Tattoo was created during a transformative three-week stay at Haystack Mountain School for the Arts on Deer Isle, Maine during Summer 1998. The residency focused on "Dreams and Daydreams" and pushed Hall to introduce more creativity and freedom into her works. It also marked her transition in creative identity from weaver—an activity no longer afforded her by physical limitations—to book artist.
That summer, Hall was a full-time executive at L.L.Bean, had purchased a new home on Orr’s Island, and had just been diagnosed with a second reoccurrence of cancer. Leaving both responsibility and uncertainty behind, Hall immersed herself in the Haystack experience, learning new binding and paper production techniques, and meeting colleagues who would become life-long friends, including George Barrick, a book artist based in Philadelphia.