GARDEN OF INK is OPEN by appointment ONLY

For tattoo appointments with our students
Check our booking app for availability:

Shelly Dax is tattooing custom pieces only and is typically booked out for several months

To make an appointment with Shelly please email
Shelly’s Instagram:
The Tattoo Textbook:

For changes in our schedule or last minute tattoo opportunities

Enjoy an inclusive atmosphere and positive experience

Garden of Ink Tattoo Studio & School in Cottage Grove is a comfortable, colorful, safe studio with an emphasis on fun, friendly customer service, creativity and custom tattoo work and we welcome new clients. Serving Lane County & beyond since 2006.

The Garden of Ink Instructors

Shelly Dax

Owner | Tattoo Artist | Instructor

“I am so fortunate to have a career as an artist. I feel lucky to look forward to going to work. I appreciate my loyal, kind clients from Cottage Grove and Eugene area, as well as the opportunity to work with amazing students from all over the state. I am constantly striving to stretch as an artist and as a person and I do my best to enjoy each day. Something you may not know about me? I love musical theatre and kale!”

– Tattoo Instructor since 2011
– Tattoo Artist & Studio Owner since 2006
– 6+ years classes LCC & UO Emphasis on Art, Writing, Teaching & Theatre
– 7 years Youth Arts Instructor with Lane Arts Council
– 27 years Artist Emphasis on Painting, Costumes & Theatrical painting

Listen to Shelly’s appearance on Fireside Tattoo Network with Jake Meeks

Listen Shelly discuss how she became a tattoo artist

Gil T Rodello


“After spending 15 years as a graphic designer I was ready for a change. I had already worked at Garden of Ink for a few years and was familiar with the operations of a tattoo shop, so I became the shop manager, learned to tattoo and now I teach the theory portion of our curriculum. And I love it! It’s so nice to get from behind the desk and work with real people again. I’m not a big fan of kale.”

– Graphic Designer since 1998
– Tattoo Shop Manager since 2012
– Licensed Tattoo Artist since 2014
– Associates Degree, LCC
– Youth Arts Instructor with Lane Arts Council

We also welcome Occasional Guest Instructors:

Ryak Martin (Inspired Ink, Coquille Oregon), Ollie Nash (Tattoo Nouvelle, Cottage Grove Oregon), Randi Lazelle (Tattoo Nouvelle, Cottage Grove Oregon), James Bozeman (All In One Tattoo, Grants Pass, Oregon), Valentin Serna (All In One Tattoo, Grants Pass Oregon)

Look! People Say Nice Things About Us!

“Garden of Ink allowed me to pursue a life-long dream of mine. The curriculum was stimulating and educational and I feel like I have a solid foundation to enter the tattoo community. I feel privileged to have had a supportive team of instructors and classmates to motivate me to explore my creativity.”

Former Student:
Cassie Shammel

Myth Tattoo | Eugene, OR

“Garden of Ink was clean and well-organized–they took into account different learning styles, flexible when working with traveling students, workspace was nice and chill, quiet and calm. They were also very accommodating to people traveling long distances and made it as easy on us as possible. Local clients were great–made it really easy to get your procedures done on time. Cottage Grove is also a cool town with a lot of great restaurants. In an industry where hazing and being treated poorly is considered the norm, Garden of Ink Tattoo School’s instruction was delivered respectfully and courteously. Thank you Gil and Shelly! Yeaaaaaaah!”

Kyle Durrant
Former Student:
Kyle Durrant

Get Some Inc | Eagle Point, OR

“For me, starting the tattoo schooling journey in Oregon was both an exciting and intimidating task, as there are a lot of options and uncertainty out there. Choosing Garden Of Ink Tattoo School made the process much easier and enjoyable. The instructors are a good mix of fun and professional, and most importantly genuinely care about giving the students all of the tools that they need to succeed. I got a great start in the industry thanks to them, definitely the best choice out there.”

Former Student:
Mikal Hansen

Memento Ink | Eugene, OR

“It was an awesome experience and I learned a lot from you guys. Every day was fun with you and you both are playful and have great attitudes. Thank you for helping me out all along the way, including being flexible with my work schedule. I will truly miss you!”

Former Student:
Valentin Serna

All in One Tattoo | Grants Pass, OR

“I really enjoyed myself and the students and teachers in this program. Everyone was super helpful and friendly and supportive. Whenever I doubted myself or wasn’t confidant or satisfied with a piece people were there to cheer me on. Thank-you garden of Ink and thank you fellow students. It’s been real!”

Former Student:
Kai Fujita

Analog Tattoo | Eugene, OR

“I appreciate you guys. The extra things like pizza and chair massages on those crazy days, were awesome and over-the-top. I had a great time and I am sad to leave.”

Former Student:
James Bozeman

All in One Tattoo | Grants Pass, OR

“I searched long and far for a tattoo licensing program in the great state of Oregon which would meet my needs as an aspiring artist. Upon first stepping into Garden Of Ink I could instantly sense this wasn’t some seedy tattoo shop but that the atmosphere maintained here was much more jolly and uplifting. I found Garden Of Ink to be a positive learning environment with knowledgeable instruction. Overall I had a wonderful experience during the course of my training and would recommend Garden Of Ink Tattoo School as the place to go!”

Former Student:
Nic LeBrun

SubRosa Tattoo | Grants Pass, OR

“I really enjoyed attending Garden of Ink, which is a tattoo shop AND school. Everything is well put together. From the student assignments, curriculum covered, to the great atmosphere, and the amazing teachers, Garden of Ink Tattoo School was a great experience. Anyone, at any level in their tattoo career, should look into this school to get licensed! Any questions or concerns will be answered with great information so students leave confident in moving on to their next shop. I appreciate the time and effort that both Shelly and Gil put into their school everyday. Come check them out and you’ll see for yourselves.”

Alissa Muhlnickel
Former Student:
Alissa Muhlnickel

The Ink Shop | Grants Pass, OR

“My time at Garden Of Ink was very smooth and educational. Shelly is very proficient in preparing her students for the state test, making a student’s time there worthwhile. If I had to do it again, I would still choose Garden Of Ink Tattoo School!”

Former Student:
Sarah Knapp

Northwest Tattoo | Eugene, OR

“Finding the right tattoo school was a daunting task to say the least. Garden of Ink Tattoo School provided everything I needed and more to continue my journey as an artist. It was affordable, very thorough and an all around great atmosphere. Shelly and Gil are extremely professional and also very relaxed and friendly. I had a great experience at Garden of Ink and am thankful I was given the opportunity to experience it surrounded by such caring people.”

Former Student:
Michael Klemm

Anchored Ink | Eugene, OR

“The positive energy and environment at Garden Of Ink was nothing short of amazing! It was stress free and I was able to learn all the Oregon Laws & Rules efficiently without any problems, taking my state test and passing on the first go. I was able to learn more than enough from the book work and tests, along with the hands-on tattooing experience through the course to feel comfortable and confident in my own tattoo abilities. I was able to open up my own shop and have had great success without any regrets! Going to Garden Of Ink Tattoo School was a no brainer for me, and if you’re an aspiring artist looking for proper training, look no further!”

Former Student:
Shane Smith

The Ink Shop | Grants Pass, OR

“As a former student of Shelly Dax’s Garden Of Ink Tattoo School, I strongly endorse it.. The school provides a positive, no drama and fun environment to learn in. Shelly focuses on turning her lucky students into competent tattoo artists, rather than just providing the bare minimum to obtain a state license. Shelly stays current with her curriculum and provides her students with the skills needed to breeze through the state testing process. I occasionally stop by the school to say ‘hi’ and I am impressed how it continually evolves and improves! If you are looking for an awesome tattoo school, look no further… Garden Of Ink is it!!”

Former Student:
Brandon Johns

Independent Artist | Glide, OR

“I am very grateful for the time I spent at Garden Of Ink Tattoo School. The book work was incredibly thorough and I was very prepared and confident going in to take my state exam. During my schooling, I was encouraged to follow my creative instincts while learning firsthand how to run a successful tattoo shop. The small class size allowed for more of a team spirit and camaraderie between me and the other students. After a year going through Shelly’s program, I have now opened my own shop. With the experience and positive encouragement I received at Garden Of Ink, I am ready to find success on my own. I would gladly recommend this tattoo school to serious artists who want to get certified in a friendly and knowledgeable atmosphere.”

Former Student:
Pazyryk Wombat

Flying Elephant Tattoo | Veneta, OR

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