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’ with the doldrums of a 9-5 civilian job and found it dreadfully unfulfilling, so in 2006 Char returned to pursue art full time. Oil paints and pencils are some of her favorite mediums and often, she will work out difficult tattoo tasks with oil and canvas before she brings them to life on the skin. It is obvious when viewing Char’s work that she tattoos in a very similar manner to how she executes a painting, as the same feel, flow and artistic vision is ever apparent regardless of her surface and medium. In this way, tattooing has proved to be a great fit for her, and Char has pushed traditional boundaries in tattooing, to create her own unique style that sets her apart from the average tattooer. Being from a fine art background, Char is not bound to designs by the lines and stencils of a traditional tattoo world, and prefers to freehand draw directly on the bodies of her clients rather than confine her ideas to a flat piece of paper. In this way, she creates pieces that come to life, that fit and flow with the client.
Remarkably early in her tattoo career Char had began making waves with her adept illustrative photorealism. Delicate, detailed floral elements pulled straight from the natural world began to wrap around arms and sprout budding tendrils on shoulders all over the Sacramento area. Clients soon began requesting subject matter outside of the botanical realm, and Char eagerly took the the challenge and began tattooing birds, mammals, sea creatures and all manner of realistic and fantastical fauna. Slowly but surely she gathered a following, and by the spring of 2008, Char was booked out 3 months in advance. Now, almost fifteen years later, Char is constantly inundated with a never ending flow of projects and excited new clients from all over the world, all of whom she greets with an boundless gusto and enthusiasm.
At the original home of Side Show Studios in Sacramento, California, Char assembled a team of artists that shared her vision of making tattooing an art form, all of whom have spread their wings and blossomed into skilled individuals in their own right. In June of 2017 Char decided to migrate south to quieter, greener pastures and set up shop in the gorgeous, sleepy town of Walnut Grove, where she now resides permanently. Char has regularly hosted guest artists from all over the world at Side Show Studios, and frequently travels to tattoo at conventions and tattoo at other host studios herself. When at home, Char normally works 6 days a week, 10 hours per day to further her craft and create the best experience possible for her clients. Char’s love for this industry and the art that is being created and is what motivates her day in and day out, and it is exceptionally 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, until the category was discontinued. 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, and both Char and her work continue to be recognized on an international level to this day. Char is a passionate supporter of numerous local charities and causes, 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.