Alex Xela - Tattoo Artist

Alex Xela (they/them) is a Seattle based tattooer, multi-media artist, and intuitive being. They find joy weaving spiritualism to their artistic practice by creating artwork that explores the deeper aspects of life and consciousness. They also offer ceremonial, intentional sessions to aid clients in healing and embodiment. 


Some of the most fundamental pillars of the human experience are creation and connection. Tattooing provides me with a unique opportunity to experience both in the most powerful way I could imagine. This special, collaborative practice allows myself and my clients to create a space where we can meet each other in our most genuine authenticity and alchemize their visions and experiences into something that will be carried with them for the rest of their lives. It’s an honor that I feel so grateful to be trusted with.


I view the body as an altar, to be adorned in ways that amplify and reflect your spirit. These adornments can be meaningful, lighthearted, or purely decorative. The most important aspect being that it sparks joy. Tattooing is a meditative practice for me, and I find myself often oscillating between several veins of interest. I’d say my signature style is ornamental black work that combines sacred geometry, dot work and bold lines to create high contrast, striking pieces. My mind finds peace in symmetrical design, which is a pleasant challenge to adapt to the asymmetry of the human body.  I also highly enjoy work that explores more fluid, organic forms combined with bold and bright color work. Psychedelic, spiritual, and natural elements that dance together in a beautiful rhythm of structure and flow. 



For my entire life, I’ve been fascinated with the human form. I studied photography for many years and explored nude portraiture as a way to deepen my relationship with my own body. I would see people with tattoos and admire in awe the possibilities to decorate your skin as a mosaic of art; a curated display of one’s life experiences and past selves. It always struck me how deeply vulnerable and transformative that process could be. I was always a pretty self conscious person, and I admired tattooing as an avenue for authentic self expression. 


When I entered the festival scene back in 2017, I found myself completely immersed in a community of truly vibrant, creative and authentic humans. For the first time in my life, I felt the freedom to explore and express myself without fear of judgment. From then on, my entire perception of the possibilities of life as a creative person shifted. I began to view every aspect of my life as a vein of my artistic practice, and I knew that I wanted to create art that didn’t live inside 4 walls, but out in the world for others to experience. 


As a kid I always enjoyed drawing, as well as any other artistic medium I could get my hands on. I just enjoyed creating. I got a Bachelor of Fine Art in photography in 2015 after also completing sequences in glass blowing and 2-D art. After entering the festival scene, I began creating illustrative designs to be made into enamel pins. Incorporating my art into festival fashion brought me so much joy, and I was told frequently that my style of art would translate really well into tattooing. I had a lot of imposter syndrome back then, I didn’t think I was talented enough to be successful.


When Covid hit, I found myself unemployed, and drawing was one of the only things that got me through the days. When I finally went back to work, I was in a lifeless job that I hated, and it really woke me up.  

I knew that I was meant for more. I put together a portfolio, started calling around to shops, and the universe cleared my path toward what I believe is what I’m meant to be doing. 


When I started my apprenticeship in 2021, my mentor helped my refine my drawing skills and translate them into the language of tattooing. It has been a continuous process of developing my artistic abilities and the learning is ongoing. I’m deeply grateful to be a student of such a uniquely challenging art form. I learn something new everyday and am constantly humbled by the skill and finesse involved in this craft. 


There is nothing quite like the feeling of finishing a tattoo and seeing my client go to the mirror and beam with pride and confidence. Body image can be such a sensitive topic, so many people have complicated relationships with their bodies. To help someone feel more comfortable and confident in their skin is such a great honor. 


Tattooing can be such a powerful conduit for healing and transformation, both from life’s darker moments and more lighthearted and celebratory ones. Having the opportunity to collaborate with someone in decorating the skin they live in is a truly special experience and one that I appreciate deeply. I don’t know if I can think of anything more intimate and connecting. 


It’s highly personal and the level of trust shared in that space is something I will always cherish.


Being a tattoo artist is a privilege and a responsibility that means a great deal to me. Creating a safe and comfortable space for my clients is my top priority.


Whether you come to me for an intentional tattoo or a regular tattoo session, the space remains sacred to me none the less. My goal is to connect with you not only as a client, but as a human, and co-create beautiful artwork that aligns with and honors your vision.


So much of tattooing is about trusting the process; the experience as a whole is equally as important to me as the final result. I love embarking on that journey together and sharing in something truly unique and memorable that you can look back on for years to come. 


I am truly a student of life and find inspiration in so many things. Themes of duality, transformation, magick and consciousness weave themselves into my work, often inspired by time in nature, festivals and psychedelic experiences. 


I’m passionate about plant medicine and connection of mind, body and spirit to the physical world. I’m inspired by the vast depths of our capacity for love, the poeticism of handwritten letters, ancient codes of consciousness and sacred practice. I’m inspired by the unseen, the queer, the unusual.  


I’m inspired by the delicate spaces where light and dark intersect.