Women in the Tattoo World: Portrait of Lauren Tedder

Lauren Tedder (Cohen) is like a pretty UFO in the tattoo world. This young woman is the perfect representation of the future of tattooing. Her fresh style and art has the solid background that only the pioneers of American tattooing have.

She is the daughter of one of the American tattoo legends: Jeff “the Jew” Cohen. In 1983 her father opened Custom tattoo Co in a small military town; Havelock, NC. It was the first tattoo shop in town and his customers were soldiers, gangsters, bikers, young people… The shop was the place were people came to have their skin inked by a man with a strong background and life. All of them, despite their differences, came here with the respect of his art but also a true respect for the man. Jeff “the Jew” Cohen is one of the old timers, along the likes of Zeke Owen, Lyle Tuttle, Jack Rudy… who made the tattoo world as we know it now.

Lauren Tedder Cohen
Lauren Tedder Cohen

Born in 1992, she spent her childhood in the shop and made her first steps on earth and in the tattoo world at the same time. Lauren was brought up in this atmosphere from another time. On the side of a loving father, she did learn all about tattooing. Her “Pops” had a big impact on her life and tattoo career but he wasn’t the kind of man to teach in a classic way. She learned through an “old school” apprenticeship.

Lauren did her first tattoo on her father at the age of 12 and by the age of 15 she had regular customers. By the time she turned 17 she was working full time in the studio.

Customers were mostly tough guys, no too many women came to the shop in those days but, Lauren developed naturally in this male dominated world. Partly because of the respect people had for her father but mostly because she took charge and did things her own way while still giving them proof that she is a talented artist. This is an important part of her success; accepting the heritage but showing her father and the world that she can make it by herself!

During the Asheville Tattoo Convention in 2013 she met Dave Tedder, the man who would become her husband in 2014. She never thought that THE man would be a tattoo artist… Life made it this way! Tattooing is in the genes for sure! Dave is the second man of her life and the influence on her art is really important. Together they moved around Europe and kept learning about tattooing.

They did a long stop in Corsica, Ajaccio for two years before coming back to Atlanta. She took her portfolio and knocked on the doors of her favorite tattoo studios in the city and that’s how she met Joe Vegas, owner of Thunderbolt Tattoo.

The connection between both of them was evident as he is one of the heirs of the tattoo culture as well. She is now working at the shop since 2016 where she provide the finest Traditional American tattooing in town. She loves these kind of tattoos as her father used to do, but also puts her own touch on it with more girly details and influence.

This young tattoo artist will definitely be part of the tattoo landscape as she is adorable and talented.

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