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New tattoo and art gallery space opens in downtown Squamish

The Copper Kraken Tattoo Emporium on Second Avenue currently has two tattoo artists, Salomé Robichaud and Rosiie Arseneault.
Salomé Robichaud.

A new tattoo and art gallery has opened up in downtown Squamish.

The Copper Kraken Tattoo Emporium opened on Second Avenue near Alice and Brohm Ice Cream Co. at the end of October. The studio currently has two tattoo artists, Salomé Robichaud and Rosiie Arseneault.

“This isn’t just a tattoo studio, it’s an art studio as well,” said Robichaud, who has lived in Squamish for about 20 years. “Right now, my art is up on display in the front here, but I want it to be where other artists can display their art.”

Robichaud said that as an artist in Squamish, it can be tough to get exposure sometimes, so she hopes she can help other artists around town.

“I want to find other artists who don’t have exposure, give them someplace to display their stuff, sell their prints, whatever they need to do,” she said.

Though the space recently opened, Robichaud said she has been renovating it since May.

“I finger-painted all concrete between the bricks. I finger-painted the window,” she said. “I don’t know if people can see that as a reflection of my tattoo work. I’m very meticulous and I take my time and do as best of a job as I can.”

Regarding her style of tattooing, Robichaud described it as “semi-realistic illustrative” and pointed to several recent tattoos she’s done — such as the mermaid in a bottle or the rabbit surrounded by flowers — that illuminate her style.

Arseneault is a professional stick and poke artist, which Robichaud said is excellent for finger, hand, ears and inside-the-mouth tattoos and would be less traumatic to the skin compared with traditional machine tattooing.

Robichaud said she’s happy to do styles other than her own if a customer wants a specific style, but she also refers clients to other tattoo artists when it comes to Japanese or American Traditional styles, as she wants to support other artists as well.

“There are enough people in town that want tattoos,” she explained.

“Holy smokes, if you look around, everybody’s got a tattoo,” she said with a laugh. “It’s a rarity not to have one.”

For Robichaud, she hopes to create a welcoming atmosphere that invites people in, especially if they are nervous or have questions.

“I want to make the experience enjoyable and especially for first-timers who have never been tattooed. They don’t know what to expect,” she said. “If people are nervous to get tattooed or have questions and stuff, always feel free to come into the studio, ask questions. They’re not obligated to get tattooed when they walk in here.”

“If they want to come in here and drink their coffee on the couch and look through stuff, they’re more than welcome.

Interested customers can message the Copper Kraken Tattoo Emporium or Robichaud on Instagram, call or stop by the storefront. Robichaud said a website for the studio would also be up and running shortly.

Editor's note:  Based on feedback from readers, The Squamish Chief is piloting a new business beat. We will be covering some brand-new, independent business openings and closings, among other things, as our time and resources allow. To be considered for this pilot project, please email

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