The first impression of Waldo McClanahan and his band of tattoo artists wasn’t at their tattoo shop, Mischievous Arts Tattoo and Piercing at 11 NE 10th Drive in Gresham, but at a car show. I had a booth next to them, making us each other’s captive audience for an entire day. After watching people flip through their portfolios, speak with the artists who work there, and buying raffle tickets to raise money for Randal’s Children’s Hospital in Portland, it was clear that there was something really different about these guys. As it turns out, Mischievous Arts has a close relationship to some amazing parents who had a a kiddo at Randal’s Children’s Hospital for a really long time. Since the hospital took such care of this sweet little family, the shop felt driven to give back. 100% of the sales of the raffle tickets went to the hospital. Yes, you read that right. One hundred percent. Not a portion of the proceeds, not a percentage of the proceeds…all of them. Every dollar that went into their can went straight to Randal’s Children’s Hospital. Can you feel your heart grow three sizes right now?
After some time speaking with McClanahan, it was clear that something was different about these guys. They weren’t your average tattoo shop.
Kylie Simmons, who is an aspiring tattoo artist, has since gone to work for them right along side McClanahan. He’s taking the time to teach her everything he can possibly teach her so that when it’s time, tattoo school will help her grow a skill she’s already learned a lot about. In the meantime, he’s working diligently to start a tattoo school that focuses on more than more just meeting the state requirements. Her artistic abilities have improved dramatically since going to work for McClanahan, and she is excited about his future career. McClanahan explained his passion for his new endeavor and helping aspiring artist by saying, “[I] Never worked a day in my life because I love what I do.”
The first impression of the shop was that is how comfortable it feels. A mom and her ten-ish year old child sitting on the couch coloring together, smiling faces, and warm greetings are some of the things you might find when entering Mischievous Arts waiting room. That’s something you don’t see every day. Children attended by an adult are allowed in the living room style waiting room at Mischievous Arts. It feels like you just walked into a friend’s house, and can be comfortable hanging out while waiting for an appointment. Much of the art hanging on the walls is from other local tattoo shops because the artists at Mischievous Arts are more interested in finding the right artist for you than just tattooing you for the sake of getting your business. Because of this, they are creating a community of clients and a network of artists. They always have something nice to say about other shops, which is something out of the norm in the tattoo industry. “We support and recommend others even when others talk down on us. We’ve got no time for others drama or games.” McClanahan explains, fully knowing that playing nice isn’t always the industry norm. Instead of being ‘normal’, he purposefully sends ripples of positivity through praise hoping to change the way artists interact with each other.
When asked about his shop’s philosophy, McClanahan said, “We’re dedicated to producing the best art and experience we can in a professional yet comfortable environment. It isn’t about the money for us it’s about doing what we love,our clients, and their happiness. Them happy is worth more than anything.” After pouring through testimonials about their shop, the same thing resonated from most nearly all of them: “They made me feel comfortable.” Over and over again It’s clear that many others have also felt the truth in that philosophy. They are very warm and welcoming, the music is good, and you could totally sink into the couch and chill.
When you think tattoo shop, you no longer have to think hard core, scary, or no minors allowed. Go to Mischievous Arts and see for yourself, hang on the couch, look through some portfolios, and explain what you are looking for. They will not only make sure you’re sure of what you want, but once you decide, you’ll leave with a piece of art on your body.