Sunday, June 11, 2023

Remembering Gary "Loco" van de Wouw

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that our friend, coworker and brother Gary “Loco” van de Wouw has passed away.  

Gary’s tattooing career brought him from Holland to Canada and then the United States before eventually settling with us at our little shop in Stanwood, Washington.  He was with us from the very beginning and helped to build Stanwood Tattoo Company into something we are all so proud of. To say that we are devastated is an understatement.  The shop will never be the same without Gary and his presence will be missed more than we can ever express.    

Gary was more than a coworker to us, he was like family.  We spent time together outside of work, at shows, on holidays and celebrating important life events with each other.
When you got a tattoo from Gary, you didn’t just get a beautiful piece of art, you got a real music history lesson or maybe a story or two about Gary’s time with his band Brotherhood Foundation.  Maybe he’d tell you about his most infamous tattoo or talk about his beloved dog, Geordie.  He loved to chat about music and was never shy about sharing his opinions!  But his favorite stories to tell were about his boys, Waylon and Hugo.  He proudly shared with all of us about their latest accomplishments and adventures.  He loved to show off the tattoos they did on his arm once they were “old enough”.  Gary was so many things to all of us - but above all of it, he loved being their dad the most.    

If you’ve been tattooed by Gary and want to share any pictures, stories and memories or just well wishes, please come to the shop and sign our memory book that we’ll be giving to his boys.  We will be selling his Gary Loco shirts and sweatshirts for them or you can donate to a fund for Waylon and Hugo at the shop.   We’ll share any information we have about an upcoming memorial when plans are finalized. 

To all of Gary’s clients, please contact Lei at the shop about any appointments or deposits. We will do our best to help you out by either connecting you with another of our artists or refunding your deposit.  We know that so many of you felt the same strong connection with Gary. We want to thank you all in advance for your understanding as we navigate our mutual loss together.

Artist of the Week in the Crab Cracker!
Waylon tattooing Gary!

Hugo tattooing Gary!

Gary and his boys on their recent trip to Europe.

Gary's band Brotherhood Foundation

Gary and his boys in our old space during the shutdowns.

Gary's infamous Ray Romano tattoo!

Gary getting tattooed by Sara at the shop

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Continuing COVID Safety Information

Since we have been able to reopen last June, Stanwood Tattoo Company has been committed to putting the health and safety of our clients, staff and community as our number one priority.  While Washington state has fully reopened, we are still in the middle of a global viral pandemic. For this reason, we will continue to require masks in our shop regardless of vaccination status.  

As of 7/8/21, only 60% of the population in Snohomish County is fully vaccinated.  We know that even the lowest estimates predict that herd immunity cannot be possible without at least 70-80% of the population being vaccinated.  We also know that while the vaccine does give some protection from developing severe illness due to COVID-19, it is not 100% effective.  Recent pockets of COVID outbreaks in Stanwood also give us great cause for concern. For all of these reasons, we will continue to require masks and proceed with all extra COVID safety protocols at the shop for the foreseeable future.  

We ask that all clients be honest with us about any exposure to COVID and to follow all guidelines put forth by the Snohomish County Health District if an exposure occurs.  If you are exposed to COVID or develop symptoms, please do the responsible thing by contacting the shop to reschedule any appointments or to inform us if you were in the shop recently.  It is vitally important that we all work together to keep our community healthy!  

If an exposure ever happens at Stanwood Tattoo Company, we will notify all clients affected personally and the community publicly.  It's the ONLY responsible and ethical thing to do.  We have been incredibly lucky that this has not happened at all during the pandemic here.  And we believe that is in part due to our very strict guidelines, meant to keep all of us safe.  

Thank you for understanding and get vaccinated if you can! 


Saturday, May 22, 2021

Face masks are required to enter the shop!

All artists, clients & staff are required to wear a mask in the shop no matter your vaccination status until we are out of the phased reopening of businesses in Washington State.

This means that EVERYONE must wear a mask inside of our shop until AT LEAST JUNE 30, 2021

All COVID precautions will remain in place.

We are continuing with caution in the interest of the health and safety of our staff, clients & our community. 

Thank you!

-Stanwood Tattoo Company

Friday, February 26, 2021

One Year!

Stanwood Tattoo Company is one year old!  It's been a wild and interesting year but we made it through not just regular first year growing pains, but an actual global viral pandemic!   We're pretty proud of ourselves but know that we couldn't have done it without our fabulous clients and the support of our Stanwood-Camano community!  Thank you all for helping us continue to do what we love.  We look forward to many more birthdays on the little brick road in Stanwood!

In our first year of business, we have been through a lot but have also been able to grow and are excited about a pretty BIG change coming up soon!  In the next few weeks, we will be moving our shop from our first home between L Shows Studio and Shima Japanese Restaurant.   But we won't be going far.  We're happy to announce that at the end of March, we'll be moving to the old Wink Boutique space two doors down from our current shop, on the other side of our friends at Shima!   

Everyone is hard at work getting the space ready to operate and offer safe, aseptic, high quality tattooing and related products.   If you are currently scheduled for an appointment in March, your tattooer will be in contact with you in the event of any changes that might affect your appointment.  We'll be able to safely operate at both sites until the end of March, so we do anticipate a smooth transition!  

As always, thank you for your support and for making our first birthday a true reason to celebrate!

Image:  semi-translucent photograph of the side of a building.  Blue text and the shop Cthulhu logo are in the front.  Blue text reads: Thank you Stanwood & Camano Island for an amazing first year!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Halloween Coloring Contest

Everyone at the shop is such a HUGE fan of Halloween.  We had looked forward to doing something really fun for the kids in town at the shop this year.  Unfortunately, in person trick-or-treat seems highly unlikely in 2020 (for good reason!).  We still want to celebrate and we still want to do something really cool for our community.  So,  we decided to have a HALLOWEEN COLORING CONTEST!  

Anyone can download and color our Halloween Coloring Page designed by Sara "Scare-a" Kenville.  The random drawing for a fun prize package and gift card redeemable for some delicious local treats is open to all local kids under 18 in the Stanwood-Camano area. To enter, you just have to share your child's finished coloring page with us by snapping a picture, uploading and tagging one of our pages on social media (make sure your post is public so that we can see it!*).  Please include first name/age as well.  We will also share your entries on our shop's social media pages!  



We will contact the winner via the social media platform & account that their entry was received on October 31,2020.  

Click for a link to the free, downloadable pdf of our coloring page!

*If your account is not public, you can also send us a DM on Facebook or Instagram with the appropriate information!  Random drawing open to kids under 18 in the Stanwood-Camano area.  Children, relatives of employees/staff/crew of Stanwood Tattoo Company not eligible for drawing. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The True Story of the Ray Romano Death Threat Tattoo!

 It's time to learn the true story of this famous tattoo as told by the artist himself, Gary van de Wouw aka Gary Loco!  The next time you see one of those lists of "WTF?!" Tattoos", pass on the real story and give some credit to the guy who made it happen!  

Tattoo by Gary van de Wouw aka Gary Loco

"So somehow, 15+ years after doing the “infamous” Ray Romano tattoo, this tattoo just keeps following me around and yet nobody has an inkling (pun intended) about the fact who it was who did it and thus, in all the years that this tattoo been shared over and over again on multitudes of blogs and websites, I never once got credited for it. 

Whether or not this is a good thing I’ll leave up for discussion. 

The story told about this tattoo has never been correct. 

The one told here is probably the closest to what actually happened. 

The tattoo was originally done in Toronto at Lucky 13 Tattoos, downtown on Bloor street. 

It was originally shared on my BMEzine account by myself and then got reblogged by the late owner Of this influential body modification community, Shannon Laratt.

This is why and when this tattoo became one of the earlier viral “regrettable” tattoos on the internet around 2004 or 2005. 

In 2008 it was published in the book “No Regrets; the worst, & most #$%*ing ridiculous tattoos ever” by Aviva Yael & P.M Chen with foreword by David Cross on pg. 62, with my permission. It was credited to my “tattoo name” Gary Loco @ Loco Tattoos, which was my then shop in Hamilton, Ontario at the time this book was published.

Anyway.. the story ; 

I had met the girl in question on the subway some weeks prior. 

She came visit me at the shop sometime after having a drunk night with a friend where they were coming up with the stupidest tattoo ideas they could think of. 

She came in on a dare to get the tattoo done. 

No, she was not drunk at the time. 

Yes, I initially did refuse to do it even though I thought it the funniest thing. 

Yes, I did tell her to think about this for a bit and come back if she really wanted it done. 

Yes, she did return within the next few days(Still sober) and,

Yes, I then did the tattoo. 

No, she did not get it for free. Moneys were exchanged. Nothing else. 

The simple bold “Coptic” I think, font was chosen on purpose by her. 

So there’s the real story. 

Spread it! 

I am still tattooing these days from a small town a bit north of Seattle, WA called Stanwood At the Stanwood Tattoo Company. "


This hangs in the hallway of Stanwood Tattoo Company, so that anyone who enters the shop knows they're about to experience a brush with greatness.  

For more of Gary's amazing tattoo work that does not involve threatening Ray Romano, check out his Facebook & Instagram pages! 

Gary Loco on Facebook

Gary Loco on Instagram

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


You can call, e-mail or message the shop on social media for any questions or concerns that you might have.  However, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions for clients.  Check here first because we may have already answered your question!:

Do you do walk-ins?

Our normal answer would be:

*We do walk-ins on a first come, first serve basis.  However, we generally encourage potential clients to come in and talk to an artist about your tattoo and make an appointment.  This way, you can make sure that time is reserved just for you and your tattoo.  While we do require a deposit for appointments, there is no fee for potential clients who just want to stop by and get information and ask a few questions.

Unfortunately, we are in the midst of a global viral pandemic and the shop is strictly appointment only until further notice.  You can call the shop to see if an artist has time for you that day, but it's likely that they will not and you'll have to make an appointment and get on the schedule.   

What are your rates? 

Stanwood Tattoo Company has a shop minimum of $100 and a standard rate of $150 an hour.  We require a $50 deposit that does go toward the final cost of your tattoo in order to secure your appointment.

Where are you located? 

We are located at 10003 270th St NW Suite A in Stanwood, on the brick road!  

How do I book an appointment?

All artists at Stanwood Tattoo Company book their own appointments.  You can stop in to the shop to pay a deposit and book an appointment, or you can call us at 360-939-2223 or you can e-mail the artist you want to work with! 

Do you do piercings?

We do not currently offer piercing services at Stanwood Tattoo Company, but we do sell replacement piercing jewelry.  Tattooing and piercing are two very different skill sets, requiring different training and licensing.   At this time, we are focusing on tattooing and tattoo art.  We may expand in the future and include piercing in the services that we offer. 

Can you tattoo minors with parental permission? 

All tattoo clients MUST be over the age of 18. Tattooing minors is both highly unethical and against the law.  Please come back to us when you are 18 and we'd be happy to have you as a client!

Can you tattoo hate symbols such as but not limited to swastikas, confederate flags, etc.?

No.  Stanwood Tattoo Company will absolutely NOT tattoo any racist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic or otherwise bigoted speech or symbols on anyone at any time.