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.
"I have always been an artist," says Heebee Jeebees' owner, Karen Knight. A native of Liverpool, England, her artistic travels have led her through careers in portrait painting, clothing design, makeup artistry, and other creative endeavors, before she thoroughly immersed herself in her love for body art. Alongside two other skilled tattoo artists, Knight creates custom artwork based on client specifications, and promises a lifetime of touch-ups to ensure the colors stay rich and the invisible ink stays invisible. Brightly hued walls lined with original artwork and photographs provide visual inspiration for patrons and passersby.
When it’s a client's turn in the chair at Nostalgia Tattoo Co., they have a good amount of time under the needle during which to consider their surroundings. It should be some comfort, then, that the walls surrounding that chair are covered in a grid of awards earned by the shop and its staff. Spaces that might have otherwise been left bare flaunt original artwork and designs by the resident artists, some depicting grim, detailed skulls and others drawings of elephant gods. But the team's craft truly comes to life on the human canvas, as each artist's portfolio brims with classic designs, modern color-saturated pieces, and tattoos of the word "tattoo."