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Guam's only female tattoo artist speaks out

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Get inked! Guam's only female tattoo artist, Shauna Hope, along with husband Sean Hope and shop co-owner Jimmy Badong, has re-opened custom tattoo and piercing studio Hope4Pain Tattoos in Tamuning.

Equipped with the standard medical grade supplies and equipment, the studio, now in a 1,000 square foot shop located in Oka Plaza behind Payless Supermarket, continues to aim to provide professional tattoo and piercing service in a relaxed and sanitary atmosphere. "We are re-opening strong with a new co-owner and some serious ideas as to the look of the new shop. We are very excited to get back to bringing the pain," said Shauna.

Shauna has worked as a tattoo artist in California for three years before moving to Guam in 2005 when the Hopes opened their first shop in Central Plaza.

Even with her six years of tattooing and piercing experience, Shauna said that being a woman in her field of work can be a challenge at times. "Female artists are definitely treated differently. Some clients and co-workers don't feel that females should be in the tattoo industry," Shauna said. "But I'm able to share my art with people who can appreciate and enjoy it, and that makes my job very rewarding."

With the growing popularity of tattoos on island, Shauna said that the reception of body art has changed dramatically here on Guam with some older parents getting tattoos before their adult kids. "I think the media has a huge influence on the change—TV shows, music, and even occupations, such as professional fighters," Shauna said, adding that the advances in tattoo techniques and equipment have also improved the social image of body art. "Because tattoos are starting to look better, they're starting to be considered more like pieces of art rather than scratches of ink on the skin."

Along with Sean and Jimmy, both specializing in traditional and contemporary art, Shauna hopes to continue to deliver quality work. "On Guam, there are many popular tattoos that clients request, but if I had to narrow it down it would have to be tribal inspired pieces."

For more information on Hope4Pain Tattoos, contact them at 477-HOPE (4673) or visit their website at hope4paintattoos.com.