I met Channelle when she worked at the coffee shop next to my office—I remembered her husband Jordan from my time at Fresno Pacific, where I documented his story as student body president. We became good friends over morning coffee, and a few months before that café closed, Channelle told me she was going to be scaling back her hours so that she could apprentice at the tattoo shop next door.

She had agreed to give up a year, working full-time without pay, to learn how to translate her art to a new (living) canvas. I was inspired by her dedication. Now a few months in to her apprenticeship, Channelle is tasked with practicing what she’s learned—on the skin of trusting family, friends, and friends of friends.

To date, she’s completed her first 20 tattoos, may of which I’ve had the honor of documenting. The images here are a few of my favorite from the journey so far.