Hi! My name is Russ Smith. I have been with the company for over 20 years. I have seen it grow from one site to the fantastic studio we have now. I have worked with some very talented artists. The artists I work with now, including my brother Deano Cook are incredible tattoo artists. I have worked many positions here and I have loved working here everyday!!! The people that I work with are more than just co-workers, they are more like family. That is why we are a family run business!
As a client since 2018 who has returned to S.O.S. for both piercings and tattoos. Dock has decided to join the Sink or Swim crew to provide the same level of hospitality to our clients. Dock’s goal is to help everyone of the clients leave with not only an amazing vessel modification but, with an amazing memory of the process.
Desiree has been piercing since 2016 and after becoming a client she quickly became a member of the crew wanting to help clients feel the same warmth she felt after coming in. Desiree brings her colorful personality and her energy that’s made of sugar, spice and everything nice.
Danii Fortino is our resident Permanent Makeup (PMU) and Fine Line Tattoo Artist.
Prior to starting as an artist Danii was a longtime tattoo and piercing client of the studio and even worked the front desk.
Danii holds multiple certifications and trainings in permanent makeup and areola reconstruction. Her PMU specialty is natural-looking brows without the fuss.
She began her career as a PMU artist in 2019 and took to it like it was second nature.
Danii started with Sink or Swim in October of 2021 bringing permanent makeup to the company for the first time in 27 years!
Along with the encouragement and guidance from our very own Rob Thomas, Danii grew her existing skills to include body tattoos as well.
She specializes in fine line, minimalist, and stipple shading.
Chet began working with the company in February of 2009 as a front desk representative with the aspirations of becoming a tattoo artist. After working at the front desk position and earning his apprenticeship, he has remained with the company, now in his 11th year of tattooing. Prior to becoming a member of the team, he was a longtime piercing and tattoo client of the studio.
Chet specializes in illustrative style full-color and opaque grey tattoos.
Briston has been a part of Sink or Swim his whole life. Growing up in the studio formerly known as Psycho Tattoo and watching his father Deano Cook, he always knew tattooing was his dream. After working in the studio as a front desk representative he completed a 2 year apprenticeship to step into making his dream a reality.
Briston specializes in large-scale Black & Grey Realism, with an affinity for dark art and the macabre.
April Heart (Johnson) Began her piercing career in October of 1997 in Texas. She moved to Georgia in December of 1999 and, over the years, has worked at Virtue and Vice, Kolo, and now with us since May of 2018. She served a 3 year ten as the Vice President of The Association of Professional Piercers from 2005-2008.Follow her work on Instagram @gypsyheartpiercing
Deano Cook established Sink or Swim Studio and Gallery formerly Psycho Tattoo over 27 years ago building a clientele base of ocean lovers that travel from all over the world for their appointments. Deano is a world renown artist specializing in realism with a strong focus on marine life in tattoos, oil paintings, illustrations and published underwater photography. He offers an experience taking clients through his personal stock photography to create and customize a unique and personalized tattoo from “SEA TO SKIN”. Deano has been scuba diving over 20 years collecting reference and studying marine animals so that he can articulate the oceans beauty with precision through his various art forms. Deano’s underwater photography has been published in Alert Diver Magazine, The Smithsonian and Georgia Aquarium just to name a few.