America's Tattoo Godmother 

“Shanghai” Kate Hellenbrand is known as America’s Tattoo Godmother for her career in tattooing since 1971. Her talent, activism, and renassaince spirit landed her a spot as one of the 101 Most Influential Persons in Tattoo History.


Kate's award-winning work has appeared in all major tattoo magazines. She has been a writer for Tattoo Planet, Ink, Skin and Ink and International Tattoo Art Magazine.


Kate has appeared on The Today Show, The Tonight Show, Prime Time Access, and numerous documentaries on the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel and TBS. She is the focus of a 30 minute PBS documentary ''Art in Context: A Moving Canvas'' available online. Google her to see many other interviews and profiles available on YouTube.

She is the only woman featured in TATTOO NATION, a documentary charting the evolution of black and grey fineline tattooing from prison to photorealism.


Her lecture From Voodoo to Vogue has been presented at universities, conventions and museums, including Columbia University where she was a featured panelist at the International Women’s Leadership Conference.


Kate has been honored as a recipient of the Bob Shaw Award by the National Tattoo Association. In 2018, Kate received a LifeTime Achievement Award at the NTA Florida Convention, named for Scottish Tattoo Legend Terry Wrigley.


While Shanghai Kate is a popular artist amongst celebrities (including 

Howard Stern, Jeff Goldblum, Mike McCreedy, Casey Affleck and

David LaChappelle), she is just as popular with the locals of Austin, Texas, where her shop is by appointment only. Contact her by writing her email:



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