The Norman Transcript

N-town stories

April 12, 2013

Skin Vandals Tattoo hosting celebrated ink artist


Amy Nicoletto is a star in a rarefied galaxy that many are unaware of. She’s made a name for herself as a professional tattoo artist who now spends much of her time as a celebrity attraction at tours and conventions around the country.

Nicoletto will be tattooing clients and greeting fans here in Norman, April 22-24, at an event sponsored by Skin Vandals Tattoo and Piercings, 1013b N. Flood Ave.

“When I was 5 years old I won first place in an art competition for a poster I made,” Nicoletto said. “Ever since I was old enough to pick up a pencil, pens or crayons I’ve been creating.”

A native of New Jersey, Nicoletto also worked in the resort industry and as a medical assistant before entering a two-year tattoo artist apprenticeship.

She broke out into professional inking in 2005 and moved to Los Angeles three years later to continue practicing. Serendipitously, a casting agent for the TLC cable TV channel approached her about auditioning for their show “LA Ink.” With a combination of sensually mysterious good looks and east coast moxie Nicoletto was a natural fit. “LA Ink” stopped production in 2011 but Nicoletto gained a world-wide following from the show that has supercharged her tattoo artist career.

Because of an interest in the supernatural, propensity for exotic eye makeup and a vampy vibe in general, Nicoletto holds a fascination to many people. Her website photos project the young woman as a sexy, possibly sinister temptress.

“I’m actually starting to get into some of the horror conventions now which are combining with tattoo conventions,” Nicoletto said. “I’ve done Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney portraits recently on my boyfriend.”

A horror flick aficionado since youth, she feels fortunate to be able to mix her talent with ink and the macabre. Her fascination with war paint goes way back, too. Nicoletto was reprimanded for wearing lipstick in first grade.

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