Article by Alyse Phillips
When freshmen come to Drury, a lot of them have just turned 18 recently, they’re exploring their new freedom, and they’re ready to get a tattoo. In a new town, all the tattoo shops seem the same and there are hardly any ways to know which shops are credible and which ones aren’t. Sure, on the shops website’s they often have portfolios listed for all of their artists, but sometimes, those can be misleading as that’s the best work the artists has ever done in their lives. Some tattoo shops have artists that to amazing art, but they’re way overpriced or the artists are just plain rude. If you’d like to know which shops are worth your time, keep reading!
Ink Ink, the all-girl tattoo shop and heart of the controversial TV show that made many Springfield residents angry last year, seems to also not be a favorite among Drury Students. In a poll ran on Twitter, Ink Ink ranked last out of four shops listed (Eternal, Kaleidoscope, Ink Ink, and Hearts of Fire). Aaron Bradshaw, Drury junior, has tattoos from both Ink Ink and Eternal. When asked about his tattoo from Ink Ink, he said, “The linework is just not good. Actually, while I was in there, someone came into the shop and complained about their tattoo. But then the artists were like, ‘Oh she just didn’t take care of it correctly,’ and I believed them. It was only my second tattoo, and my first one was super small, so I was pretty gullible. When I saw the final product of my tattoo, I just wasn’t impressed.” Also, if you’re looking for a small tattoo, avoid Ink Ink. Their shop minimum is the highest out of the four, coming in at $60.
In the Twitter poll, Kaleidoscope came in third. Morgan Prosser, Drury sophomore, has a small semicolon from this shop. “It was my first ever tattoo so I was pretty nervous, but the tattoo artist was super cool and talked to me about how to prepare for it and how to care for it correctly and everything which made me feel a lot better,” said Prosser, “He was also super interested in my tattoo, the meaning behind it, that sort of thing. It was quick and easy, but a little expensive for the small size. Overall the staff and atmosphere was very welcoming and I’d for sure go back!”
Tori Foster, former Drury student, got the Venus symbol tattooed on her ankle. “Overall good experience,” said Foster, “But it scarred over kinda funny. I also felt a little judgement from the desk lady for getting a small ankle tat.” Many students are in fact opting for smaller tattoos, for some it’s a matter of budget and others want to be able to cover it easily in case of a job interview. Also, small tattoos just seem to be trending right now. If you’re looking for a small tattoo, Kaleidoscope ranks about average with a $50 tattoo minimum.
Anna Arat, Drury junior, has a trident on her arm that she got from Kaleidoscope. “I thought they seemed intimidating at first, but once I got talking to the lady she tried to give me the best advice about the tattoo I wanted, and she was super real with how it would turn out if I got what I originally planned,” said Arat. “She changed it up for me a bit, and she was easy to talk to and explain what changes I wanted her to make on the one she redesigned for me. It was a good experience, which I’ve heard otherwise from other people.”
Hearts of Fire:
Hearts of Fire seems to to be a popular enough tattoo shop among Drury students, and it ranked second in the Twitter poll. Alyssa Roth, Drury freshman, got her first tattoos at Hearts of Fire. When asked about her experience, she said, “Well, they overcharged me, for one. I paid $100 for these tattoos. (The small quote and heart) The guy that did them had an awesome portfolio but then he messed up a simple heart outline. I’ve heard the other tattoo artists at Hearts of Fire are amazing, though, and even the one I had was very nice.”
Other Drury students have had better experiences there, including Madison Hadler, Drury sophomore. She also got the Venus symbol. “I chose hearts of fire because Morgan Prosser had suggested it to me and said it was awesome and they got her in quick!” said Hadler, “I had a guy named Tyler. He was so nice and kept the shop open to finish up my tattoo and he was so funny and made me not feel so nervous!” Hearts of Fire also has a tattoo minimum of $50 dollars.
Coming in first place in the Twitter poll is Eternal Tattoo. Cody Stepp, Drury graduate student, has three tattoos from Eternal, but his favorite is a skull on his ribs. Since his was a bigger piece, it required more planning. When asked about the process, Stepp said, “The artist who did this piece, Ryan, met with me once before to discuss what I wanted; I came in with a sketch (being an artist myself I told him to take this image and let it inspire him) and we talked about what exactly I wanted and color schemes that should be added to make sure he had a good image to work on. The day of, I was shown the tattoo Ryan had come up with, and we made small adjustments with the pirate skull and making sure the text was spelled correctly (so I had no ragrets). I would absolutely recommend Eternal, my experiences all have been nothing but wonderful. ”
Bradshaw got the rest of his tattoos from Eternal after his bad experience at Ink Ink. His artist was also Ryan, and he got a lion and a lotus on his arm. “His linework is amazing,” said Bradshaw. “He drew my lion piece by hand, he’s an amazing artist. The tattoo took just over eight hours, total, and ended up being $450. Ryan has always done an awesome job, and I highly recommend him.”
If you’re looking get a tattoo, big or small, do your research. Some of the shops have a minimum that is fairly low, but then they have a huge hourly fee, so if your tattoo is small but detailed it could come out very expensive. If you’re looking into doing a bigger tattoo, some shops charge by the hour and some charge by inches. Spending an hour visiting shops and checking prices could save you an enormous amount of money. Also, every year there are coupons for several of the tattoo shops in the coupon books that Drury hands out. Tattoos are an amazing way to express yourself and it’s pretty awesome we’re able to showcase beautiful artwork on our bodies- but take it seriously, because it is forever.