|VINSON: Tattoo artists are ‘taking care of business’
|Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 5:20 am
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|The first time I met him, I thought to myself “you know, this dude looks like he just stepped out of casting for the movie Point Break.”
(NOTE: Point Break is the 1991 film starring Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, and Gary Busey, which is about a group of cult-like, tattooed surfers on the West Coast who, disguising themselves by wearing masks depicting U.S. presidents, rob banks to support their surfing lifestyle. “Point Break” is a surfing term that describes a wave breaking as it hits a point of land jutting out from the coastline.)
I met this particular “dude” several weeks back at Dr. D’s, a cool little roadhouse and watering hole located on The Strip in McMinnville.
And he had that surfer look, you know, tanned, tattooed, and should-length, sun-bleached, blond hair. His was not a menacing look; instead, he had clear eyes and a friendly smile – a someone-that-anyone-could-hang-out-with look.
After shooting the breeze for a while at the bar, Johnny Tattoo informed me that, in fact, he once had resided in the San Diego and Cocoa Beach, Fla., areas, both hotbeds for 1-percenter surfing.
However, as our conversation continued, and we both shared our backgrounds, Johnny Tattoo revealed to me that, now, his main job was high-end, first-class tattooing.
With that, Johnny invited me to drop by where he works: Taking Care of Business/TCB Tattoo studio, located in McMinnville.
Well, guess what?
A few days back, I dropped by TCB, which, for me, was a venture into uncharted waters: artful tattooing.
Come along and join me for a “Magic Carpet Ride” into the world of ink on skin.
“You’d be surprised at some of the people who get tattoos,” owner Jack Feingold said, “everyday folks whom you think never would have a tattoo: clergymen, DEA agents, policemen, a special assistant to the governor … a 70-year-old lady! Some of these kids come in wanting a tattoo and say something like, ‘I want a tattoo, but I don’t want my mom to know.’ I smile and tell ‘em, ‘Look, your mom probably has a tat, and you just don’t know it.’”
Harley, a budding star as a tattoo artist, who also works for Jack at TCB, chimed in with this: “Hey, man, I’m just a hick transplant from up north. I came down to McMinnville to visit some family. One day, I walked into TCB, met Jack, told him I’d been into drawing since I was a child. Jack and I hit it off; he showed me some of the basic licks about tattooing, and I’ve been slinging ink for, oh, ‘round 9-and-a-half years, now. Pretty cool gig for me.”
“Anymore, tattooing is as much medical as anything else,” owner Jack interjected. “We have to wear surgical gloves, and our hygiene has to be of the highest order. Our sterilizers have to be checked every week. The laws mandate that we must take, and successfully complete, sterilization and cross-sterilization classes. And I think this is a good thing because easily transmitted diseases such as hepatitis, staph and MRSA can be prevented.
All these religious people say, Well, your body is your temple – the temple of God – and, therefore, we shouldn’t desecrate our bodies.
Well, I rebut such with this: If you have a church that originally was a beautiful structure, but has dilapidated over the years, you, maybe, need to throw some paint – ink – on it, so it’ll look better.
Personally, I never have desired a tattoo.
However, after visiting TCB, and learning more about the world of ink on skin, I say tattooing is much an art form as canvass art, music, writing, etc. Still, tattooing falls under the First Amendment to the Constitution, Freedom of Speech.
Just slinging some “ink” on ink.