Welcome back to the Savannah Sip N’ Cycle Blog! As always, we are thrilled to have you come read with us again. Every month, we provide articles that inform you about Savannah and all that our favorite city has to offer. From Sweet Treats to Cycling Tips, we’ve got our eye on Savannah and can’t wait to tell you about it. Check back often and bookmark the blog page to stay updated, you won’t regret doing so.
This week, we have something special for the artists and tattoo lovers out there. Like we have said before, Savannah is the type of city that is home for creators that you know, and the ones you are sure to hear about soon. Known for its eclectic art styles throughout all of the city, Savannah can’t be covered in one article or single publication. Don’t worry though, that doesn’t mean we are going to stop trying. Continue reading to learn more about one of our favorite places to visit (when we aren’t on the #PartyBike, that is) for all stops creative. From the most badass tattoo artists you can find in Savannah’s Downtown District, to having been featured in more than its fair share of SCAD produced films, Tramp Art Studios is not only one of our top choices to grab some ink. Tramp Art Studios is a gallery, an entire experience and a wormhole that gets better with each visit. You might remember reading about them on past articles of ours like “Sober Guide to Savannah – 21 things to do without drinking” or “The Definitive Guide to Tattoo Shops in Savannah”, be sure to give both a look when you’re done learning about Tramp Art Studios! Questions you might not be aware of about the city are waiting to be answered throughout the entire Savannah Sip N’ Cycle Blog.
Tramp Art Studios is anything but your average tattoo shop, swimming in colorful art, this studio holds history in every corner. The Tramp Art movement originated sometime between the 1870s and 1940s, mainly created by “tramps” or nomadic tradesman who would trainhop or hitchhike in search of work. Furniture and sculptures were whittled out of old cigar boxes or shipping crates with whatever tools could be found. Here at Tramp Art Studios we work hard to cultivate the most unique and vast collection of artwork, decor, and artists in Savannah.
Owner and tattoo artist Kirsten Cameron was kind enough to sit down with our local writer Abstract Samm for an interview about the shop. Though Samm has been known to work on paintings down in the lobby, or photograph every inch of the building, she is never surprised to find that there is more than meets the eye at Tramp Art Studios. Walking in on a Tuesday doesn’t mean much when by Friday, the entire shop could be rearranged and covered in brand new pieces, games or furniture. Picture this, you walk into a tattoo shop, ready to work with artists like Dre Edwards or Billy Cassat and before you know it, you’re sucked in to a tasteful collage of local art, furniture that’s been chased down from all over and instruments set up begging to be played. One might consider this business to be a chameleon of sorts. If bands need a spot to practice, the lobby has a drum kit set up. When you want to film a movie, music video or short film, suddenly the walls will look exactly like the backdrop you’d always dreamt of. Much like the name suggests, Tramp Art Studios has a certain aesthetic, but even that is subject to makeover at any given moment.
“Tramp Art” is a label created by a movement that originated somewhere between the 1870’s and 1940’s, mostly done in the early years by nomadic trade workers, or “tramps” that sought out work by hopping trains as a form of travel. Due to their wandering nature, early records of who the tramps creating the art were are hard to come by. Skilled craftsmen, fluent in trades such as carpentry or blacksmithing, “Tramp Artists” would rather wander from town to town looking for work in favor of remaining in one steady location. Considering the character of this lifestyle choice, you can easily see why carting around loads of art supplies was not the ideal move. Because of this fact, these talented workers would utilize recycled materials as a preferred medium, most notably were cigar boxes and picture frames. As this creative style gained popularity throughout the movement, creators from all walks of life would get involved with the trend, not just the travelers. What would gain notice quickly and become a staple to the label is the intense geometric patterns, and handmade look of each piece. Detailed but flimsy, Tramp Art is easily recognized by many enthusiasts.
Just like the iconic movement’s best works, Tramp Art Studios has layers, three if we are being technical. Built up from the most humble of beginnings, this studio has grown from 2,000 square foot to the 3,500 square foot hodge podge of art and tattoo professionals we know today. Opened in 2017 by Kirsten Cameron and Billy Cassat as the sole artists, these two spent some time homeless during the initial phases of the shop. According to Kirsten, they were “eating the Ramen and couldn’t even afford the Ramen” at this stage. In just four short years, Tramp Art Studios has upped the game, hosting 10 regular employees and an array of rotating guest artists. Steady on the rise with an unstoppable momentum, the artists that make up this roster have cultivated quite well in this short time.
First to join in on their creative mission was Taylor, also known as “Shorty” by his peers. Not just a wicked tattoo artist, Shorty is the drummer of local band Guns to Gallows, a metal act that you can find all over Downtown Savannah, and even in our past articles. Just about everyone in town is obsessed with this band and going to their live shows, including coworker and fellow artist Dre Edwards. Known for his specific style, instantly recognizable by the color work, Dre Edwards was next in on the Tramp Art action and is also talented in the realm of film and movie making. Something great about these creators is that no one is just an incredibly talented tattoo artist, each creator has at least 1 other project going on at any given moment. Find names of all 10 artists and stay up to date with who will be up for a guest spot in the shop or where they will travel to next by following @trampartstudios on Instagram or Facebook. Regularly featured at conventions all over the country, Kirsten did mention that her favorite trip so far was to Denver, Colorado.
From bottom to top, a trip to Tramp Art Studios is a must visit location in Savannah for creators of any kind. Located on Victory, right next to the CBD shop you would have a tough time missing the giant tattoo machine (created by Billy Cassat) beside the shop’s name on the outside of the building. Walk inside and look to your right for the Tramp Art Claw, one of many twists on classic games available in the waiting room and a fun way to save money on a random palm sized tattoo. Before flipping through portfolios and making an appointment, you are sure to find pleasant distraction in varied mixed media pieces or even the furniture. Antiques, nostalgic toys and instruments accompany mixed media composed in every imaginable form all collide comfortably in the lobby. Watch out, you might get sucked into the Willie Nelson issue of Rolling Stones or book of concert posters from the past. Even if you end up having to wait, there’s no shortage of literature laying on anything that will hold still long enough.
Billy Cassat is an award winning artist. He has been tattooing 13 years and has his artwork and his favorite antiques displayed throughout the shop. Savannah has been his home since he was born.
Specializes in color and black and grey realism
Kirsten Cameron has been piercing for five years, and tattooing for three years. She was raised in Savannah,GA and devotes most of her spare time to the shop, her family, and the local community.
specializing in minimalist design, black work, and flowers.
Taylor Keel “Shorty”
Tattoo Artist of three years, Shorty also grew up in Savannah and plays the drums for his band Guns to Gallows.
Specializes in traditional and neotraditional tattoo styles. He also likes new school illustrative tattoos.
Jordan Mallon is a tattoo artist of five years. He came to Savannah from Miami, FL. Jordan enjoys bike riding around Savannah and watching his favorite podcasts.
Specializes in old school traditional tattoos and also enjoys fine line single needle tattoos.
Lily Rui Xiang
Lily Rui Xiang was born and raised here in Savannah, Georgia. She hates long walks on the beach but she can try to meet your tattoo needs.
Varies in a few styles like Polynesian to traditional tattoo work. Realism is not preferred.
Dre Edwards has been a tattoo artist for 16 years. He brings such a unique style, you can spot a Dre piece on anyone he tattoos. In his spare time you will see Dre making or editing his Tattoo Vlogs.
Specializes in many different styles.
Schuyler Abrams is an award winning tattoo artist. He has been tattooing for eight years. Schuyler enjoys any art that deals with Halloween or horror movies the most!
Specializes in new school tattoos, color or black and grey.
Taylor Elliott has been a tattoo artist for eight years. He grew up in Savannah and enjoys forging knives in his spare time.
Specializing in most styles of tattooing, he most enjoys black work and flowers.
Raised in Manhattan, Sal V is versed in many ecletics styles & mediums of art. With 10 years of experience, he’s excited join the Tramp Art team!
Specializes in realism & Neo-traditional, but looking to do new school pieces!
Sal likes to do anything traditional as well as neotraditional, he can adapt to almost any style, but is not doing any realism, yet! Sal is born and raised in Savannah and is just starting to spread his wings as a tattooer.
Specializes in Traditional, neotraditional, and minimalist tattoo styles.
Lining even the stairs, from floor to ceiling, you’re engulfed in a broken time capsule of creative progress throughout the years as you take a trip to the top two floors. Once you make your way towards each artist’s individual stations, small details are fun to take note of regardless of which chair you spend time in that day. Schuyler has a thing for horror movies, Lily loves to document her friends with Polaroids and Kirsten can’t seem to have enough antiques in her life. Unique touches are what makes the creative genius of Tramp Art Studios flow so well with Savannah. Like we have mentioned here on the Savannah Sip N’ Cycle blog before, this city loves to support artists and it shows. Supporters of AURA Fest, a local Rock Festival/Concert company, Tramp Art Studios stays involved with the community and is always happy to host an exhibition or set up for short films and music videos. Walk into the shop one time and you will understand why so many are drawn to the aesthetic. Tramp Art as a style of creation has a rich history, like the one Tramp Art Studios is creating before our very eyes. Don’t blink, you might miss something, but that’s half the fun of Tramp Art Studios.
Here at the Savannah Sip N’ Cycle Blog, we are stoked to show off the hidden and not-so-hidden gems that the city has to offer. We hope you have enjoyed reading about the legendary Tramp Art Studios, a location that grows and changes with Savannah. Be sure to take a moment to follow them on all social media for a taste of what to expect when you walk in and head to www.trampartstudios.com for a detailed look at what the artists specialize in. Possibilities are virtually endless when the lineup of a lifetime is available to choose from.
Big Thanks to Kirsten Cameron for taking the time to talk with us here at the Savannah Sip N’ Cycle Blog and bigger thanks to you for reading about one of the local businesses we can’t stop bragging about. Bookmark the blog page now and check back often for more info on where to eat, drink and have fun when you’re visiting Savannah. We will do our best to keep answering any questions about Savannah that you might have.
Before you run off to book a tattoo or obsessively read the rest of our posts, take a second to click over to our Party Bike tab and read about the Savannah Sip N’ Cycle. Our tours are an affordable and Eco-Friendly way to travel around Savannah, guided by a local host who is thrilled to show off our humble city. Tickets start at only 25$ and our bike can host up to 15 guests at one time. Bridal parties, family events and birthday celebrations can only be made more memorable with a ride on top of the #PartyBike. If you’d like to experience a tour that is smaller or even private, click around to the Bike Tours or Pedicab tabs for information on how to book a ride with hosts that know the most about Savannah. Local drivers are the heart of our tours and our guides cannot wait to take you on a journey around the city that you will never forget, regardless of what option is chosen. Until next time, we can’t wait to see you again here on the Savannah Sip N’ Cycle Blog!