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Life & Work with Yvonne Byers

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yvonne Byers.

Hi Yvonne, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
It all started with a passion for the botanical world. The intro to botany class that I took in one of my first years of college catapulted me into an endless infatuation with the natural world. Post-graduation from San Francisco State University with a major in liberal studies, I still had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up so the best option at the time seemed to be working as a gardener in the city. My coworkers, Morgan and Nina, were inspiring to say the least and taught me so much about plants as well as the little things in life like noticing the beauty in a small spider hidden underneath a flower petal. One rainy day Nina persuaded me into taking the day off-though it wasn’t very difficult for her to do so- and we went back to my apartment to paint. After an hour she lifted her head and paintbrush and said to me, “Hey Yvonne, do you want to go back to my place? I can teach you how to stick and poke…”. I was 23 and had zero tattoos but was up for a new experience so I couldn’t say no to the offer. After that day, I was hooked.

It’s been a whirlwind ever since but that day was the beginning of a new journey to pursue my passion for art. I’ve always loved drawing and was able to express my creativity through skateboarding and designing fun graphics for my friend’s wheel, deck, and truck companies but it wasn’t until years later when I found my niche in science illustration which combined my love for art and nature.

I like to think everything happens for a reason and though my journey of life has been a labyrinth at best I am so thankful for the many opportunities that have arisen. From gardening to studying science illustration, back to gardening and then finally getting the opportunity to work as a professional tattoo artist at Good Omen Tattoo in Santa Cruz and now Little Dame in San Diego, I am thrilled to say that I love what I do. Of course, there are highs and lows in life but I just have to keep reminding myself of why I am here: to create rad art and to inspire and be inspired by the beauty that surrounds us.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I’d say my biggest struggle is to not give up. So much of the time it’s easier to quit and try something else because I get frustrated or stuck but I am learning that being challenged in the right ways helps you grow and is a part of life. It’s all about your mentality and I am continuously working on having a positive outlook.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am an artist and specialize in science illustration/botanical illustration. I work in many mediums including watercolor, pen and ink, colored pencils and tattooing. I currently tattoo full time but occasionally take commissioned projects usually dealing with botanical subject matter. My current tattoo style focuses on animals, plants and even insects rendered realistically both in black and white and in color.

What makes you happy?
Surfing is probably the number one thing that makes me happy because it is an experience like no other. On a good day, I am completely consumed by the ocean and the sunshine and forget about all my worries. The feeling of being on a wave is absolute bliss, being fully present and free.

Second to surfing, the next thing that makes me happy would be being surrounded by plants, either in a garden, forest, mountainside, desert -basically anywhere out in nature. I love knowing what the plants are and how they can be used in our daily lives. Directing my attention into the plant world helps me create meaning in my life.


  • 150/hr

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram: @yvo.ynk

Image Credits
All photos: self (Yvonne Byers) Client with popsicle: Vanessa

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