About Awen.

Awen BriemI was the kid in class who was forever getting called out for drawing on my homework, backpack, textbooks, sneakers… anything that would hold ink. I was encouraged to funnel my interest into art classes, but I quickly became frustrated with the narrow definitions of “art” and returned to graffiti on 3 dimensional objects. Years later, my first experience in a tattoo studio was an awakening… 3-Dimensional, living art. My artistic style today continues to center on the fit and flow of a 2D design on a 3D surface, and the underlying flow of ideas embraced within.

I began tattooing in 1993, and quickly developed a reputation for bold color and solid line work which manifested at that time primarily through Celtic art. In the twenty three years since, I have continued to enjoy Celtic art as well as a multitude of other styles. My interests lie in the natural world, with wildlife, wild places, in science, religious and spiritual traditions and their art forms.

I began working with the medium of photography prior to tattooing and both continue to be equally significant in my life. Tattooing is an extremely precise commercial medium where success or failure of any given project has very deep implications for the client. Tattooing is a medium where having a bad day is not an option. Photography lacks the limitations of tattooing such as budget, pain tolerance, subject matter and the client’s personal tastes. Photography takes me out into the field – the more wild and remote, the better. A bad day of photos is still a renewing day on the trail. And photography compliments tattooing in a way I didn’t expect in the beginning. Photography is a study of light, composition and detail, all of which are key to my approach to tattooing.

Apparently I prefer to be challenged through my artistic expression. In photography I shoot in the camera, with no post editing to my images. Kind of like a tattoo, a one shot deal. Bring it on.

Professional Credits.

  • ‘111 Places in the Twin Cities That you Must Not Miss”, Elizabeth Foy Larsen
    December 2017
  • 2017 Best Tattoo Artists in Minneapolis Top 20
  • Professional Member of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT)
    2000 to present
  • Certified in “Prevention of Disease Transmission” through the Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT)
    2000 to present
  • State Representative for MN: Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT)
    2006 to present
  • Certified as “Master Tattooist”, Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT)
  • Professional Member of the National Tattoo Association
    1999 to present

Published Work:


  • History of Hip series: “A Brief History of Tattooing”, MN History Center and Dr. John Troyer of the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath, England
    January 2011
  • “A Constant in History, the Memorial Tattoo”, with Dr. John Troyer of the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath, England.
    July 2009

Film Photography Work:

  • The Cohen Brothers’ “The Naked Man”
  • “With or Without You” Awarded the DL Maybury award

Still Photography Work:

  • Victory Motorcycle’s “Flaming Head”
    2003 Ad Campaign
  • Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s “Safe and Sober” safe driving campaign

Cover Illustration Work: