• Lastsparrowtattoo.com

    Don and Deb are featured on Scott Sylvia's Last Sparrow Tattoo website or watch the interview via youtube. http://youtu.be/5X4vpKKN7Zc

  • Don and Debra's artwork is featured in Jesse Gordon's new book

    Flash Collection
    Volume 1

    available at www.eleven-fourteen.com


    Debra is a featured artist in Tattooartist Magazine #33

  • Debra is a featured artist in Dana Melissa Dixon's new books

    Ladies and Ink : The Flash Collection and
    Ladies and Ink: Female Tattooists
    both available at

  • Alaska Star Article

    Inking out a living

    Alaska Star

    Tattoo artist Don Yarian is opening a shop with his wife Debra Yarian Nov. 1. The couple hopes that locals and military folks will become clients of their shop Eagle River Tattoo on Old Eagle River Road. Debra was attending a tattoo conference in California when the photo was taken Thursday.
    Star Photo by Jill Fankhauser

    There is a new buzz in Eagle River. It's coming from a tattoo shop by local tattoo artists husband and wife Don and Debra Yarian at Eagle River Tattoo. The Yarians are opening the doors to their new business Nov. 1 on Old Eagle River Road, next door to the First Baptist Church.
    “We saw this place open up for rent, and decided just on a whim to take a look at it and see,” Don said. “We walked into the place and saw the potential and possibilities.”

    The Yarians talked to their church neighbor when they decided they wanted to open in the old Family Flea Market spot.

    “They know us. They know it's not going to be like a biker shop or where a bunch young punks are running the place,” Don said. “We won't be open on Sundays. They don't have a problem with it.”

    Don and Debra are seasoned artists. Debra has been tattooing since 1979 and got Don into it on 1989. Debra tattooed Don and eventually helped him get his first apprenticeship (a first step in training to become a full-fledged tattoo artist) in Columbus, Ga., while he was in the Army.

    Later they fell in love and created a family with six children. They've been married 17 years.

    The Yarians came to Eagle River with an Army job transfer in 2003. They decided Eagle River was where they wanted to stay and raise their family. Don retired and worked with his wife full-time at Larry Allen's Anchorage Tattoo Studio.

    “He's an icon in town,” Don said. “We couldn't have done this without Larry. He's been great. He was a great boss and a great friend and treated us like family when we worked there.”

    Don said he and Debra both wanted to spend time with their kids since it seemed like one of them was always at work six days a week.

    “Our move out here was all about the family as opposed to seeing a business opportunity,” Don said.

    The Yarians live just a half-mile up the hill from their shop. Don said he'll probably walk to work. Their kids attend Eagle River Elementary School and will walk to the shop after school. Don and Debra have set up a homework room with a TV and DVD player. There is also a small kitchen in the back to make snacks.

    There are only two tattoo stations in the shop. Don said they don't plan to expand for a while, they need the business to grow, plus they want to keep the business in the family. He might invite his oldest son, who is 28 and also a tattoo artist, to join the shop eventually; but Don wants business to be lucrative and stable first.

    Don and Debra say they compliment each other in their tattoo styles. She likes to do portrait and photo-realism. He likes to do big Oriental-style work. They both enjoy traditional American tattoos that have bold lines and colors, and the both enjoy working with military clients. They hope to work with locals and military people at their new shop.

    “I grew up tattooing the military and I like tattooing the military folks. They get a lot of nice designs and normally are pretty nice to work with.”

    Don said he is booked for the first week the shop is open. Allen encouraged the couple to keep their regular clients in the move to Eagle River.

    Is there a market for tattooing in Eagle River?

    “We'll find out.”

    Eagle Rivet Tattoo is hosting an open house Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for people to look around, make appointments and meet the artists.

    This article published in The Alaska Star on Thursday, October 30, 2008.