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Body Art Craze

By Dshanna Scruggs
On November 11, 2011

 The art of tattooing and piercing have been around for years. However, it has recently become the new trend like a new style of dress or a new hairstyle. College students have especially taken to this growing trend, making a demand for more tattoo artist in the surrounding areas. Students everywhere are going to their local tattoo parlors to get new ink or a new piercing.  It also turns into competitions; students show off the number of tattoos to see who has more, who took the most pain and who has the most graphic pieces. 

Here in Raleigh, there are several tattoo parlors located near the surrounding universities. They all seem to be in competition with each other, luring local college students in with cheap prices and detailed artwork.  Some places charge by time, while others charge by size of the piece.  Most of the artists in the area are young but have many years of experience and talent. They come from various parts of the country to showcase their talents, making money while enjoying a budding career in the arts.

Two tattoos artists that I work with, Stretch Boyd and Kay Oh of 510 Salon Ink, are perfect examples of dedicated, talented men who love what they do. They come in everyday, helping customers figure out what piercing or tattoos will work with their budget. They both see about 10 or more clients a day and everyone leaves happy with promises to return. When I spoke to Stretch about the kind of tattoos he likes to do, he stated "Creative! I love when people come in and just have a customized tattoo design." He also informed me he has done 7 out of 40 tattoos he currently has. These two artists have other careers outside of tattooing and piercing, being local musicians and producers.

While working, I also had a chance to talk with some students from the schools in the area. I first spoke to Diamond Alexander, a sophomore from Shaw University, about the tattoo that Kay Oh was drawing up for her. She seemed very anxious when she spoke, "I came to get a Geisha on my back because I'm very into the Japanese culture". Next I spoke with another student from Shaw University, Tanzi Green.  She obsessed with leopard print and thought it would be a cool idea to get her favorite print inside some stars on her leg. She also told me she got the idea from a close friend who has the same tattoo but in a different spot. Lastly, I had a chance to get in on the action while a student from Wake Tech was getting her 12th tattoo. Fighting through the pain, C.J. told me that while the tattoo was hurting, she was still excited because she knew that it would be worth the pain.

The body art trend is making a large impact on the millennial generation. It's interesting to know that there will be a generation of tattooed and pierced grandparents. Every day I get to help both students and people in the area figure out what they want to get and why. It is an awesome job, especially when a person has such a great idea but needs my help to focus their vision.  In addition, I love how body art looks on people. I feel like it is a depiction of self expression and tells stories, while sometimes others are just random and there for entertainment purposes. Either way body art is a wonderful way to express your personality.  It's all about quality and quantity. I hope people continue to receive pleasure from the pain of body art.


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