Skin Art – Scotty Oswald

This story series highlights the incredible talent of tattoo artists in Summit County. Scotty Oswald can be found at Golden Heart Tattoo in Norton.

When did you discover your artistic talent?
I had always been interested in making art, but I didn’t start to think about talent until I was in high school.  I took a vocational Graphic Arts class that really began to inspire me.

What attracted you to the world of tattooing?
Like a lot of people that get tattoos, or any body mods for that matter, I wasn’t always comfortable in my own skin. I would look at trains and buildings covered in vibrant overlapping graffiti and want my body to look that way. I had already been doing drawings that people were getting tattooed on them so I started getting a strong urge to just do the tattoos myself.

Where did you do you apprenticeship?
American Ink Tattoo Studio in Norton, OH.

What is your favorite subject to tattoo? Why?
I’m huge fan of animal portraits and the reason is pretty simple. People LOVE their pets in such a unique and personal way. It would be fair to say that people love their pets more than they love other people. When someone loses a pet they lose an extension of their own personality and often times they can’t seem to entirely move on until they memorialize their friend somehow.  Don’t be sad though, I do my fair share of living pet tattoos as well.  Aside from that I enjoy any nature tattoos.  Trees and flowers are unique and often times have a lot of textures and colors that I really enjoy working with.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I don’t feel like anyone should ever feel like they cant keep learning.  I would like to see what more I can do with my art other than tattoo.

Tell us about one of your tattoos.  
I have a portrait of Nikola Tesla that I got from a close friend from Brazil.  I like it because it makes me want to be selfless and creative.  Plus it reminds me of my friend and how tattooing brought us together from across the world.

What do you love about tattooing?
A lot. The tattoo community is a world within a world and it’s very special to me. I love tattoo conventions.  I love the almost ritualistic things artists do while setting up their stations for a tattoo. I love doing a piece for someone that helps them move forward.  I love that I can just be my goofy creative self every day.

Do you have any artistic hobbies?
I mostly draw although I enjoy macro photography and graphic design. I recently got back into keeping bonsai trees or as I like to call it “please don’t die, little buddy.”   

I am co-owner of Golden Heart Tattoo on Cleveland Massillon Road in Norton. I like to balance my time between working super hard and being a goofball. You can view my tattoo portfolio, art, and silly pets on Instagram @sxotattoos.  For scheduling or consultations, you can contact me at