Michael spent his childhood scribbling drawings over every available surface of his mother's house. Sammy designed tattoos for his fellow Marines during the four years he was stationed in Hawaii and Japan. James listened transfixed as his grandfather, 90% covered in tattoos, regaled him with stories about each one.
These divergent paths led all three men to Living Art Tattoo, where they and their fellow artists ink clients with custom designs. In a nod to the military backgrounds of some of the staff, the Living Art team grants discounts to veterans and current military personnel. Along with tattoos, the studio specializes in piercings for various body parts, including earlobes, eyebrows, and tongues.
When decorating skin with studs, rings, and body art, the artists and piercers at Bad Penny Tattoos are looking out for their clients' safety. Each member of the team has completed a blood-borne pathogens course and they understand the risks of cross-contamination. They've also completed a first-aid course to assist squeamish clients who black out at the sight of blood or a pierced fingernail.
Alwin Amos, a tattoo artist at ShaZam Ink, creates body art with a hand-poked tattooing method also known as stick 'n’ poke. He uses the same needle and bar combinations as a machine in order to ink flesh with geometric shapes, silhouettes, and floral designs. The process takes longer than machine tattooing, but it requires less pokes and thus heals more quickly while retaining vibrant color. Many customers also report that the process is less painful than machine tattooing.