When Diana DeAugustine started at the University of California San Diego, she didn’t know she’d finish as a tattoo apprentice. That was 2005. In 2012, Diana opened one of the best shops in North Park.
Diego Tattoo was started with love and passion. It’s named after Diana’s best friend Diego (a fuzzy long-haired chihuahua) and it’s where she met and hired the soon-to-be love of her life, Cari Coleman. Together, Diana, Cari and all of the amazing artists at Diego Tattoo create a welcoming, all-inclusive environment that promotes artistic creativity and celebrates the expression of tattooing.
If you’re looking for a tattoo portrait of a pet, anything related to Disney or Studio Ghibli, blackwork, henna backgrounds or any large-scale Neo-traditional tattoos, Diana would love to transform your idea into ink.
Talk about your Tattoo Ideas with Diana Today!
Get to Know Diana:
What made you want to be a tattoo artist?
I decided to become a tattoo artist during my last quarter at University of California San Diego in 2004. My professor, Barbara Kruger, encouraged me to take a tattoo apprenticeship that was offered to me. I thought tattooing would be an interesting new medium to learn to influence my art making. I began my apprenticeship in 2005 under the guidance of Bob Nguyen, owner of Bad Influence Tattoo in Fountain Valley, CA.
What’s your background?
I graduated in 2004 with a BA in Visual Arts, Studio from UCSD. I apprenticed in 2005 and in 2006 began tattooing professionally. I received my MFA in 2010 from CalArts and moved back to San Diego to continue tattooing professionally. In 2012 I opened Diego Tattoo Gallery.
What styles do you specialize in or prefer to work on?
Neotraditional, blackwork. I love doing pet portraits, anything cartoon or animation related (Disney, Studio Ghibli, Bob’s Burgers, etc.) and color flowers with blackwork/henna backgrounds. I would love to do more large-scale tattoos that are based on cartoons or animations.
Are there any requests that you turn down?
How do you work with your clients?
I work one-on-one with my clients. Establishing a relationship with my clients is key to me. I setup an in-person consultation which usually takes 10-20 minutes. During this time, I get to know my client’s artistic requests and take notes on what they want to see in their piece. I also give professional input and guidance to ensure they get the best piece I can make them.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is someone who knows what they want, likes my style and gives me artistic freedom to make it my own. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!
Do you have advice for first timers?
Do your homework. Look at multiple artists’ portfolios to see whose style best suits the ideas you’re trying to convey. Don’t price haggle. And tip your artists.
What makes Diego Tattoo Studio the best tattoo shop in San Diego?
We make everyone feel welcome. We pride ourselves in giving people the best tattoo experience in San Diego in an environment and atmosphere that is inviting and promotes artistic creativity.
How do we find you on social media?
IG – @diana_deaug