All right, I admit it. I don’t have a tattoo, and I don’t want one, thanks anyway.
But as a painter and graphic artist, I know good ink when I see it. I also have a son – a musician, naturally – who has enough tattoos to qualify me as an expert of sorts on the subject of body art. Years ago, Patrick indulged in a number of large and elaborate tattoos at Atomic Tattoo in Hollywood and since then, he’s picked up a few others of varying size and complexity in Colorado and Kentucky. But what I’ve seen of at least one local artist’s work is every bit as impressive as the work that Patrick got while in California.
Carter Tattoo Company’s Brad Ausbrooks recently completed two half-sleeves for Patrick. The first is a complex composition featuring a slew of goblins, trolls (not the kind you find on the internet), and other mythical creatures. Ausbrooks did an impressive and elegant job on what must have been a mind- (and hand-numbing – for him anyway) tattoo. The lines are clean and dark, while the shading is subtle, exquisite, and highly dimensional. For a half-sleeve on the other arm, Patrick selected a bloodthirsty warrior swinging a battle ax and wrecking havoc on a number of unfortunate, and sometimes headless, souls cowering at his feet. Ausbrooks did a masterly job once again. The clarity and detail are sharp and eye-catching, and the definition of the tattoo is stunning, even if the scene pictured is not likely to warm the cockles- yes, I said cockles- of a mother’s heart.
Carter’s is open Monday through Thursday from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 12:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. It’s located at 948 US 31W Bypass.
Heart’s Desire Tattoo Studio also does impressive work. The lines of the tattoo Patrick got there are so dark they look as if they’d been drawn on with permanent marker. They’re clean, bold, and strong. No touch-ups required, and that’s a good thing, as Martha would say. Jonathan Fowler, the owner/operator, is an adept and talented artist – and he’s even fun to talk to.
The shop is located at 2740 Scottsville Road and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Both tattoo parlors seem clean, hygienic, and well-maintained, especially Heart’s Desire, and I’d recommend either of them to anyone who needs just a little (or a lot) more ink.