My name is Greg Skibo and I'm the founder of Skibo's Tattoo, which opened in the spring of 1982. I have been tattooing since 1974. This was preceded by a stint at CIA (Colorado Institute of Art), and a series of jobs including commercial artist, retouching/ repairing antique photos, airbrush artist, sign painter and a variety of other creative endeavors.
I received my first professional tattoo of a large dragon on my forearm from an artist known as Singapore Slim in the late 1960's and was hooked. From my home to California to New York I tried to find someone to teach me, and of course was turned down by a long list of artists as to how one could get into tattooing. At this time Tattooing was still a closed trade. And was something of a dying art, particularly in the mid-west. Most studios were on either coast or large population centers. And there was only one artist in Denver but Frenchy wasn't talking, at least not to a kid (?) like me with just a few tattoos!
In 1974, I met and was tattooed by a artist that had just moved to Colorado from New York. After recieving a lot of tattoos from Pete, a lot of sweeping / mopping, and of course, proving my creative skills around the shop, I was hired on to a 5 year apprenticeship with the late Peter TAT-2 Poulos. During this period, 1974 until October 1981, I continued to work for Peter in all his studios; New York, Colorado and Arizona. It was my pleasure to work with many artists in the 1970's and early 80's, just within the original Peter Tat-2 Association (12 studios at that time). In which I was honored to be included in the inner circle, and I have the tattoo to prove it. This was a great time for tattooing, almost a renaissance of sorts with the influx of magazines and conventions. Tattooing had never enjoyed the limelight like this. During this period, I traveled and worked many of the early conventions with Peter and had the wonderful experience of meeting and working with many of the artists of the previous 40 years, young and old.
It was always my desire to build a creative work place for myself and the other artists to ply this trade with me. And to try to provide a professional and clean studio that would attract the peculiar but serious artists and clients that you need to create the magic of Tattoo. In the spring of 1982, I moved north from Denver after running the night shift at Pete's famous Downtown 11th and Broadway Studio. Our first studio was built in Cheyenne on a shoe string budget and opened with 2 artists, an auto-clave and 12 sheets of flash. Since then we always tried to fulfill that dream behind those doors, while staying true to the traditions of the art. During this period we ended up building studios in Cheyenne Wyoming, Ft. Collins and Greeley Colorado. Our studios were always an outlet for shop t-shirts, sweatshirts, art prints and other body art items. Providing multi-venues for our artists.
All this was done with the help of many friends, crazy people, hippie gypsies, Judges, artists, bartenders, clients, bikers, lost souls, the City Council of Cheyenne, and especially My Family. Whom without, none of this would have been possible, or for that matter even worth doing. Thanx to every one !!!
These days Peggy and I spend our time still living in Colorado enjoying what time we have left together before we leave the planet. Our time is spent enjoying our kids as much as possible, and with our animals and grand puppies.
I still do my art and create tattoos on a part time basis; but no longer out of the Ft. Collins studio. The Ft Fun shop is no longer open due to a lack of artists willing to work, I'm to old to do it by myself. As a result we closed the doors of our last shop on North College, September 30 2015; it broke our hearts; but nothing lasts forever. We had a good run and will always remember the fun times we had, our faithful clients and most of all the good artists that passed through our doors. To those people it was a privilege and a honor to work with you; long may you run, keep the magic going !
I am still willing to consider limited tattoo projects. In my 43 odd years I have worked with all styles of tattooing. I have done somewhere in the vicinity of 50+ back pieces and several body suits of varying size and coverage. My work has been published and is know internationally. I have won numerous awards for my work both locally and at national competitions. I have had extensive experience with covering up unwanted tattoos. And also in reworking old work to appear as good as new. I have worked throughout my career with scar tissue and indeed continue to work with several plastic surgeons in the area. As I have for a number of years now, and do cosmetic work for breast cancer survivors, (sorry no eyebrows or eyeliner etc.) If a project is more than I am willing to take on or feel would be better done by someone else I am happy to discuss, advise and give you reference to the best artist I know of for the job.
I have been an advocate of sanitary methods and education within the Industry at local, state, and national levels. I was an active member of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists since it's beginning and still support them. Having served on the Board of Directors of the APT for 6 years with 2 years as President, I believe they have done a lot to keep tattooing safe. I have testified before the Colorado State Legislature concerning state health regulations pertaining to Body Art. I have sat down with health officials across the country to help write comprehensive workable regulations for the body art industry.In order to stay on tract with the medical industry I have for over 10 years now tattooed and advocated a 100% disposable status New tube , New needle-bar & needles , New rubber bands anything and everything except the tattoo machine itself.
Peggy has been my anchor, my rock and the love of my life for over 45 years, without her I would have been nothing. Art, then Tattoo and a few motorcycles have filled the rest of my life. I have always been attracted to creativity and followed it to art school. After school I worked with various creative outlets, until ! I was allowed into the world of Tattoo by Peter. I have actively tattooed for 43 + years in more states that I can list. But I always have returned to the Rocky Mountains. Even Gypsies have to lay down somewhere...
I miss the old days when there were only a few that could call themselves Tattoo Artist and there was a mystique then that went with it. When you touch people with the Art of Tattoo you change them forever, its then that you pass a little of that magic on and then the mystique still exists...
I have spent my entire adult life living, loving, and breathing the Sacred Art of Tattoo. I will never stop, thank you for sharing the magic with me................Greg Skibo