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The Sage & Serpent Story

Tattoo shops are plentiful in Nashville these days. In recent years especially, the city’s tattoo scene, while long beloved by locals, has grown in both size and reputation, with new shops and high-profile artists popping up all over town and wait lists growing ever longer.

Even with the influx of new shops and new artists, there are still plenty of lifers in town — folks who set up shop in Nashville years back, amassing dedicated client followings and helping to provide a sturdy foundation for the growing tattoo community. Shannon Wages is one of those lifers.

Wages currently calls Sage and Serpent Tattoo, a shop on Gallatin Pike in the heart of Inglewood, her artistic home. Over a decade into her career as a tattoo artist, Wages laughs when she recalls that, in some senses, she fell into the career by accident.

“I started working in a tattoo shop in Murfreesboro when I was in school to be an audio engineer,” she says. “I’m like everybody else in Nashville, and I didn’t come here for anything but music.”

>> Read more at The East Nashvillian


Shannon Wages

Shannon Wages is originally from Tupelo, MS but has lived in the Nashville area since 2002. She started her tattoo career working as a counter-person in 2003, while in college. In 2006, she began her tattoo apprenticeship and has been tattooing in Nashville since. Her abilities cover a wide range of styles, but she prefers heavy blackwork and black and gray.


Hunter Soltes

Hunter Soltes grew up in Bristol, TN and has lived in Nashville since 2016. As a biology student in college he started hand poke tattooing illustrations of plants and animals in 2014. His work has grown to focus on minimal black illustrations in a wide range of subject matters.


Matthew G. Brown

Matthew grew up in Nashville as part of the music and street art communities, drawing inspiration from both the natural and unnatural worlds, he enjoys the boldness of more modern ignorant style and neo-traditiinal tattoos as well as the complexities of surrealist pieces.


Writhe Grey

Hailing from Salt Lake City, Writhe is an entirely self-taught artist who has been in Nashville since 2014. She specializes in fine linework, cross-hatching, and blackwork. Writhe draws inspiration from 18th century woodcut printing and the mythical and erotic occult vibes of artists like Luis Falero, Baldung, and Dürer.