Dr. Dean

Dean “Dr. Dean” Spooner first founded Tatu Tattoo on February 2, 1993. In the thirty years since, his mark has been left not only on our shop, but on the larger Chicagoland tattooing community.

Dean’s interest in tattoos and tattooing was sparked at an early age, having seen the extensive coverage of a member of the Yakuza – the Japanese Mafia – at the age of 6. By the age of 15, Dean was experimenting with self-tattooing, saying:

“My little cross came out okay…considering I used India ink and a couple of needles.”

Dean to Tattoo Magazine in 1991

While working as a window washer, Dean got to know Chicago tattoo legend Dale Grande, eventually working for him full-time at Chicago Tattooing on Belmont Ave.

Dr. Dean took pride in a number of the high profile individuals to come through the shop over the years, including Ed Hardy as the first guest artist at the shop. Others who came through to visit or get tattooed include members of the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Cubs, the Boston Celtics, Michael Jordan, the head of security for former President Bush…and so on.

More content will be added here soon to highlight Dr. Dean’s impact on our shop over the years, as well as some examples of his past work.