Scarlet Letter is a safe(r) tattoo & art studio in Brooklyn, New York City, dedicated to feminism, queerness, body-positivity, and anti-racism. Scarlet Letter was opened in 2016 by em16 (she/they) with the goal of providing quality tattoos and fine art in a tranquil environment.
Scarlet Letter hosts visiting guests in addition to being home to resident tattoo artists. Current artists’ work may be viewed on our instagram @scarletletterbk. Please contact artists through their individual instagram profiles to book.
EMAIL IS OUR PREFERRED FORM OF CONTACT. If you have a concern that needs to be discussed by telephone, please email your artist your number and a good time to contact you.
We are in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn on the border of Crown Heights, a 3 minute walk from the A/C subway to Nostrand Ave. There are several hotels near by if you are traveling from out of town. We are by appointment-only— in order to insure the space is as safe as possible and avoid walk-in tattoo inquiries interrupting your appointment, we will send our address in a confirmation email after you book.
Em Sixteen @em16
In 2009, I learned to tattoo and began exploring the possibilities of drawing on human skin. The year before, I was in grad school getting my MFA after years of working at nonprofits as a one-on-one counselor and ultimately ending up sitting at a desk doing graphic design for a nonprofit. I enjoy working with people so much—and working in front of a computer sucked the life out of me. In this way, tattooing was a perfect career for me. I get to draw and connect with awesome people in meaningful ways.
My fine art work analyzes figurative depiction through large-scale immersive paintings and drawings on paper and performance. My art practice explores the multiplicities of identity as developed within internal and external representations of human form. Examining gender, class, and queerness via narrative storytelling is a consistent theme in my work. Much of this examination happens naturally while collaborating on tattoos with my clients.
Moving forward into my exciting tenth year tattooing, I am interested in working closely with clients on large free-form tattoos that take the composition of the piece on the whole body into consideration.
Contact em through instagram @em16.
Clarissa Liu @Duri4n
I am a queer tattoo artist, illustrator, and designer, and a graduate from Rhode Island School of Design. I have been tattooing for three years. I tattoo using a combination of machine for lines, and hand poke for shading, and I enjoy translating my bizarre illustrations/animations into tattoo designs. I mostly tattoo flash designs that come from my artworks, but I am open to taking custom requests as well. My style is a mix of traditional Chinese folklore influences (in a similar way to how I picked up little pieces of superstitions as a child and still carry them with me), with the surreal imagery that is a result of trying to translate thoughts and feelings, not always successfully, into a visual language that I can release into the world when my own mind becomes too lonely.
Outside of tattooing, I enjoy working in many mediums like animating traditionally and digitally, sculpting with paper clay, and felting—although illustrating and tattooing has been the most consistent (and hand-in-hand) in the past few years. I am incredibly lucky and grateful to be allowed to indulge in my visual language, and to share it very personally with others through tattooing- so I hope that everyone who is getting a tattoo can feel just as safe and welcomed as I do, and that tattooing is fun and healing, as it should be.
Contact Clarissa through instagram @Duri4n.
We occasionally host guests looking for a safe(r) space to tattoo or practice other client-related modalities. While you don’t have to have lots of shop experience, all tattoo artists must be licensed in order to protect both the shop and clients. If you are interested in renting space with us as a guest, contact em through their contact page.