoo business. Sexist barriers have kept women from entering the industry and made it hard for them to develop a client base. But in Columbia, Mo., multiple women have made their mark (quite literally) and given the men some competition. 

Queen Lia at Iron Moe’s Tattoos

Fine line tattoos give an artist nowhere to hide. The thin needlework needs to be precise and while the art is simple, the technique is not. Queen Lia specializes in fine lines along with all of the artists at Iron Moe’s Tattoos. She just arrived in town and used to be a full-time artist at Sign of the Times Tattoo in St. Louis. Now, her talents are available to all of Columbia! Queen Lia not only broke through the gender barrier but the race barrier as well, being a woman of color. Interested patrons can check out her portfolio here and book an appointment here

Gwen, aka Gweepers, at century tattoo

Gwen has dabbled in many styles, including flash tattoos, cover-ups and realistic tattoos as well as American traditional tattoos, script ink and fine lines. She’s stationed at Century Tattoo on Broadway. Like Queen Lia, Gwen represents more than just women; she also speaks for the queer community. Gwen uses she/they pronouns and isn’t shy about her political views. BLM and ACAB are quite literally in her bio on Instagram. That’s also where interested customers can check out their work. You can book an appointment using the email here.

Roxanne Meera Jefferies at Living Canvas Tattoo

Living Canvas Tattoo has a nice spot in the middle of downtown Columbia. Jefferies works as the only woman tattoo artist in the shop and spends her days packing color into most of her tattoos. She usually tattoos women and thinks of it as her “special niche,” according to Vox.

Jefferies feels “pleasantly surprised by the diversity of people and ideas she has encountered in Columbia,” according to Vox. “She loves the variety and the collaboration with her clients that she encounters in her job.”

When she’s not tattooing, Jefferies creates art, listens to music and spends time with family. Like Gwen and Lia, she represents many identities. Jefferies stands for immigrants and her birth country is Malaysia. Interested customers can see her portfolio here and book an appointment here

There are many women tattoo artists across the state and plenty of women-owned shops have been highlighted in outlets like Inked Magazine. They might be harder to find, but women artists are out there and ready to tattoo.

Emma Lingo

Mizzou '23

Emma Lingo spends her time working as a barista at her local coffee shop, reading and being vocal about social justice issues. Emma is active with student government, student media and local nonprofits. She hopes to be a journalist one day and to live out her life in the mountains with her cat.
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