Old Town Scottsdale Dame of the West Tattoo

Old Town Scottsdale's Premier Tattoo Shop


Welcome to Dame of the West Tattoo

Located at

7151 E 6th Ave Scottsdale AZ 85251

Get Directions

Arizona’s premier Scottsdale tattoo shop, located in the heart of Old Town. Dame of the West Tattoo is a high end parlor providing you with a comfortable and friendly environment. With over 20 years experience and some of the best artists in the valley; we pride ourselves on producing the finest tattoos in Arizona. We specialize in various tattoo styles including American Traditional, large scale Japanese Irezumi, Black and Grey, and Single Needle; or create a custom piece of your own design with one of our talented tattoo artists. Come in or call today, see for yourself why we think Dame of the West Tattoo is the best.

Meet our artists

(480) 534-5843

Appointments are recommended but walk-ins are always welcome!

Follow us on :

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Meet our artists

Jon Garber - Artist

Jon Garber - Artist

Josh Carter - Artist & Owner

Instagram @joshcartertattoo

A professional tattooer with over 20 years experience, Josh started tattooing at the age of 19 in Los Angeles, California around 1997. Early in his career, he worked in high volume street shops. Including places like Venice Beach and Hollywood Boulevard before transitioning into a more custom design oriented path. After a few years of exploring different genres of tattooing, Josh finally settled on making Japanese style tattooing his primary focus. View his portfolio here.

Jon Garber - Owner & Artist

Instagram @deadeyenone

After 15 years in the industry and over 20 years as an artist, I wanted to open a shop that would exceed clients expectations. Everyone is treated with the utmost respect and given a tattoo they can be proud of. My style is classic Americana or traditional. Simplistic yet expressive with bold outlines and a limited color palette, my designs are representative of tattoos from the 1800's. Strength and timelessness are captured in my pieces.

View Jon’s portfolio…

Jon will be on vacation June 5-16

Josh Carter - Artist

Josh Carter - Artist

Devin Bennett - Artist

Devin Bennett - Artist

Devin Bennett - Tattoo Artist

Instagram @devinbennett_tattoo

My focus is on black and grey tattooing. I try to create a feeling of form, emotional atmosphere, and refinement in my projects with fine attention to detail in each stage of the working process. For me, the most important aspect of my art is maintaining mental presence throughout the working process, and cultivating a sense of circumspection. View Devin’s portfolio here…

Fernando Mardo - Artist

Instagram @fernofthewest

Fernando “Fern” Mardo is an accomplished artist and tattooer who specializes in the American Traditional style. Before beginning his tattoo career 9 years ago, Fernando spent 12 years of his youth focused on perfecting his craft of graffiti and painting trains.Fernando enjoys traveling the world, the perfect pair of Vans, and being as meticulously clean as Danny Tanner! Fernando is available to help you accomplish your tattoo vision. View Fern’s portfolio here …

Fernando Mardo - Artist

Fernando Mardo - Artist

Leo Galaz - Artist

Leo Galaz - Artist

Leo Galaz - Artist

Instagram @creep_reaper

My name is Leopoldo “Creep Reaper”Galaz. As a first generation American, I grew up heavily influenced by Chicano art. My tattoos are a mix of bold black work and intricate fine line. Born and raised in Mesa, Arizona the son of two immigrant parents, Mexican culture is all I knew. Hip hop and hardcore punk rock were later introduced into my life and is how I was first introduced to tattoo culture. I got my first tattoo at the tender age of 17, straight edge x’s down the side of my leg, I was hooked. I started my tattoo career in early 2018 here at Dame of the West under the tutelage of my mentors and shop owners Jon Garber and Josh Carter.

View Leo’s portfolio

Morgan Gatekeeper - Artist

Instagram @morgangatekeeper

My name is Morgan Gatekeeper, I’m an Arizona native who’s had the pleasure of tattooing for a little over 6 years. I specialize in both large and small scale geometric work as well as various floral tattoos. I’ve always grown up being nurtured as an artist and am well versed in several different mediums so my transition into the tattoo world was very natural at a young age. I attended the Art Institute of Colorado prior to beginning my journey as a tattooer. I continuously strive to give my clients the best experience possible on both a design and comfort level.

Joshua James - Artist

Joshua James - Artist

Morgan Gatekeeper - Artist

Morgan Gatekeeper - Artist


Joshua James - Artist

Instagram @Joshuajamestattoo

Originally from Palm Beach Florida I made the move to Arizona at a young age where I was quickly inspired by graphic novels, comics, and character concept art. I began drawing and painting at a young age and began tattooing in the UK in 2016. I love neotraditional, traditional, and ornamental styles of tattooing but am always looking to learn and grow in my craft.

I love occult imagery, and was heavily inspired by the art of Todd McFarlane and the spawn series at a young age. Manga, anime, and gaming inspired my art over the years and I am always up for referencing them in tattoo form. I look forward to honing my skills with everyone here at Dame of the West for the foreseeable future.

zack taylor artist dame of the west web.jpg

Zack Taylor - Artist

Instagram @themachine13

Remember when we were kids and you swore you would grow up do something rad?...well that is my whole life’s goal. I love tattooing and my clients..I enjoy focusing on traditional with my own twist mostly breaking the rules and using some colors maybe not normally chosen....when not at the shop you can find me in the garage waisting time building choppers, kissing up on my bulldog, or loving my amazing wife Jessi and wild son Zion. I’m pretty dang friendly so get at me let’s make some rad tattoos.

View Zack’s Portfolio

Max May - Guest Artist

Instagram - @maxmaytattoo

Max is coming back to Dame of the West as a guest artist - June 5-12th

To book Max, call the shop at 480 534-5843

Our location :                         

7151 E 6th Ave.,Scottsdale, AZ 85251           

Shop hours :  Mon. - Sat. - 12pm - 8pm   -  Sunday -  12 - 7pm                      

Book an appointment  (480) 534-5843

Follow us on :

Instagram - Facebook - Yelp

Client Testimonials

Yelp Reviews

Josh is awesome. My brother went in for his tattoo and I left getting one as well. Let's say I couldn't say no because my brothers turned out great!!! I 10/10 recommend!!!

Aleata P,Scottsdale

Josh, one of the owners, took me on a walk-in earlier today. I was asking to get a mountain range tattooed on my bicep. He gladly took me in and helped me design the perfect tattoo. He took about 30 minutes to do it all completely and was very fairly priced. The place was super clean and well kept. Awesome atmosphere and music. I'd reccomend them to anyone.

John R., san Francisco

Gave my husband an idea for a tattoo (I got the idea from a sock). Fernando tattooed him literally the next day and drew up one awesome piece! My husband really appreciated Fernando and his knowledge and support of the tattoos he currently has. I think the tattoo looks awesome! Oh and Austin is awesome. He was great at responding to my emails and very friendly!

Jasmine. Sacramento

I stumbled into Dame of the West last month after drinking my fair share of sake across the street and haven't looked back since. I met Fern just by walking up to the counter and explaining a piece I was trying to get that had been turned down by another shop down the road  

(for going against a "moral code" of tattooing). He listened to what I wanted, gave me advice without a lecture, and it was done the next day!

Fern is the 4th tattoo artist I've worked with and by far my favorite. His talent goes without saying, but I get the most compliments on his work out of all my pieces. I always ask him for his professional opinion on the pieces I'm getting and he is so helpful and knowledgeable. I really like that he's so great to collaborate with and doesn't take offense to changes I want to make. I got one of my pieces "upside down" and Fern let me know that traditionally it should face the other way. When I told him I really, really wanted it upside down he didn't judge or give me pushback. I hate when shops shut your ideas down right away because you're new to tattoos or want something they think is "stupid". Fern just has this really chill way of lending his professional advice without turning it all into his show.

As for technique, Fern is as speedy and light-handed as it gets! I have a hard time watching when I get my nails or a tattoo done, because I think it's so incredibly awkward to stare at an artist at work on me. So half the time I'm zoned out and then I hear him tell me we're all done and I'm like okurrrrr! The shop also uses this AMAZING adhesive wrap that stays on for days (even through the shower) and helps your tattoo heal so much faster. It's called Saniderm, and my last tattoo almost completely skipped the scabbing stage because of it.Fern is so easy to book/collab with, can't wait to keep working together on more!


Google Reviews

This is the first and only tattoo shop I've ever been to, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone. I went in knowing they had talented artists, but they're also all very friendly and fun to be around. The facility is clean, the location is great, and I couldn't be more pleased with my experience.

Josh Carter did my tattoo and he is great! I didn't keep track of how many hours my tattoo took (3/4 sleeve with chest panel), but it was definitely a lot of time spent with him and in the shop. Probably 5 or 6 visits, a few hours each time. Josh was always on time, professional, and fun to spend time with. I would trust any of the artists there without any reservation.

Jordan Nichols, Scottsdale

I recently got tattooed at Dame of the West by Fern. The shop was clean and comfortable. The vibe was very welcoming and professional - Fern, Max and Josh all provided a great experience. Highly recommend Fernando for any traditional style tattoos and Dame of the West in general!

Koral Kasillas

So I stopped in for a consolation on a tattoo last week, and was pleased with the professionalism and how pleasant the staff was at the Dame of the west Tattoo shop was. 100% recommend this shop!!! Got a sick Japanese inspired tattoo from Josh, great artist and love my new tattoo,  can't wait to add to it!

Anthony Giordano

Stellar work by all the guys here. Josh and Max are amazing and it shows in their work. They have a ton of experience in this shop and whether you're looking for traditional Japanese Irezumi, or you have an idea that you want to make a reality, the gang is great at visualizing & designing it and following through to ensure that it is exactly what is wanted.  Check them out for sure!

Karl Gast

I can't say enough about Josh and his crew here. Absolutely professional and courteous.  The work they did for me was top notch and admired by many. This was my first tattoo ever and they made me feel welcome and comfortable. I would not hesitate to send anyone here.

Jason Walz

Nice clean shop. Friendly staff. Me being very, very picky, I asked if I could place the two stencils on myself with a little help from the tattooist. He was very cool about it. Got two classic swallow bird tattoos. They came out exactly the way I wanted from the picture I provided. I would highly recommend this shop.

Daniel Walzman

I regularly travel from Nashville Tennessee just to get tattooed there. The overall vibe and experience is unparalleled! Whatever you’re looking to get done you will not be disappointed!

Mason Herron

This place is the best! From the time you walk in the doors you are greeted in a very friendly atmosphere, real down to earth people,kudos to Josh! He did my work. Very personal and comfortable environment and very cost friendly. Quality work all the way.

Mike Martin

The Japanese Tiger

The Tiger

In Japanese art and irezumi

By Josh Carter

"Dragon and Tiger" by Utagawa Sadahide

"Dragon and Tiger" by Utagawa Sadahide

Before the tiger was depicted in Japanese art it first had to be interpreted by Japanese artists. Tigers aren’t native to Japan and the closest ones there are to the Japanese archipelago are in Russia’s Siberian woodlands, the northeastern part of China, and Korea. Regardless, tigers have been displayed on the silk scrolls of traditional Japanese art for centuries. A few tigers had visited Japan before its cultural isolation ended in the late nineteenth century (Meiji Era). 

Full-grown cats and mewling kittens were given as gifts  to warlords and shoguns, but most artists seem to have depicted tigers using imported pelts as reference. Japanese artists would also depict leopards in the mistaken belief they were female tigers.

Tiger Eating a Rooster by Hirokage

Tiger Eating a Rooster by Hirokage

Further more, some artists used house cats as models. If you look closely at Maruyama Okyo’s Sitting Tiger, painted in 1777. His tiger glares with green almond eyes and slitted pupils; an ocular feature common to house cats on sunny days, but not to tigers. 

Sitting Tiger by Maruyama Okyo

Sitting Tiger by Maruyama Okyo

Without tigers to draw upon from life, Japanese artists depicted the fearsome cat for spiritual reasons unknown to artists in the west. They borrowed from Taoism, a mystical Chinese philosophy that grew from studying nature.

In free-flowing Taoism, Chinese philosophers saw the universe in terms of a symbiotic yin and yang: yang, masculine order, takes the form of a mythological dragon; yin, feminine chaos, the tiger.

Dragon and Tiger by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Dragon and Tiger by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Japanese Zen Buddhism and Chinese Taoism share some beliefs but Outside of the Chinese zodiac the tiger is not associated with either Buddhism or Shintoism in Japan, however some artists depicted twin dragons and tigers on the sliding doors of Zen Buddhist temples and like the Christian story of Saint Jerome and his lion, Buddhists believed that tigers accompanied long-ago holy men.

Grooming Tiger

 As a tattoo motif the tiger represents strength and courage, as well as long life. It protects from evil spirits and bad luck, as well as disease. In addition, the tiger is a symbol for the north and for autumn and is said to control the wind. A tiger tattoo protects the wearer from harm and helps them live longer. Its believed that people gain strength from their tiger tattoo, which gives them bravery and confidence.

Tiger Backpiece by Josh Carter

Tiger Backpiece by Josh Carter

The Dragon - Meaning in Asian culture and Japanese Tattoo By Josh Carter

The Dragon

Meaning in Asian culture and Japanese Tattoo

By Josh Carter

Dragon by Utagawa Hiroshige

Dragon by Utagawa Hiroshige

   The dragon is arguably one of the most prominent images when it comes to asian culture. For many people the mere mention of China or Japan conjures mental images of these spiky beasts, but where do they originate from and what exactly do they represent? 

   In order to answer this question let’s start with China, its hard to say where the dragon exactly originates from but I think its safe to say that no other culture shows an earlier widespread use of dragons in artwork and architecture. In stark contrast to the European dragon which is usually depicted as a malevolent creature; asian dragons symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricanes, and floods. The Asian dragon is a symbol of power, strength, and good luck. The Chinese imperial court used the image of the dragon as a symbol of its own unbridled power. 

   The asian dragon is actually made up of several different animals, a creature commonly referred to as a chimera; usually depicted as having: the tail of a fish, the scales of a carp, the neck of a snake, the belly of a clam, the head of a camel, the claws of an eagle, the paws of a tiger, the ears of a cow, the eyes of a rabbit, the beard of a goat and the antlers of a deer. 

   Depending on the dynasty that was ruling, the “official” Chinese dragon color varied. Chinese dragons are usually one of the “five auspicious colors” blue, yellow, black, white or red

   Under the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D.), for instance, the Chinese dragon symbolizing the Emperor, who was viewed as a god at that time, was turquoise. This turquoise Chinese dragon also symbolized the fifth element in the Chinese five elements, the sun, the East and the West.
Han dynasty aside, it was mostly the yellow Chinese dragon that was chosen by the Emperors as their symbol. This was particularly the case during the Qing dynasty (from 1644 to 1912 AD). The Qing’s Emperor Yan, in fact, was said to be the offspring of his mother’s telepathic communications with a mystical Chinese dragon, and it was claimed that the most powerful Chinese dragon was yellow


   Over time the dragon spread throughout Asia, as it did its physical characteristics changed just a bit. One of main ways to tell where a dragon is from is to count the number of toes it has.  Chinese dragons will usually be depicted as having 5 toes whereas the further away it travels from china it will lose a toe, dragons in Korea and surrounding areas have four toes and Japanese dragons will always have three.

   Im going to skip over Korea and other surrounding regions and jump straight to Japan since thats where my main area of focus is and where I draw the majority my inspiration from

  In terms of how they are portrayed in legends, Chinese dragons are usually given benevolent roles, while a lot of Japanese dragons or Ryu (Japanese for dragon) are not necessarily considered to be malevolent beasts; however they are brutal and powerful forces of nature that transcend good or evil. As a side note, the very concept of good and evil is completely different from the way we view it in western culture. In order to better understand this as westerners we have to step outside our Judeo-Christian perspective and remember that Japanese culture is spawned out of a mix of confucianism, shinto, and buddhism with nature taking center stage. Nature isn’t good or evil, it just is what it is, sometimes fruitful and comfortable and sometime harsh and unforgiving, but you cant blame nature for being nature. We could delve into this more but thats a whole other subject. 

   Some of the first appearances of dragons in Japanese mythology were in the Kojiki (680 AD) and Nihongi (720 AD).The Kojiki, also known as the Records of Ancient Matters or Furukotofumi, is a collection of various myths related to Japan’s four home islands. The Nihongi, which is also referred to as Nihon Shoki or The Chronicles of Japan, serves as a more detailed and elaborate historical record than the Kojiki.

In both documents, water deities in the shape of serpents or dragons are repeatedly mentioned in numerous ways. These creatures are considered to be Japan’s indigenous dragons, the most popular stories being:

  • Yamata no Orochi – The Eight-Branched Giant Snake

  • Watatsumi – The Sea God or King of the Sea

  • Toyotama-hime  – The Luminous Pearl Princess

  • Mizuchi – The Four-Legged Dragon or The Hornless Dragon

  • Kiyohime – The Purity Princess

Yamata no Orochi

Yamata no Orochi

  As tattooing in Japan began to flourish around the early 1800’s bigger and more complex tattoo designs began to emerge. It was only a matter of time before dragons started making their appearance in horimono (Japanese body suit tattooing). Since the dragon is most commonly associated with water, the ryu motif become popular among Edo’s firefighters and worn as a talisman to protect against being burned.

Edo Firefighters

Edo Firefighters

  One of the biggest contributions to the popularity of tattooing in early Japan was a novel known as the Suikoden. Countless Numbers of young men were getting the same tattoos as some the characters in the Suikoden in an attempt to emulate the brave anti-heroes depicted in the story. One major character in the Suikoden goes by the name Kumonryu Shishin (or 9 dragon Shishin) and is described as having a body suit tattoo consisting of, you guessed it, 9 dragons.

Kumonryu Shishin

Kumonryu Shishin

Dragons in Japanese culture are not a mythical creature but a representation or a symbol, they are the anthropomorphic manifestation of a terrible and powerful heavenly force, conversely the tiger is the most powerful earthly force, they are counterparts, yin and yang. 

   To this day the dragon continues to be one the most widely used and powerful images in tattooing, after 20 years of tattooing it still remains one of my favorite images to draw and or tattoo.