Making an appointment

Tattoo Appointment Process Instructions for Samuel Shaw

To book a tattoo appointment or consultation with Samuel , please contact Ashley at Please note that Samuel is consistently booked anywhere from two weeks to two months out, so the earlier you reserve your spot, the better chance you’ll be able to get in. It can also take her up to seven (7) days to respond to an email inquiry, so please be patient. She will get back to you as soon as possible . 

When submitting a query, it’s very important to provide us with all your contact info, ideas, and tattoo placement suggestions so we can schedule the right amount of time for your session. Last, if you are not familiar with the differences in the individual cultures found within my portfolio, please provide a screenshot of the style of work that you are interested in.

Most importantly, for those of you unfamiliar with the various Polynesian cultures, please take a moment to read the below before coming in for your first appointment. This will not only allow you to better understand the tattoo you are receiving, but it will also help you better understand what’s important to me as an artist.

First and foremost, my work is based on respect, admiration and sensitivity for all Polynesian, Pacific, and Oceanic cultures. No understanding of the Pacific would be complete without understanding the impacts of Western colonialism on these indigenous cultures. Colonialism began in the nineteenth century. England claimed New Zealand in 1840 and later claimed the Cook Islands. In 1842, France seized Tahiti and its neighboring islands. In 1898, the United States annexed Hawai’i. One year later, Germany and the United States divided Samoa. Only Tonga escaped Western colonization, and that was because it was under the protection of England.

During this process, many Polynesians resisted these attempts at colonization, but were subdued by force or by treaties. Some Polynesians then went on to form anti colonial associations, such as the Mau in Samoa. Later, more groups were formed to protest the nuclear testing carried out by the American and French governments in Rongelap, Bikini, Enewetak, and in the Marshall Islands. I mention this to serve as a starting point for your own education and to bring depth to your understanding of the tattoo you’re about to receive.

Finally, potential clients often ask me to tell “their story” when I design a tattoo for them. Please understand that the tattoos I create are based on ancient traditions, religion and folklore, and they are designed to be less about an individual’s “story” and more about finding the right talismanic symbol or design to help strengthen personal intentions while also connecting one to their ohana, community, nature, and heritage.  These are extremely powerful symbols meant to protect and guide those on their personal journeys, while also representing their struggles, accomplishments, dreams, and aspirations… all based on the magnificent cultures and people of the Pacific. So while there are times that understanding somebody’s individual story can be important to the design process, it’s more important that a perspective client understand the larger cultural narrative behind each tattoo that is created.  


Samuel Shaw

A list of Hawaiian and Polynesian Cultural Links. For anyone looking to further their understanding of Hawaiian and Polynesian culture. The book links are a great place to start for understanding the turbulent post-European contact, the annexation of Hawaii, Hula, and cultural practices.

List of suggested books on Hawaiian, Polynesian, Pacific, and Oceanic Culture

Office of Hawaiian Affairs website

Ka‘iwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center

Hokulea: Polynesian Voyaging Society

Merrie Monarch Festival

Polynesian Islands