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We’ve Changed Our Name (but nothing else)

Diego Tattoos is now Wolf and Shadow Tattoo Collective!

We are still the same group of passionate tattooists creating a welcoming artistic space on University Avenue in San Diego. This rebranding signifies an exciting next step in our dedication to curating a uniquely human and accepting space for our community. You’ll notice some changes over the next few weeks including a new logo, Wolf & Shadow merch, and event announcements inviting you to celebrate this transformation with us. Rest assured — we are still the same tattoo shop you’ve loved and supported for the past decade!

Why ‘Wolf & Shadow Tattoo Collective’?

Our new name is inspired by Aesop’s Fable, The Wolf and the Shadow. In this story, a small wolf catches a glimpse of his own oversized shadow. Foolishly, he believes he is much larger in stature as a result. He does not understand the trick of the sun exaggerating his shadow. And, like anyone who has inflated their ego to epic proportions, the wolf believes he is invincible. He becomes jealous of the lion, the king of the jungle, and believes his giant self to be more worthy of the crown. In true Aesop fashion, the wolf learns his lesson the hardest way as he’s swallowed by the much more capable lion. Ultimately, he falls victim to his own grandiosity.

This fable resonates with us. The tattoo industry is full of wonderfully talented people. And also, there are some wolves beating their chest and gatekeeping the community. Unfortunately, those voices have historically been the face of our industry. At Wolf & Shadow Tattoo Collective, we are dedicated to removing the ego from tattooing. We treat everyone that walks in the door as equals. There are no giant shadows for us to hide behind, no fame or pretentiousness leading us into the lion’s mouth. We want you to only be nervous with excitement about your new tattoo, not the social hierarchy of the too-cool artists at the shop.

We chose “tattoo collective” because we truly believe the artists make the space. We welcome tattooers who value kindness, diversity, and self-expression. This is how we keep ourselves from being an ego-driven business. Our artists are happy to work here and we believe this inevitably gives our clients a better experience.

We are excited to have a name that captures these fundamental aspects of our philosophy.

Retiring Diego Tattoo Gallery

Diego Tattoo Gallery was founded in 2012 by Diana DeAugustine and was named after the legendary chihuahua Diego. Over the past decade, Diana and Cari Coleman ran the shop as a couple, evolving the business into a hub for our diverse community. Diego made his great trip over the Rainbow Bridge in 2017 but you can still meet his larger-than-life statue in our lobby.

Earlier this year, Cari and Diana divorced to embark on separate paths. Cari Coleman is now the sole owner of the shop and is excited to rebrand in a way that captures this transition for Cari and the rest of our tattoo collective. This is not just Cari’s space; it belongs to every person who has walked through the doors and contributed to this ongoing legacy.

Rebranding is not meant to erase the history and significance of Diego Tattoo Gallery. If nothing else, we think this change aligns more closely and truthfully with the mission and philosophy we have had from the beginning.

What’s Next?

Be on the lookout for exciting announcements from us! We are already cooking up epic Wolf & Shadow merch and planning for a grand re-opening ceremony. We would appreciate help spreading the word that Diego Tattoo Gallery is now Wolf & Shadow Tattoo Collective — we don’t want to lose any of our wonderful community during this transformation! You all are the reason we get to do this incredibly fun and rewarding work. You have believed in our vision for nearly a decade now and we can’t wait for another decade together.

As always, please reach out to our artists anytime (time to start working on your howl!).