By Lisa Simonson Special to Published Aug 07, 2013 at 3:20 PM

A recent trip to Walker's Point Tattoo taught me a valuable lesson about myself: I'm not very good at getting tattoos. Although not my first, I'm sure the other patrons in the shop thought it was, given my wincing, cringing and twitching. 

This trip marked my third occasion at Walker's Point Tattoo. Each time I've worked with Cory James, a local tattoo artist. I first met Cory last March during a trip to Austin for SXSW. At the time I only had one tattoo done in Milwaukee.

I was looking for an artist that could work on a few concepts for me, but have fun with it and build on the ideas – I’d classify my own artistic ability as completely inept. Shortly after getting to know a bit more about Cory it was obvious tattooing was not just a job for him, he's an artist that appreciates the beauty of the work he's doing. 

Cory started working at Walker's Point Tattoo roughly six months ago, but has been tattooing for a little over four years. Like many tattoo advocates, Cory got his first tattoo when he turned 18. Although tattooing didn't become his immediate calling, when offered the opportunity to travel around the country with another tattoo artist, he didn't hesitate.

When describing his first tattooing experience in Fort Lauderdale over spring break I immediately thought lower back tattoos, body shots and Girls Gone Wild – of course this is probably because I've never actually been on a spring break.

Cory has had the opportunity to travel all over the U.S. and plans to continue to do so. Although a local artist, his love for tattooing lies partly in the ability to travel, the freedom to design and the networking opportunities that come with meeting new people on a daily basis. If you frequent bars in Downtown Milwaukee, you may have seen his live art at Rogues Gallery.

As for my tattoo, I showed my Wisco pride by getting the somewhat clichéd state outline on my rib cage. After a few tweaks to the original design, we added in a wood violet and a new color scheme, I was blown away by how far the design had progressed.

Watching the woman across the shop from me text while getting a tattoo from her back all the way down her side definitely made me feel like a bit of a wuss for cringing during my palm-sized tattoo, but fortunately for me everyone seemed to reserve glaring judgments. I think it’s safe to say I’ll be back again, when I’m ready to endure my next work of art.

Lisa Simonson Special to

As a self-proclaimed aficionada of dive bars, Lisa Simonson knows a thing or two about drinking and our city’s bar scene. She now calls Milwaukee, one of America’s drunkest cities (coincidence?), home after growing up in world-famous Port Washington (“Step by Step,” anyone?) and spending time in both Minneapolis and London.

Now, back in her favorite city in the world, Simonson blogs about her adventures in Milwaukee, one bar at a time. Although her primary focus is sampling the best the city has to offer in beer, wine and whiskey, when not abusing her liver, Lisa can be found cruising on her bike, obsessing over Adobe products, jamming to her favorite bands or attempting to teach her cat to walk on a leash.