Inked: Melora Coyle of The Raw Canvas Tattoo Studio talks shop |

Inked: Melora Coyle of The Raw Canvas Tattoo Studio talks shop

Melora Coyle finds inspiration in ink.

The 29-year-old tattoo artist creates custom tattoos spanning traditional styles — “old school and Sailor Jerry,” she said — to experimental (styles like pointillism and geometric designs).

“I love anything that has to do with animals,” Coyle added.

She also thrives working in an artistic environment. That’s why Coyle enjoys tattooing for The Raw Canvas Tattoo Studio & Art Gallery in downtown Grand Junction, her place of employment for the last four years.

“The way we work — we feed off each other,” Coyle said of The Raw Canvas team. “Working with the guys that I do, it inspires me all the time.”

Justin Nordine, owner of the Raw Canvas, and fellow tattoo artist, agrees with that sentiment.

“She has always been there as a friend and as positive influence at the studio,” Nordine said of Coyle. “In fact, she is so inspirational we have dubbed her actions as ‘the Melora movement.’”

Social media posts by other tattoo artists across the country motivate Coyle as well.

“I follow a lot of other artists on Instagram to see different types of styles, designs and different ways of approaching tattoos,” she said.

Coyle was formerly a “sand-blaster” before becoming a tattoo apprentice eight years ago. She worked for her parent’s business, Evergreen Crystal, Inc., which operates in Montrose.

“It’s basically sand-etching designs into glass,” she explained. “Designs are on a template, and the sand etches through outline of the design” in a specialized machine.

When Coyle isn’t designing and creating tattoos, she enjoys doing her own art (often featuring animals, of course), reading and fitness. She’s currently working on her next art piece for the Raw Canvas’s First Friday Art Show, called Pigment.

“I think people keep coming back to Melora because of her artistic abilities,” Nordine said. “She has some of the cleanest line work I’ve seen, and she has passion for traditional tattoo art.”

Nordine also mentioned Coyle’s connection to her clients, and her dedication to making their tattoo experiences amazing.

“She is so good with clients, being compassionate to them and their ideas,” he explained.

According to Wendy Gill, The Raw Canvas shop manager, Coyle’s “clients return to her for her technical skills, her artistic style and her friendship.”

The Raw Canvas team will grow again in February with the recent addition of another artist, Robbie Campbell.

“Tattoos keep me on the Western Slope of Colorado,” Coyle said. “I have lots of amazing friends.”

For more information about Coyle, find her on Instagram (@MeloraTattoos) or find her on Facebook. To book an appointment or learn about The Raw Canvas, visit or call 970-985-9649. Find the Raw Canvas on Facebook to learn about other tattoo artists.

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