To Top

Conversations with Elyse House

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elyse House.

Elyse, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Well, I’ve always been an artist from the earliest I can remember, some early memories of mine involve me being on the floor of my kitchen in my first home in Atlanta.

Finger painting on a canvas that my mom gave to me so she could be left alone to do her own painting— and fast forward to now, becoming a tattoo artist took a leap of faith on not only my end but from everyone who supported me as well.

I knew I wanted a career in the arts since that’s what came to me naturally, but tattooing kept calling me.

Of course, I had different jobs beforehand, like giving out free phones to people with government assistance or moving to Texas to start doing Comcast business marketing, but I just kept on coming back to the idea of becoming a tattoo artist.

I had actually accepted three different apprenticeships, including one in Texas, before starting my official apprenticeship due to crazy circumstances with each artist (One guy was working out of a house and I had the wrong address but still tried to give me an apprenticeship. He had a tattoo on his face that was just a blob. Safe to say I didn’t go back).

Finally, I landed in a shop that had an artist that was willing to take me under and let me learn the ropes, but after 6 months of apprenticeship work, I was able to move on and showcase myself as an artist. As of right now, I am only four years in the industry, including my apprenticeship, meaning, I have so much more to learn, but I can’t wait to go through that journey.

Currently, a friend of mine and I own a private studio together called Idle Hands Tattoo, so I’ve been working on decorating that over the past year while trying to hone in on the specific style I am creating for myself.

(The first time that someone ever told me I should be a tattoo artist was when I was in third grade and I remember that so well because I didn’t know what that meant at the time but ever since I found out, I have been obsessed).

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
My apprenticeship was definitely rough in more than the usual way. My mentor was not necessarily the best person out there, but you find that to be very common in the tattoo industry.

I know a lot of people that have had way worse situations than mine, like sexual assaults or harassment. I will say I did have an environment that allowed me to learn in the most prosperous way possible while also giving me a taste of hard work ethic and dealing with annoyances.

I have found that most of the time in my learning experiences as a tattoo artist, it comes down to knowing that this is permanent and someone is trusting you, so every day can be a pretty bumpy ride if you do not stop and smell the roses sometimes.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a tattoo artist specializing in neotraditional, illustrative, and painterly styled tattoos in both color and black and gray. I tend to view myself as not having a style, but you know it’s my work if you see it, and I tend to lean towards floral work.

I know I have a few friends and clients that recommend me for flowers quite often and that’s great because if I could tattoo a Rose every day for the rest of my life I would die happy.I would also like to add that I am creating events to aid charities and nonprofit organizations with donations, and if any of the readers are apart of charities or nonprofits that would like to participate in said events with my shop, Idle Hands Tattoo, I’d love to discuss ideas further. Currently I am setting up events that will work with donations for women’s shelters and children’s shelters, as well as the JDRF, but I would love to continue to help the community and branch out to other organizations. At these events, we will be offering tattoos to commemorate the event’s purpose— to remind our clients of the good that they can put out there and how permanent that impact will be.


  • $150/hr
  • $100 deposits are required.

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: VoyageBaltimore is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories