photo: Patrick Montero

photo: Patrick Montero

about Justin Turkus

I started my apprenticeship in 2009 and earned my Philadelphia Body Art Artist license in February 2013.

I tattoo at Frequency Tattoo Company in East Falls, Philadelphia.


about holistic tattooing

Holistic tattooing is a creative project that developed out of a reverent approach to this unique art form. It involves careful consideration of each stage of the process as well as careful consideration of the well-being of the client's body and mind while receiving a tattoo.

Holistic tattooing is an acknowledgement of the interconnection of the parts of the experience of getting a tattoo, and it is a belief that offering a safe, considerate, and collaborative environment lays the foundation for the most compelling tattoo possible for each client.

All of our actions impact and define who we are. With a tattoo, one has the opportunity to actively and deliberately change her or his body with art. We witness an almost instantaneous transformation, the result of which may help you become the person you want to be. 

This experience can elucidate the condition that change is possible. We all have the ability to make decisions that impact our bodies and our environments. As our tattoos heal, we witness another transformation: our body recovering from its trauma and ultimately accepting and becoming one with the new tattoo. How we take care of our tattoo has another direct impact on our body. As we age, our tattoos will continue to change, though more subtly and gradually. 

Tattooing has existed for thousands of years, but we find ourselves at a unique point in history in which we as wearers of tattoos are completely free to choose what tattoos we have and what they mean to us. I think each of us is at once inspired by this opportunity to decide our destiny as well as sometimes overwhelmed by it. This echoes my experience of life here in our time.

We have the opportunity to choose the artist that makes our tattoos. The choice has a huge impact on the outcome, both aesthetically and emotionally. You may want to have a piece custom designed for you. It is your prerogative to choose an artist who will care as much about the success of the tattoo as you do, and who is thoughtful and deliberate about the experience you are going to have when getting tattooed.

I am committed to holistic tattooing. I use inks and pigments that are vegan and non-toxic. I believe your tattoo will come out best and you will feel best about your tattoo when you have agency throughout the design phase, the day of the appointment, and the healing process. When you're getting tattooed, you can choose if you want to breathe silently or have a conversation. You can bring a friend or listen to music. I will try to be clear about the process and any information you may need.

Tattooing is old, and it is not my intention to escape the mystery inherent in any tradition so deep. It is my goal to have a fair and mutually-beneficial relationship between the tattooer and the client.

Many other tattoo artists are also respectful and compassionate people. I specify these goals for my practice because I believe this will enable me to make the best tattoos I can.