At Inkbox, our goal is to help you express yourself and tell your stories. Here, of course, we express ourselves in large part through tattoos. And while most of our tattoos last no longer than a couple of weeks, at our new permanent studio (and sister brand) Inside Out, forever tattoos are an option too.
We first launched Inside Out as an online resource for tattoo lovers and the tattoo curious. But over time we’ve learned that of the many reasons people wear Inkbox — from celebrating friendships, to reclaiming their bodies and showing their support for a cause — one of the most popular is to test out a design and placement before getting it inked permanently. So to support you as you express yourself through tattoos, whether they’re for now or forever, we decided to turn Inside Out into a studio as well (located inside our new Inkbox store so you can get both kinds of ink there).
And leading Inside Out studio is our friend, newest team member and Canada’s most followed tattoo artist, Curt Montgomery.
Although Curt’s full-time journey at Inkbox began just recently, his relationship with us goes way back.
"We were introduced to Curt by a local agency for a pop-up collab and afterwards we approached him to design a full e-commerce collection. Since then we’ve launched four separate collections together, partnered for events, and just recently brought him on permanently to work on Inside Out,” says Inkbox co-founder Braden Handley. “We've always viewed Curt as the most important person to be able to approach permanent tattoos with an artist-first mindset."
"After meeting the Inkbox team and learning about the product I knew getting involved was going to be a good idea. Not everyone can get permanent tattoos — for cultural and religious reasons or because of age or distance — but Inkbox makes tattoo art accessible to everyone,” explains Curt.
His signature bold, minimal style, which is largely centered around themes of life and love, has led Curt to amass nearly 500,000 followers on Instagram and to tattoo the likes of Halsey, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner in just a few short years since he started tattooing. And once you get to know him, understanding his success is easy. Not only is he an extremely talented artist, he’s also just a really good guy who wants everyone he tattoos to be treated well and to leave with great art that they’re proud to wear.
Of all of Curt's Inkbox designs, Frenchin (pictured above) is his favorite. "I've been asked to do this design tons of times and it never gets old," he says. "I love that it's so simple but is able to say so much."
Despite the fact that becoming a tattooer was never one of his goals (he actually spent his early adult life practicing hyper-realism drawing in the hope of becoming an illustrator) it’s worked out incredibly well for him. Aside from his packed schedule and occasional celebrity clientele, his tattoos have also led to work on book illustrations, branding projects, and even jewelry design.
Now, as Artistic Director of Inside Out, Curt isn’t just tattooing though. He’s also responsible for setting the tone of the studio and bringing in tattooers — both residents and guest artists — who share a passion for enabling self-expression through their art.
"I've always been really focused on the idea that art comes first and tattooing is just a medium to share that art. So my vision for Inside Out is rooted in an appreciation of art and I want to cultivate a group of tattooers who also believe that art comes first. Inside Out is a space where artists can showcase their work, collaborate, and inspire each other. It's also a place where clients can feel comfortable and confident knowing they're going to get a great piece of art from tattoo artists who are good, caring people."
Inside Out studio is located in Toronto at 379 Queen Street West, inside the Inkbox store. There you can get one of Curt’s designs for now OR forever. Keep up-to-date on new resident and visiting artists and learn more about how to book an appointment by following the studio on Instagram, here!
Written by: Erica Salvalaggio