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Hello, my name is KOYO Corey Ray, and my story of tattooing begins in the mid 90's while I was living in Japan. I found learning the language and culture was fascinating! I learned to speak, read, and write near fluently during my 5 years living there. While working as a freelance comic book artist, I began studying Japanese calligraphy known as "SHODOU", and it was through "SHODOU" that I was introduced to "IREZUMI" (Tattooing) by chance. The process of collaborating together, working up the art, and the nature of respect given to the process were all very different from our "western-style" Tattoo environments. It very much impressed me, and so I have incorporated much of that into the essence of KOYO STUDIOS and the process by which I create your story and put it into your skin.
In 2011, guided by the hand of Mother Universe, I met some Tattoo artists who tattoo prison-style...learned in the culture of the California State prison system. Building the machine, making the ink, using a straightened pen spring for the needle, and the pen cap to hold the pen tube, I received my first tattoo and tattoo instruction in one of the most traditional and misunderstood methods, in one of the most misunderstood cultures. Almost all modern tattooing traces back to those very roots! What I thought to be a seemingly negative experience was turned into one of the most memorable blessings of my life!
Here in the U.S. the Tattoo culture can be very different, and I wanted to bring some of the aspects from my various experiences to Koyo Studios. When I started Koyo Studios, I brought from Japan a more formal and personal atmosphere, with the focus on designing the highest quality art possible for each Tattoo on each unique person, telling each clients story. Throwing away the idea that affordability justifies lower quality, I implemented payment plan options so that every person can get the "show quality" work that they deserve on their body!
I firmly believe in giving you what you want while working with you to make sure that it is a quality piece of art when we get done.
Learning different styles is an art of its own, and I am very good at it...so bring whatever idea you have!
Tattooing in San Diego for over 12 years, I'm a fun, loving person who believes in a professional attitude and the best talent when forming the journey that will ILLUSTRATE your personal SAGA!
My style would be most defined somewhere in between Impressionism and Realism.
I specialize in Portraits, Caricatures, Traditional and Modern Japanese, Comic Book styles, Anime, Cartooning, Painter styles, Japanese Calligraphy, and Western Calligraphy.
Cover-Ups and fixes
I thoroughly enjoy fixing Permanent Make-Up and Tattoos that are improperly done or that you no longer like. No Cover-Up is too hard so do not hesitate to ask me!
Please scroll over the cards below and click to take a look at my galleries of "Artwork", "Tattoos", and "Finished Designs".
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