Meriden native works as traveling tattoo artist 

reporter photo

MERIDEN — A city native who got his start creating art around his hometown is now working as a traveling tattoo artist across the country. 

As a teenager, Diego Palmares created logos for city basketball teams and painted murals on buildings and restaurants that have since been knocked down. 

“For a long time, the city was full of my art,” the 41-year-old said. 

Six years ago, after working in graphic and clothing design, Palmares started at a tattoo school in New York. After working in New York for two years, he started working in Connecticut shops, including Turnpike Tattoos and Piercings in Meriden, before being asked to be a guest at Nasty Tattoos, a tattoo shop in Los Banos, California.  After that, he traveled across the country working in Ohio, Colorado, New York and other states.  

Pete Caomo, owner of Nasty Tattoos said he often has guest artists at his shop. 

“He messages me on Instagram and when I saw his work, I thought it would be good to have him come out for a while,” he said. “Things went well, our shop was very busy.” 

Palmares, who attended Platt High School, specializes in black and gray, and cover-up tattoos, but he especially enjoys creating custom designs. 

“People sometimes come with ideas verbally and then I sketch it up,” he said. “To do something like that from scratch, the person knows it’s personal to them and no one else has it. That’s my favorite.”

During his traveling, Canvas Magazine, an international tattoo magazine, featured Palmares in its December 2020 issue. The name of his company is Dead Pres Ink. 

“It was really cool to be featured in there because I’ve only been tattooing for six years,” the artist said. “Things have really picked up fast for me.”

COVID has definitely slowed business, but his networking has helped, he said.  

Palmares said that although every state is different, Connecticut has some of the strictest guidelines.

“I try to hold the same standards as we do in Connecticut wherever I go,” he said.

Looking ahead, Palmares would like to some day open a new shop in Meriden, but first wants to continue to travel and learn.

Growing up, Palmares said he was discouraged from being an artist and wants to be an example to young, aspiring artists in his hometown.  

“I didn’t listen to those people when I was younger. If I would’ve listened to those people, I probably wouldn’t be where I am now,” Palmares said. “I would love to be someone people can know and for kids to look up to.” 

fwilliams@record-journal.com203-317-2373Twitter: @faith_williams2

Physical copies for the tattoo magazine I was featured in last month. Shoutouts the CENTAL CITY INK magazine & CANVAS...

Posted by Diego Palmares on Sunday, February 7, 2021
"I try to hold the same standards as we do in Connecticut wherever I go."

-Diego Palmares

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