Skip Nav
Nobody Told Me How Much Motherhood Would Hurt
This Dad's Reaction to His Rainbow Baby Being Born Is Beyond Moving
Family Life
These Are the Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Some of the Most Popular US Cities

7-Year-Old Tattoo Artist Colors on Skin

7-Year-Old Tattoo Artist Follows in Daddy's Footsteps

Like many kids her age, 7-year-old Alicia Gutierrez loves to color. But Gutierrez's canvas of choice is highly unusual: skin.

Gutierrez is allowed to practice at her dad's tattoo parlor in Abilene, Texas. Patrick Gutierrrez also began practicing the art of tattooing at a young age, 14, and plans to continue to prime Alicia's emerging talent: “If she keeps up what she’s doing now, she draws a lot and watches me a lot, so by the age of 10 or 12, she’s going to be pretty good.”

Watch Alicia giving a tattoo (NY Daily News). >>

Will you allow your kids to get tattoos?

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
RebeccaLowe RebeccaLowe 4 years
I see nothing wrong with it at all...just a different canvas/medium than other forms of art...I got my first tattoo last year and my 7year old son did part of it himself....the tattoo artist sat him in his lap to finish up the last bit of it...why should it be any different than a picture a child has drawn or painted?...not only that she is getting professional instruction...AWESOME!! :)
dannicahoskison dannicahoskison 4 years
This is awesome! I'm so proud of the majority of posts here! We are finally reaching a more open and accepting culture where our differences are appreciated and encouraged! What amazing parents to be so supportive and involved! I can't wait to see where she's at in 10 years!. PS. To Johnbishop... I'm sorry you have so much animosity towards yourself and an inspired decision you made years ago, simply because you read it in the bible. I'm sorry to everyone who does that to themselves and can't feel their own faith for themselves. But if getting some ink done is your biggest regret in your life than count yourself extremely lucky!
KristiRumpf KristiRumpf 4 years
This father is spending time with his daughter, not leaving her unsupervised somewhere she could be exposed to a lot worse! Why is there such a stigma against tattoo shops? I have seen some that are respectable and cleaner than a lot of restaurants and/or public restrooms! Why is a person with tattoos always labeled a bad person? For instance-a person who rides a Harley & has a few tattoos is automatically a member of Hells Angels....NOT! My husband & I ride and have a few tats...he is nothing more than a big ole teddy bear!! You judgmental people need to wake up, it is 2013!!!
ShawnaGinther ShawnaGinther 4 years
Did anyone bother to pay attention? To be a tattoo artist, you have to go to school for this, apprentice as well, and have time banked before where you are apprenticing are given the acceptance. I have no tattoos. I have no issue that she is working on tats at her age. She is apprenticing early. When she is older, she still has to go to school for her art. This young girl is learning hygiene, sharing parent time, and learning to do what she is good at. People have to sign a waiver before they get a tattoo. I fail to see where there is a problem here.
Lori53388 Lori53388 4 years
I personally do not see a problem with this story,I think its great that the dad brings he and allows her to practice. Tattooing is a form of art. If shes practicing now at age7, by the time she turns 18 she will have mastered her craft, I have 2 daughters, 18 and 20. The both want tattoos, All I ask them to do is wait until they are 25-30. By then they will be out of college and starting their career. What they want to put on their body now might be something totally different 5 years from now, Who knows, they might changes their minds completely.
SamanthaMartin52765 SamanthaMartin52765 4 years
She has supporting parents who letting her embrace her talents. From a developmental psychology perspective and the information provided, the parents are applying and have a positive and healthy parenting style. As long as they continue to provide her with a safe environment, and yes a clean, sterilized tattoo parlor is a safe environment for those of you who may oppose; their daughter will grow to be a mentally healthy adult. Big problems come from the parents who act as dictators, rather than parents; or who do not show any type of care or concern. Try researching "authoritative parenting" and you will see that these parents have set their daughter up to lead a happy and successful life and will obtain a high self esteem and confidence. Also mentioned is the exposure to blood, this tattoo parlor is prepared and has the amenities and professionalism to approach those concerns; whereas the exposure on a school/public facility (playground,daycare,gym, etc), the risks are more endangering. Try not to forget either that the child is spending quality time with her parents, which is an important factor to consider that most American children lack. There are vital values and morals to be internalized through her experience. She is learning to accept and understand differences in human beings, valuable work ethic, embracing interests and creativity, and independence. The list goes on. I appreciate their donation of a good citizen to our society!!
Jennifer11447727 Jennifer11447727 4 years
Doesn't actually say she was having a tattoo done,if she has a talent in drawing and artwork why stand in the way en it,she is being supervised not. If shes left to do it by herself ,think it ment that she likes doing tattoos
DiParsons DiParsons 4 years
To be honest, I have six tattoos and I don't care how good that kid is or will be by 10 years old, I would never consent to having a tattoo done by such a young child.
AprilBunting55481 AprilBunting55481 4 years
I think it's amazing that a young child is so focused on what she wants to do at so early an age. I wish I had been encouraged at 7 to follow my talents. Nobody did, I rant the expected route of marriage and kids and now at 60 I'm miserable I lost all those years. Not to say I couldn't have done art also, but it was clear that putting everyone else first as a wife and mom was way more important. I SUCKS!
Candice10694447 Candice10694447 4 years
I love this idea, the tattooing not getting tattooed. I'd be fine with my daughter doing tattoos but not getting them till she's old enough. Tattooing is really an art, well depending on the artist. But in most cases it amazing.
AliciaHoward19083 AliciaHoward19083 4 years
First let me start by responding to JonBishop. As a fellow follower of christ I can acknowledge where you are coming from. I have to say though I feel great compassion for you that you are carying around so much self loathing. God has made it clear to us that he sacrificed the life of his one and only son Jesus Christ so that we may be saved, forgiven and redeemed. I too have tattoos and a multitude of questionable decisions in my past. I do not waste a single moment of the life I have been blessed with today harboring regrets. Every choice I have made brought me closer to God. Someone once asked me about my tattoos, and by Gods infinite grace I had not hours before heard this statement at a class I was taking about my relationship with Jesus Christ. The speaker said "Every Saint has a past and every Sinner has a future". Those are words to live by and my response to the person who asked! As far as Alicia Gutierrez goes, we should all be so lucky to experience the unconditional love and support of our parents. God blesses us all with gift that we may one day use to glorify his name. I hope that he continues to work in her life and bless her.
Brynn10523799 Brynn10523799 4 years
OK first of all, anyone who doesn't have ink, let me explain the waiver you sign when you get a tattoo. It states that you understand that the art may not be perfect, that there are variations and outside influences (like your skin and how you take care of a tattoo) that affect the end result. It also says that you understand that you're consenting to be tattooed by the artist (its not like they are unaware that she is 7 years old) and that you are free from drugs and alcohol impairing your judgement. This little girl is a good enough artist that consenting adults are letting her tattoo them, GOOD FOR HER! Imagine how excellent she will be in 15 years. Yes, there is always blood exposure but that's what universal precautions are for. She could be exposed to blood at school or on the playground but nobody freaks out about that. This kiddo is hanging out with her parents, probably soending more quality time with them than most jids get, so more power to them. As far as the question about children getting tattoos, I won't let my daughter get one until she is 18 and a consenting adult, simply because I don't think that a 16 year old can make the decision to have a permanent piece of art done (I've seen some really bad, really stupid tattoos). When she is 18, she can make her own decisions. I love my tattoos, don't regret a single one of them and I knew when I got them that they will eventually fade some and may look different when I'm 80. I'll be more interesting naked for the nursing home staff if I ever make it that far, so what?! If this childs artwork met the standards that I have for the people who do my tattoos, I would get a tattoo done by her, because I'm not looking for a certain age, sex, race etc, I just want good work. That's really all that should matter.
Humble52301 Humble52301 4 years
Jon Bishop, misogyny much? Tattoos destroying a womans femininity is really none of your concern. Do people really think that my tattoos have anything to do with them? Pfft. Most tattoo artists start giving tattoos when they are young and although it is frowned upon, at least she is in a sterile environment with her parent there. I know of an artist who is 18 and has been doing tattoos since he was 13 under the watch of his father at his fathers shop. It happens more often than you think. Get over it.
anonymousanonymous anonymousanonymous 4 years
Exposing children to blood and the potential for blood born pathogens is wrong. Perhaps they are taking precautions as most tattoo parlors do, but there is always the possibility of this girl being exposed to someone else's diseased blood. Also, if her father gets sued, he'll lose his business. Sorry, but this is ridiculous and wrong. Have her draw the designs and then have her father use them but she shouldn't be giving anyone tattoos!!
CindyBrown52279 CindyBrown52279 4 years
Wow, somehow... I think this is great!
JonBishop JonBishop 4 years
I'm a 55 year old male, These tattoos look awful as you get older! It was the biggest mistake of my life getting them put on ! Nowadays you get women with more tattoos than men,taking away completely their femininity ! Besides i hate mine all the more so because someone once showed me Gods opinion in the Bible Leviticus 19:28 “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord." That made me hate it all the more and i think it shows a gross lack of respect for your body ! I have paid a huge some of money to get mine removed . Maybe this is going off the subject a bit - But a child being encouraged to do this ?Come on people this is just SO wrong.
JenniferCorey38707 JenniferCorey38707 4 years
They are a happy family not breaking any laws. She is artistic and spending time with Dad. Why would anyone feel entitled to an opinion on their family life.
amandamusgrave amandamusgrave 4 years
I wouldn't allow them to get a tattoo until the age of 18. And on this topic I think it's awesome to have a father involved in what his child is doing. And I am glad to see her have a open mind on body art. I am also a tattoo artist and off my child wanted to learn I would be proud. All I have to day is good job and can't wait to see a future artist baby girl.
DianeSower DianeSower 4 years
Another quick thought and then I'll butt the heck out: In tattoo parlors, you hear more things than most 7 year olds do at home. Maybe the parents are fine with this, but if she repeats these things at school, it could be trouble. Bottom line, she can be encouraged without working around the adult tattoo community until she's older. And she hasn't had a chance to be exposed to other art forms at her tender age. She may be a budding brilliant artist of another kind as well, as her schooling progresses.
DianeSower DianeSower 4 years
No, I did not allow my kids to get tattoos. That's something ad adult can decide to do, since it doesn't wash off, and love interests, for one, change. Also, I've never been a fan of ink going into the blood stream. I would be concerned about allowing a 7 year old to do this, unless a waiver was signed previously that no law suits could be brought forth. And even if she enjoys this, the fact that she's in a business establishment working could bring the authorities crashing down. Just a couple of thoughts to ruminate on.
BethKenneh BethKenneh 4 years
The only big problem I see is the gun vibration. Even an adult apprentice would have to climb that mile stone. It sounds like she has a natural talent and wants to go the tattooing. Anyone she is inking on would be giving their consent. As long as she is happy, there is no issue
crickett4jc crickett4jc 4 years
It doesn't matter what any of us think. There is no harm being done to her, so if her parents want to encourage her in the family trade, and adults want to let her give it a go on their skin, what business is it of ours? It's a parenting choice, and not one that puts the kid in harms way, so nobody should be passing judgment.
KeeraMonnett KeeraMonnett 4 years
If she's really that good & can handle the vibration on the gun..give me a call in a view years & ill let her practice one on me ;) its hard to come by a really good tattooist that has amazing natural talent. Most take years to perfect their skills before becoming a tattooist. But seriously if she's doing that well when she's ready I would seriously let her do a small tattoo for me
EmilyDulaney EmilyDulaney 4 years
I have all 3 of my daughters names tattooed on me. They all know what tattoos are, and that they are permanent so like any choice in life with long standing consequences, the decision to get one should be taken very seriously. They know that when they become adults, I will not be opposed to them getting tattoos. This little girl has an amazing talent and is under close supervision by a professional. Who better to learn from than a loving father who fosters her natural creativity?
MichelleUnruhGroves MichelleUnruhGroves 4 years
it sounds like she has talent... why not foster it? as for all the neg comments on "what if it didn't turn out right..?..", how can ANY tattoo done by a 7 year old turn out bad??? if you're getting a tattoo done by a little person, you expect for it to turn out however it turns out; it's the memory and story behind it that makes it worth the while. I would totally encourage my kids to practice, and I would cherish any tattoo done by somebody that young- be it my kids' art, or somebody elses
Quick Weeknight Family Meals
What a Woman's Body Looks Like After Giving Birth
Tips For Being Induced Into Labor
Common Signs of ADD/ADHD
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds