Tattoos are for adults — but that didn’t stop one up-and-coming Moscow artist from daydreaming about the medium as a 6-year-old in elementary school.
Those dreams turned into reality when Allison Curet, now 22, was offered an apprenticeship to work at a local tattoo studio, an opportunity she’s wished for as long as she can remember.
“I used to get grounded at home all the time for drawing on my legs and hands with Sharpie markers, and teachers would get mad at me for drawing on other students in class,” Curet said. “Tattooing has always fascinated me.”
Born and raised in Salmon, Idaho, Curet moved to Moscow to attend the University of Idaho and pursue an art degree, but, as the adage goes, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. In her case, life showed up in the form of a gift Curet received for her birthday in June 2019.
That gift came from her good friend, Thad Froio, the opportunity to learn the art of the tattoo under his supervision at his studio, Harry & Lloyd’s.
Curet was over-the-moon excited about accepting the offer. Some in her family showed somewhat less excitement.
“I dropped out of college to do this, so they were really, really upset,” she said.
This lack of initial support was no match for Curet’s pursuit of her passion. In the past 18 months, she’s tattooed dozens of clients, honed her skills and gained an inside perspective into the tattoo industry.
Curet said she approaches each tattoo as a piece of art for the client’s personal art gallery.
“I love the idea of having a living canvas — that my art is a part of the client’s ‘forever,’ ” she said. ”There’s something beautiful about being part of something so intimate.”
Froio said there were two reasons he offered Curet the apprenticeship — her artistic talent and her communication skills with clients and with him in the studio. Curet and Froio have been longtime friends, and that bond made Froio confident they could work well together in a professional scenario.
“When I found out she wanted to get into tattooing, I thought, ‘I’ll be damned if she goes and tattoos with somebody else,’ ” he said.
Some of Curet’s clients have been so pleased with her work that they’ve come back for multiple tattoos.
One of those clients is Emma Ramalingam, who has gotten two tattoos from Curet. She finds Curet talented and easy to work with.
“If I think of other tattoos I want in the future, I know I can go to Alli, because I trust her and love her work,” Ramalingam said. “She’s very friendly and excited about her art.”
Curet said she looks forward to continuing the development of her artistic style and skill with the tattoo gun at Harry & Lloyd’s in the coming months.
“I think of this medium as a timeline — tattoos show who you were, who you are now and who you are going to become,” she said.
Curet can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Ellen Dennis can be reached at (208) 883-4632 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.