Born in Sacramento, California, Char Hall’s love of art started at an early age. Motivated and inspired by the work of artists like Jim Henson and Brian Froud, Char became an accomplished artist in her teens, earning multiple California Art Scholars awards and showing at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.
As so many artists do, Char attempted to sustain herself in the ‘real world’ and found it dreadfully unfulfilling. So, in 2006, Char returned to pursue art full time. Oil paints are one of her favorite mediums and often, she will work out difficult tattoo tasks with oil and canvas before she brings them to skin. In viewing her work, you cannot help but see this. Char tattoos just as she paints. There is the same feel, flow and artistic vision regardless of what kind of canvas she is creating on. In this way, tattooing has proved to be a great fit for her. She has pushed traditional boundaries in tattooing, and created her own style that sets her apart from most artists in her area. Being from a fine art background, Char is not bound to designs by the lines and stencils of a traditional tattoo world. More often than not, she prefers to freehand draw directly on the bodies of her clients rather than confine the idea to a flat piece of paper. In this way, she creates pieces that come to life, that fit and flow with the client. Char’s clients don’t wonder if their tattoos are too big or too small… because whatever size they end up being, they fit. That not withstanding, if you give her an inch, she’ll take your whole arm! And nobody has complained yet!
Char first made a name for herself in the Sacramento tattoo scene with her photorealistic floral tattoos. Delicate, feminine, beautiful flower and plant arrangements began to wrap around arms and sprout up on shoulders all over Sacramento. Clients then started requesting subject matter beyond flora, and she eagerly took the the challenge. Jellyfish, octopuses, pheonixes, koi fish, and all manner of fauna began to crowd Char’s email inbox. Client lists grew because many didn’t realize that a tattoo could be done in such a painterly way and without heavy black outlines. No one else in Sacramento was doing tattoos like this, and they were beautiful. Slowly but surely she gathered a following. By the spring of 2008, Char was booked out 3 months in advance. Now, almost 5 years later, she is booked out 2 years in advance, with an ever growing list of submissions and requests from all over the world.
As the owner of Side Show Studios in Sacramento, California, Char has assembled a team of artists that share her vision of making tattooing an art form. She hosts guest artists from all over the world at Side Show Studios. She also travels all over the world to tattoo at conventions, do guest spots at hosting studios, and to continue her education of the tattoo industry. When at home, Char works 6 days a week, 10 hours per day to further her craft and care for her clients. She never stops, and rarely sleeps. Char’s love for this industry and the art that is being created and fostered pushes her ahead every day. It is evident in the work she produces.
Char has been voted Best Tattoo Artist by the readers of the Sacramento News & Review for 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. She also won Best Visual Artist in 2007 and 2008. One of over 150 tattoo shops in Sacramento, Side Show Studios won Best Tattoo Parlor for 2008 and 2009, and also placed in the top 3 for 2007 and 2010. She is a supporter of numerous local charities, and has been featured on KVIE public television. Artwork created by Char has also been featured in the movie Scream 4, and at the release party for The Psycho Legacy. Char also holds a variety of awards from various conventions for her tattoo work including Best of Day at Oregon Ink in 2012, Best Realism (non-portrait) and Most Creative in San Diego, and Best Small Color in San Francisco.