AK Lounge tends to aesthetic needs with hair-salon styling, permanent cosmetics, and tattoo design, correction, and removal. Main stylist and blowout specialist, Ashley Johnson, has tamed tresses for the runway elite while working on an A-team of backstage beautifiers during fashion week. In her nine years of styling experience, Ashley has trotted across numerous cities, enriching her skills through classes involving cuttery, coloring, and straightening strategies, including Brazilian Blowouts. Continually training tattoo artist, Kenneth Plaster, lends cosmetic support to the shop through his ink and permanent make-up services.
On Austin Dermagraphix’s bold burgundy walls, bright graffiti murals in primary yellows, blues, and greens leap out at the eye. These vivid works of art overlook Jose Gonzalez as he hunches over arms, legs, and backs, embedding them with any style of tattoo, such as 2-D cartoons or life-like portraits of Nikola Tesla. To do so, Gonzalez draws upon his background as a graffiti artist in Puerto Rico as well as his bachelor’s degree in painting. He joins another resident artist, a piercer, and a laser tattoo-removal technician at the shop, where the top of the wall around the reception desk wears a crown of gold trophies amassed by the staff.
At Amillion Tattoos, visitors can obtain striking permanent body art and body piercings from a talented and experienced staff of artists in the medium of flesh-frescoes. Instead of super-gluing laminated finger paintings to their backs, customers can acquire meaningful tats within a clean and sanitary environment free of compost heaps. Though the price of each tattoo varies according to design, detail, and syllable count, visitors can opt for a 2”, three-color butterfly ($70–$80), a black and gray palm-sized tattoo ($150–$200), or go for the gusto with an elaborate 9”x4” full-color elbow-to-shoulder tat ($400–$800). Additionally, there’s no need to fool around with a staple gun at home, since the Amillion crew can precisely puncture you with high-quality piercings, including a gem nostril piercing ($55), a 10-gauge lip piercing ($66), or a 14- to 16-gauge eyebrow ring ($50). A surgical steel post is included with each piercing, and can be bumped up to bling for an additional fee.
At Southside Tattoo, located in Austin’s South Congress neighborhood, the focus is always on the art. Owner Bart Willis and his team of artists and apprentices have become well-known locally for their craft, which extends well beyond the late night bad-idea tattoo crowd. Inside the vibrant blue space, lit partially by a neon sign, art and possibilities adorn the walls in organized frames. With designs that have graced the covers of rock albums and tattoo magazines, Willis and the rest of the crew at Southside Tattoo showcase a love for the talent of tattooing, and often work with individuals to put together unique pieces that fit the customer’s personality. From full sleeves to delicate reminders hidden under clothing, Southside doesn’t shy away from the work, or the artistry.
At Twisted Tattoo, husband and wife team James and Denise decorate bodies with piercings and masterful tattoo artistry in a wide range of designs and styles. Tattoo expert James draws from 15 years of professional experience to create stunning, extensively detailed body art, and Denise deftly pierces dimples, ears, and belly buttons with surgical-grade stainless steel. While awaiting an inking or passing the time during a friend's appointment, guests can play pool and air hockey, watch satellite TV, or peruse the artists' extensive collection of colorful and detailed tattoo sketches and compositions.