Neon Lady Tattoo

Neon Lady Pastel Look

This floral design by owner and artist Neona Karageorgos looks more like a pastel drawing than a tattoo — which shows the diversity of techniques that can be achieved. Photo courtesy Neon Lady Tattoo

Neon Lady Tattoo
819 Second St., Unit 2
Manchester, NH  

After seven years in the tattoo industry, Neona Karageorgos decided to open up her own private tattoo studio, but ran into trouble finding a space that would lease to a tattoo artist.

“There’s still a lot of discrimination against the industry,” Karageorgos says. “A lot of folks, once they found out I was opening up a tattoo studio, they didn’t get back to me.” Eventually, she found “an elderly couple” who were completely on board. That elderly couple’s open-mindedness meant Karageorgos could open Neon Lady Tattoo, an appointment-only studio.

Karageorgos’s goal was to forge a comfortable ambience with creative flair. “It’s not necessarily a spa-like environment, but feels more like an art gallery,” she says. “You see custom art on the walls, not just tattoo flash.”

Karageorgos — who specializes in illustrative styles — worked alone for about six months before her common-
law husband, Hickory, decided to become her apprentice. Now he’s a full-time artist, creating American traditional tattoos and lettering that create “a nice balance” to Karageorgos’s style.

“I do a lot of portraiture, specifically pets,” she says. “I do get a lot of requests for surrealist concepts, which is super fun. I’ve been doing a lot of florals with human characteristics, like they’ll have eyes and mouths or maybe bones.” In March, Karageorgos weclomed a third artist — Nina Li, who specializes in fine-line, black-and-gray designs — to the Neon Lady team.

Karageorgos gets a lot of tattoo first-timers, especially people in their 50s, 60s and 70s, who always wanted body art but grew up at a time when it was less accepted. Now that it’s not so taboo, they’re eager to express themselves in ink.

Neon Lady

This tattoo by Karageorgos combines beauty with the bizzare, reminiscent of artist Salvador Dalí. Photo courtesy Neon Lady Tattoo

“I think it goes back to the nature of what’s going on in the world right now,” Karageorgos says. “I have a client in her 70s. I did her first tattoo. It was a small one on her back.” Since then, she’s turned into a repeat client.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Karageorgos also does a lot of impressive coverups. (In fact, I became determined to include The Neon Lady in this story after watching a video of Karageorgos cover up a dark blue unicorn design with a gorgeously detailed red rose.) “I enjoy doing coverups because of the challenge,” she says, noting that she rarely asks clients to get removal first, though she understands why other artists do. “You’re limited in concept, because you have to utilize the existing tattoo.”

As long as the client is willing to be flexible and not, for example, trying to cover a black tribal armband with white roses, Karageorgos says she can make it work. “I’ll usually suggest florals, things with texture,” she says. “It’s fun to give people their confidence back.”

Note from the editor: 01 Nhm Cover Sept No Upc

This profile appeared as part of a larger article in the September 2023 issue of New Hampshire Magazine highlighting some of the wonderfully talented tattoo studios in the Granite State.

To learn more about the other studios, click here.

Categories: Tattoo Studios