Colorado Nick


I first heard the name Colorado Nick 12 or so years ago. I stopped an older gentleman at the grocery store to ask who did the tattoo on his arm, and he told me it was done by Colorado Nick. I didn’t ask for any details at the time, although in hindsight I wished I had. I didn’t get any real concrete information on Colorado Nick until some years later. Colorado Springs tattoo legend Snake Yates was retiring and I purchased all the flash off the walls of his long standing shop on Platte avenue. My wife Kayla and I went over to pick up the flash from Snake and got to talking about tattoo history in Colorado Springs and he mentioned two guys from the generation just before him in the 1950s/60s, Robert Alexander and Colorado Nick Wisner. Alexander had a shop in downtown Colorado Springs and was known for painting his flash on sheets of glass. Colorado Nick tattooed up the street on the northeast corner of Colorado and Tejon in the back of a popular pool hall called Recreation Billiards. Nick had outfitted a shop in the back of the pool hall to capitalize on the steady flow of military servicemen that frequented the establishment. Snake had been tattooed by Nick 4 times in the late 60s and showed us the tattoos and they were beautiful. The one that stood out to me the most was beautiful classic rose on his leg that Nick had done.

Years later, I was told by Henry Goldfield that when he was tattooing in Denver in the 60s, he would ride his motorcycle down to Colorado Springs and help him out on military paydays, as the work load was more than Nick could manage on his own. Colorado Springs is a huge military town with several air force and army bases, so I can imagine the demand at the pool hall could have been pretty high on paydays. 

I have heard this story from a number of people that knew Nick — apparently when he was working on State Street in Chicago, he was beat up by the mob and was forced to move back home to Colorado Springs and live with his mother, Mary. Apparently Nick had sustained a pretty severe head injury from the beating that plagued him the rest of his life. As far as I can tell, Nick also worked in North Carolina, Hawaii and Phoenix Arizona. In his time he worked along side the likes of Huck Spaulding (pre Paul Rogers era) and George De Silva (in Hawaii).

I have been collecting vintage tattoo flash and photos for 17 years now, and I was constantly on the hunt for anything related to Nick. It proved to be pretty hard to come by, but slowly over the years, I have pieced together a nice collection of his hand-painted flash. His flash seemed to be commonly misidentified as Nick Picaro flash, as most of the sheets were signed with a simple cursive “Nick” at the bottom. 

When we released the Old Glory book a few years ago, I knew that Quincy Lee Cooper learned to tattoo from Nick when he was discharged from the army at Ft. Carson. Lee was an avid pool player and met Nick at Recreation Billiards. After acquiring more of Nick’s flash, I realized a lot of the designs in the Old Glory book are Colorado Nick’s designs that Lee had gotten from Nick during that time period. In fact, a lot of Lee’s flash sheets contain a handful of Nick’s designs repainted in a very similar style.


 Moises Expositio helped immensely with the Old Glory book. He took on the challenge of tracing the weathered and faded acetate rubbings and line-drawings, making them into easy to reference line drawings for the book. It was a huge undertaking, and I am forever grateful for his friendship and dedication to bringing that book to life. It truly wouldn’t have happened without him.

 After digging a little deeper into Nick’s history, we discovered he was buried at the beautiful Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs. I went to pay my respects and brought along some of Nick’s paintings with me only to discover he was buried in an unmarked grave in a family plot next to his mother. We immediately arranged to have a headstone made for Nick. Moises and I collaboratively designed a headstone for Nick using designs taken from some of Nick’s flash sheets. It seemed only fitting after working on the Old Glory book together that we could do that for Nick. 

 I am making this blog post to let people in Colorado know who Nick was and encourage them to pay him a visit. He is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Section B, spot 141. We made a small run of folded maps of his old shop location and where he is buried. If you tattoo in Colorado and want to receive some of these maps, please reach out to us at


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Huck Spaulding Tattooing Battle Royale Backpiece - Video Now Available

A never-before-seen video of Huck Spaulding tattooing a battle royale backpiece is now available on YouTube. The original 25-minute long film was captured on 16mm Kodachrome film in 1972 by a man named Bob Hanson at Spaulding's home studio in upstate New York.
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Coleman Dragon Limited Edition Giclée Prints - Now in Stock!

We are very excited to announce that we have partnered with owner of this original Coleman Dragon painting to bring you this iconic image presented in a fine art giclée print. For a limited time, all giclée prints will include a free gift of the vivid high resolution color Coleman Poster.

Spaulding & Rogers Production Flash
Backpiece by Huck Spaulding on Thom DeVita
Early Pat Martynuik Flash


 This powerful dragon design was popularized by (and most likely originated from) the legendary Cap Coleman in Norfolk, Virginia. It is a stylized combination of elements from classic Chinese dragons and traditional American tattooing. To our knowledge, this is the earliest existing representation of the iconic Coleman dragon; the painting itself has held up well—both physically and artistically—for close to a century.

Coleman, considered by many to be the father of American tattooing, painted this design in his now-famous style. The image has come to be praised as one of the most representative and recognizable early 20th century tattoo designs. To this day, it holds a special place in the genre’s visual vocabulary alongside time-honored standards like panthers, eagles, daggers, skulls, military insignia, roses, religious ephemera, and pinups. 

The Coleman Dragon has proven its timelessness by being replicated again and again while rarely (if ever) straying from Cap’s original color scheme and layout. Having no doubt been passed down through the tattoo generations from Coleman to the infamous Huck Spaulding and Paul Rogers partnership, this design has made its way onto countless contemporary flash sheets and many widely known and well-documented tattoos – chief among them the powerful and striking backpiece by Spaulding on renowned New York tattoo legend Thom DeVita (as shown above).

Due to its enduring strength and effect on the viewer, the Coleman Dragon will continue to play an important role in the American tattoo lexicon for generations to come. The original form of this image, seen here, should be displayed proudly in any shop and serve as a reminder of the power, beauty, and simplicity of early American tattooing and masters like Cap Coleman. 



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Lost Love Volume 2 Now In-Stock!

The time has finally arrived, and Lost Love 2 is now in stock!

We would like to thank everyone who preordered over the last handful of months. To show our thanks, we have hand silk screened a surprise extra print for each of you - each print will be unique in and of itself, so there is no one print that is like another. So keep an eye out for it when you receive your package! We are very excited to be able to share the book with you finally, and can't wait to ship them out to all of you.



Thank you to everyone who has helped throughout the process of making this book, and to those who are going to be helping us in the next few days to get everything ready to ship. We also truly appreciate everyone's continued support and patience through the preorder process, and we hope that you all enjoy your copy of Lost Love 2 when you have it in hand very very soon. 


Thanks again,

Yellow Beak Press

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Jennifer Brain - British Tattooed Beauty



Tattooed Beauty, Jennifer Brain, is an elegant example of a 20th Century British tattoo collection. With subject matter ranging from clipper ships to feminine flora and fauna, it's no wonder why she was considered to be so stunning. The majority of her tattoos were done by British tattooer, Stan Davis and the timeless allure of his artistry matched her natural charm. We are currently attempting to find out any other helpful information about her such as contact information, etc. We have heard that she is possibly in her 80s and lives in the U.K., but after much research we have been unable to locate her. If you or anyone you know think you may have any details about this tattooed wonder, we ask that you please send us an email at We would love to hear from you!

We are excited to be able to share this image with all of you! Straight from the Yellow Beak Press archives, we will be offering a small print run limited to 50 high quality reproductions of the original image. On sale now! You can find it here!

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