Postmastectomy Tattooing with David Allen

July 12-13 (2019) in Chicago, IL.

Seminar & Workshop


For more information on David, read his JAMA article: Moving the Needle on Recovery From Breast Cancer - The Healing Role of Postmastectomy Tattoos - JAMA

Or this Chicago Trib article: Artist’s mastectomy tattoos reveal the beauty of survival.

(Also included is direct access to David for questions, ideas, and information.)

Strengthen your tool set with information, experience, and design principles. The goal isn’t for you to emulate my style or compositions, but to bolster your work and entire process.

Two days of help, information, experiments and community. You’ll be left inspired, overwhelmed, and equipped. I’ll keep the size of the class small, so we can bounce around conversation and ideas.

Topics include:

Understanding Breast Procedures

We’ll start from scratch and wrap our heads around reconstruction with implants, tissue flap, nipple sparing, mastectomy without reconstruction, fat grafting, lumpectomy,  and partial mastectomy.

* We’ll also get time with an incredible plastic surgeon, Dr. John Kim from Northwestern / Prentice. He’ll talk us through procedures and answer questions.

Understanding Scar Tissue

We’ll detail scarring, radiation and the response of the epidermis.

Design & Composition: Gestalt Theory

Using design principles to influence a viewer… by diving into each principle, direct examples are given to show how scarring and dimpling can be concealed or visually consolidated. This is applicable to all type of scarring, altered shapes, and/or cover-ups. This also includes placement ideas and sizing tips.


Using innate skills in effort to understand and meet clients where they are. Translating what a person wants into a final product requires context. Learn how to understand a hierarchy of their needs quickly.

Help for the helper

Let’s talk about compassion fatigue. If you are emotionally present and discussing trauma, it’s important to understand how therapists and medical professionals handle the weight without burn out. 


Tattooing with a liner

I’ll give detailed, hands-on examples of lining and (especially) shading with a 3 liner. In addition to standard lining and shading, using a small grouping can cause less trauma. Add this technique to your repertoire.


Printing stencils, Photoshop compositions, creating thumbnails with clients and capturing reference from all sorts of sources.


How covering bases (with small details) will solidify your customer care.

Slack Channel

All attendees of the workshop get access to a community Slack channel. It’s a place to bounce around ideas and ask questions amongst like minds!

Upon purchase of admittance, you’re welcome to include any specific information you’re curious about or want to learn and I’ll do my best to include your needs.



Allen Tattoo

We’ve setup a page with info about the studio, Chicago and our surrounding neighborhood, Ravenswood.