Ash Timlin

Ink & adventures with one of the city’s most talented tattoo artists

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style team

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We’re no strangers to tattoos at Get Leashed and for the most part we can agree that the artists we meet share some common traits. It’s probably no surprise that those who find a calling in drawing on people can be a little out there. Which is welcome, because when you spend hours in close quarters with one other person who happens to be inking your skin permanently, it’s good to be entertained. All this to say, Ash Timlin isn’t all that out there. Sure, her downtown apartment is decorated with skulls and various heads of animals long deceased. Yes, she’s a true nature lover and the outdoor life creeps into her living space. But out there in a weirdly entertaining way? Not really. Maybe. But out there in a down-to-earth, kind spirited, make you want to get another tattoo just to hang out with her more sort of way? Definitely.

Ash has one of the most energetic dogs we’ve met with a name to die for. We’ll let her tell you a bit more about him and the lifestyle they share.

Tell us about yourself:

I’m an artist currently working here in Toronto at Passage Tattoo. I’ve been tattooing for five years now. It involves tight deadlines, lots of homework and some fairly challenging situations. I love it. It allows me to create things on a daily basis that I am passionate about and that are beautiful. I feel very fortunate to have clients who share in my adoration for animals and nature. It rarely feels like “work.”

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A bit about your pet:

Rufio came into my life about four and a half years ago. I was living with a roommate at the time who had a dog and we both agreed that it would be lovely to have another one in our home. Growing up in the country, we always had several dogs around and I was finally in a situation where having one of my own was something I could reasonably manage.IMG_0013

I quickly came across a family in North Toronto that had a litter of German Pointer/Springer Spaniel pups that were in need of homes. Having had both these breeds during my childhood, I knew it was meant to be. I’ve always been drawn to the enthusiastic, down-for-anything attitude of these breeds, and Rufio is overflowing with each of those qualities. He’s the perfect companion for all kinds of outdoor adventures: camping, swimming, running, you name it! He’s also very friendly and affectionate, a total lapdog and a perfectly sized “little spoon”.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

I always look forward to taking Rufio on a long outing. Depending on the time of year, it could range from a hike through High Park, an afternoon in Bellwoods, swimming in the lake, or even a trip to the island. I love the outdoors, so it’s wonderful to have such an eager sidekick. Following our walk, I usually catch up on my emails and drawings, enjoy a coffee (or three), have lunch with a friend, and if I’m really managing my time wisely, I’ll get to the gym as well.

Describe your personal style:

Laid back and comfortable. I guess I’m sort of a refined tomboy; I generally prefer men’s or unisex clothing paired with some more tailored or form-fitting pieces to keep things a little on the feminine side.

What inspires you?

So many things! I’ve always admired people who set their goals high and work hard to achieve them. Nothing worth having comes easy. On an artistic level, I’m inspired by things that excite and amaze me, particularly in the realm of animals and nature.

How would you describe the look and feel of your home?

My home has become sort of a curated curio-cabinet, reflecting my art and things that make me comfortable. This includes lots of skulls, plants, antiques, and natural textures.

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A relationship-defining pet story:

At the end of a backcountry camping trip around the Bruce Peninsula, my friend and I needed to retrieve our canoe from the other side of a small lake where we had left it a few days prior. It wasn’t really a two-person job, so I stayed back with a 10 month-old Rufio to relax and read a book. Not ten minutes after my friend disappeared on his quest, Rufio bolted into the forest and I quickly lost sight of him. I stumbled around calling his name, growing more and more desperate. I decided to run back to the spot where my friend would be meeting me with the canoe, thinking maybe my pup had wandered back during my search. But still no Rufio.

I sat down and started to cry, thinking that I had lost my best pal. I looked up towards the point across the lake and saw my friend returning. As he got closer I saw there was a second passenger in the canoe….it was Rufio! Still to this day, Rufio will always choose to accompany someone departing from a group on whatever errand or quest they are on. I’m not sure if he feels like he needs to keep them company or if he just wants to go on a little adventure, but at least now I know he’s always coming back. Why sit still when you could be running around and checking things out, right?!

Follow Ash on Instagram (@ashtimlin) to see more of her exceptional art.