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, pasteup 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 Colorado to California I tried to find someone to teach me, and of course was turned down by a long line of artists as to how one could get into tattooing. At this time it 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. At that time there was only one artist in Denver and 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 a lot of tattoos, a lot of sweeping / mopping, and of course, proving my creative skills around the shop, 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 last 40 years, young and old.
It has always been my desire to build a creative work place for myself and the other artists that ply this trade with me. And to try to provide a professional and clean studio that would attract the peculiar but serious artists that you need to be to create the magic of Tattoo Art. 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 have always tried to fulfill that dream behind these doors, while staying true to the traditions of the art. 32 years later our studio still does the best tattooing we can for our clients in a clean and comfortable studio. The studio has always been an outlet for shop t-shirts, sweatshirts and other body art items. Providing other venues for our art. In the last 20 years we have added Professional Body Piercing with a large selection of surgical quality Body Jewelry.
All this has been 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 we spend our time in Colorado keeping a personal hand on what we have built, and to insure that the ideals and love of the art of tattooing continues and are shared by the artists working in our studio.
I still do my art and create tattoos part time out of the Ft. Collins studio. It's best to call ahead as I am limited on available times. Absolutely call if you are traveling a distance. I am still willing to consider any projects. In my 40 odd years I have worked with all styles of tattooing; traditional, new school / old school, tribal, Celtic, single needle, black/gray, portraits, fantasy and a lot of traditional Japanese. 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. Large work or small if it is creative, I am interested. I have 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 work with several plastic surgeons in the area for a number of years now. If the project was more than I am willing to take on or would be better done by someone else I would be happy to discuss, advise and give reference to the best artist for the job.
I have been an advocate of sanitary methods and education within the Industry at local, state, and national levels. I have been an active member of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists since it's beginning. Having served on the Board of Directors of the APT for 6 years with 2 years as President. I have testified before the Colorado State Legislature concerning health regulations pertaining to Body Art. I have sat down with health officials and helped write comprehensive workable regulations for the body art industry.In order to stay on tract with the medical industry we now tattoo on a 100% disposable status ! NEW tube , needle-bar & needles , rubber bands everything except the tattoo machine itself.
Art first, then Tattoo have been the loves 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 and I served a 5-year apprenticeship to learn my trade from and old school master. I have actively tattooed for 40 years in more states that I can list. But I always have returned to the Rocky Mountains. Even Gypsies have to lay up 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