These are the tattoo artists I trust in the California desert


I'm constantly asked about my tattoos. Who does them?! 

Well, I've got two artists that I absolutely adore in the desert. 

Wane Kan and Taylor Elyse Compton are totally different. Their practices vary in aesthetic and approach. Taylor is a hand-poke artist in Yucca Valley; Wane does traditional tattoos in Palm Springs. 

Either way, I love them both. I've had two tattoos done by Wane, and one by Taylor. If you make an appointment, let me know!


Wane Kan


Iron Palm Tattoo Parlour owner Wane Kane is basically my tattoo artist spirit animal. Seriously, this self-proclaimed "art kid" with a love for boxing, video games and traditional Japanese design is an unbelievable artist with ink. He opened his Palm Springs shop to bring a 1950s vibe to the Coachella Valley, but it's his dedication to the application of black lines and black shading as imperative to longer-lasting color that sets him apart. 

READ MORE: Palm Springs tattoo shop has classic vibe

While studying fine art at UC Riverside, Wane got an apprenticeship with Bill Canales at Full Circle Tattoo in San Diego, spending one year there – and completing 100 free tattoos – before he joined his current Iron Palm co-owner, Cody Cowan, at Cathedral City’s Tattoo Gallery. Shortly after, the duo found themselves side by side at Flagship Tattoo in Palm Desert.

They opened their shop last summer, and it's only continued to manufacture consistency and authenticity. He's done the mandala on my right arm, and the peonies on my left. There's no one else I trust more than Wane. 


Wane Kan | Iron Palm Tattoo Parlour

1800 N. Via Negocio, Palm Springs





Taylor Elyse Compton


The sun is just beginning to drop toward the horizon when Taylor Elyse Compton meets me at the front of her Yucca Valley studio. Located in a collective that includes floral stylist The Bloomin Gypsy, it’s a maze of green plants and macramé before her doors swing open amid dried roses. 

Right away, she gets to work on my tattoo design with a pencil. What emerges is exactly what I envisioned. Taylor is one of a growing group of tattoo artists using the hand-poke method, in which ink is individually stuck into the skin, dot by dot. Drawn to celestial themes, Taylor's aesthetic is delicate and ethereal. Her studio, opened last November, is cozy and bohemian, with fresh flowers everywhere – not what you’d expect in this industry. 

READ MORE: I got a hand-poked tattoo from a Yucca Valley artist. The experience made me want another

Hand-poked tattoos are not as abrasive as the traditional approach. Toward the end of my first session with Taylor, I nearly drifted off to sleep under her warm light to the sound of soft grooves. When she finished, a rising sun burst forth from my wrist. With perfectly straight lines, the dots created a texture I never knew I craved on my skin. A School of the Art Institute of Chicago graduate, Taylor says stick-and-pokes last just as long as traditional tattoos, though she offers free touchups to clients who need it. It’s clear a few weeks later, however, that I don’t. 

Now, the tattoo remains a reminder of the light I’ve found here in the desert – in the land, in the sky and in women like Taylor, leaving an indellible mark on our little corner of the world.


Taylor Elyse Compton | Love Always

55827 Twentynine Palms Hwy., Yucca Valley