Suzen Tattoozen

 Artist Minimun $450

Suzen Tattoozen

The tattoo industry has always faced challenges for newcomers and apprentices. In the early nineties, it was particularly difficult for female artists to break into tattooing, as many male artists refused to apprentice women. Suzen Fukken Tattoozen, known as SFT, began her apprenticeship in the troublesome days of early 1991. Since then, she has been a pioneering force, making strides for women to have a place in the industry and empowering them as both artists and clients.

Suzen has tirelessly worked to create an environment where women can feel comfortable being tattooed without harassment and can work as tattoo artists without facing bullying and ridicule from fellow artists. She sees tattooing as an art form that provides personal strength and transformation.

Her apprenticeship started in Detroit, during a rough period when industry standards for new artists were low. However, Suzen’s larger than life personality, keen eye for fashion and beauty, and detailed art quickly garnered a large following among her friends and later the local Detroit music scene.

During Michigan’s early days of lax standards for licensing tattoo artists, Suzen played a crucial role in helping the State of Michigan’s Department of Health adopt strict regulations for tattoo artists, creating a safe and clean environment for both artists and clients. Her already clean and sterile practices became the standard for all local artists to follow.

In 2012, Suzen moved to Oregon and once again used her tattoo art to change lives. Starting in local shops, she built a solid client base and later founded her own tattoo studio called The Whiteaker Tattoo Collective in 2013. The studio was a cooperative space where artists shared the studio and clientele together.

Suzen also became involved in charitable work, particularly raising awareness for Autism. She joined Ink for Autism, a tattoo fundraising event for Autism awareness, and has been instrumental in recruiting more shops and charity donations for the cause.

In 2013, Suzen initiated her passion project called Transformation Ink. The project aimed to use her tattoo art to transform the lives of victims of sex trafficking who carried permanent scars or tattoos known as Brands, which were placed by force and using non-sterile methods by their captors. Suzen covered these Brands completely with fresh and beautiful tattoo art, empowering these women and giving them a sense of beauty and empowerment.

These restorative art projects were funded solely through donations, and clients were never charged for this service. Suzen’s efforts allowed these survivors to move past their traumatic past and embrace their transformed tattoo as a symbol of freedom and empowerment.

Throughout her career, Suzen’s tattoo artwork has been featured in many magazines, and she has received multiple community awards and recognition for her exceptional efforts:

  • An archived and available interview with Suzen from the Oregon Folklife Network, recorded live at the Whiteaker Market, where she discussed her role as a small business owner and positive impact on the local community.
  • The Pebble Award for making a positive impact in the local community.
  • The Founders award from the Evergreen Tattoo Invitational, an esteemed Tattoo Expo, for being one of the founding artists invited to exhibit each year.
  • Feature on the cover of the Eugene Weekly as a recognized Archetype of the Community, along with a detailed write-up covering her experiences as a tattoo artist and a contributor to the Whiteaker Community and Neighborhood Events.
  • Awards from The Lane County Fair for Photography and Video donations.
  • Recognition by The Women’s Festival of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Contributions to The A-Team for Autism Awareness.

Suzen’s life has been devoted to using her art form as a means to transform people’s lives positively. Her efforts have not only opened doors for women in the tattoo industry but have also provided healing and empowerment to survivors of sex trafficking through her transformative tattoo work.