Her name is Kelly Doty and you probably remember her bright personality and amazing tattoos from the Ink Master series.

Originally from Connecticut, she has been tattooing since 2007. Kelly has set up her own tattoo studio/shop – Helheim Gallery – in Salem, Massachusetts.

Kelly Doty - Ink Master Finals
Ink Master

Grim But Cute

Most of all, her style is hard to miss. She specializes in what she describes as “spooky pop surrealist tattooing”. Vibrant colours, big-eyed girls, and bobble-headed animals. Also, all this stirred and with a tip of dark humour.

Kelly Doty currently lives and works in Salem. She has traveled extensively in the past, working in various shops and taking part in major conventions all around the globe. Her spooky illustrative fairy tales has a unique touch of pop surrealism. It has an almost cartoonish touch at times. Kelly herself describes it as “grim, but cute”. We couldn’t agree more.

Cute Zombie Mouse Tattoo by Kelly Doty
Kelly Doty Official

Colour and Detail

Kelly does all of her work with astonishing attention to detail, and that has its explanation. She admits that her OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) becomes a strength when she is tattooing.

Most noteworthy, OCD involves disturbing and unwanted thoughts, images, urges, obsessions. These thoughts and action often intrude into the mind and cause anxiety or discomfort. Reportedly, these thoughts can be “reduced” by engaging in various repetitive behaviors. They are also known as “rituals” or compulsions.

Raven Tattoo by Kelly Doty


Art in all forms relieves many people living with OCD. Kelly herself seems to find an advantage in this, as it makes her incredibly organized and detailed.

Kelly Doty didn’t have much luck in the Ink Master finals and didn’t win America’s Twitter vote. She was eliminated from the competition before she was able to show off her 24-hour master canvas chest piece. Well, she revealed it shortly after through her Instagram account, and fans showed amazing support.

However, the recognition she gained through the show helped her reach even more fine arts and tattoo lovers. Today, she has a vast following on social media, and a rather busy schedule at her shop down in Salem, Massachusetts.

Edgar Allan Poe portrait by Kelly Doty

Kelly Doty Loves Cats and Soup

Ever wondered what Kelly likes doing when she is not drawing or working in the studio?

“When I’m not tattooing, I’m eating soup or dreaming about eating soup. All this while petting cats and considering my staggering social ineptitude”, she says.

Let’s drown in her world of weird cuteness and into the eyes of her adorable characters.

Pink Flamingos Tattoo by Kelly Doty

Kelly Doty - Ms Argentina Tattoo

Kelly Doty - Mary Jane Tattoo

Kelly Doty - Demon in a Bottle Tattoo

Kelly Doty - Morticia Tattoo

Kelly Doty - Colour bunny tattoo
Kelly Doty - Beetlejuice Tattoo

Kelly Doty - Baby in Jar Tattoo
Kelly Doty Official

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