Best Tattoo Artists In Iowa – Results! Here are the 2018 CRANDIC Best Small Village winners in the products and services category, representing voters’ favorite businesses and service providers in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa metropolitan area. Check out the winners in the other four categories.
“The best of them are the flowers, the prices, and the customer service. You can tell they care about the community and are passionate about what they do. “
Best Tattoo Artists In Iowa
I’ve always been interested in art – though not always “pretty” art. As a child I was always drawing, painting, working with clay or plaster or fabric, or whatever I could. It was a strange way to become a tattoo artist, but eventually I fell in love with the craft.
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I joined the Nemesis/Iowa City Tattoo team in 2009. It was still a lot to learn – it was probably the steepest learning curve I’ve ever encountered in my creative and professional life. It definitely makes it easier to work in a well-located store, and there are so many people who inspire me. Many of my colleagues or consultants use traditional American black and gray or semi-realistic elements, and both approaches appeal to me.
My connection to traditional American tattooing came as a bit of a surprise because it was so different from my usual artistic approach. Previously I worked with pencil designs, or flat on large canvases (a very different style of work). At this time I became very interested in the abstraction found in flowers or animals, especially in traditional folk art. I also want to push my black and gray work – maybe not to a photo-realistic level, but testing my limits. I’m so happy that I’ve been asked to do a few pictures – both of people and pets!
While the demand for original and traditional work is increasing, I think people are finding value in applying meaning to certain categories of tattoos that tend to use similar design elements. And the tattoo may not be very unique, but I can help individualize it to as many clients as possible, to highlight why they chose it, what it means to them, and the design part. . For others, figuring out how to integrate all the parts of a tattoo into one cohesive piece involves identifying one or two important themes and using them as a focal point. Some clients give me broad ideas and then let me work with them – these are fun projects because I get to think outside the box, and it’s fun to have full creative control.
I really enjoy working with clients, and for me it’s important to work to make sure people feel safe and that their voices are heard. It’s important to be part of an active community, and use the space we have to give back as much as possible, like the Emma Goldman [and Planned Parenthood] fundraisers. Events like this are common in Iowa City (and other tattoo shops) – I think I was first introduced to the idea of community-based fundraising through benefit shows at the city’s rock bands and venues.
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I believe that women and LGBT+ people use tattoos as a special tool of empowerment. A tattoo can be a sign or indicator as well as an effective way of using body language. I think it’s more comfortable to exercise that power where it’s traditionally held by men.
How does it feel to finally know that you are considered a top tattoo artist? He had a decisive victory!
I am so proud to be recognized as such – my clients are the best! They inspire me every day with fun and interesting projects, and it’s great to meet them in person. My co-workers past and present are amazing – I’m so grateful to be able to go to work and tattoo every day!
“That’s what I’ve been doing for years! They never make me feel stupid when I ask them to explain something.”
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“My car has 263,000 miles on it and it’s still going strong, and they get a lot of credit for that. They’re the friendliest people.”
“They never do anything wrong, and can laugh through funny situations with me. In fact, if your snake belt is going to break on its own, it might as well be while you’re driving!”
“They are on time, they are honest, and they don’t try to convince you that they need more than they need. They are family run, and they care about your family!”
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