hank you for picking up the latest issue of Enk Magazine, Hampton Roads TOP magazine for Tattoo & Art. Iâ€™m extremely excited about this issue because once again weâ€™re bringing you the hottest tattoo artist that our area has to offer. Sit back and read about the already legendary Rocksteady Tattoo. Read the exciting interview with one of the most interesting shops, Virginia Beach Ink! Also we want to send a shot out to All Out Tattoo for a interesting time and story.
5720 Hoggard Rd
Behind the Boston Market & Arbys near Military Circle Mall
Norfolk, Va 23502
eorge has been doing his thing at All-Out Tattoo for a year and a half, but he’s been a professional tattoo artist for 14 years. He started tattooing in Durham, North Carolina. There George did his apprenticeship at Ink Slingers, under a female artist that went by the name of Angel but then became better known as Leather. His respect for the art form and the business primarily derived from the experience. He stated, “I went through a hell of an apprenticeship!” George Goss gave E-nk Magazine the break-down, “She made me respect art and not the money… She made me draw all day long. I had to draw line drawings about two years straight. And from doing that I just got a love for drawing all the time.” He was doing mainly black and grey work; sometimes her style and sometimes his style. George Goss now does a lot of portrait tattoo art. Looking at his work in the photo gallery of All-OutTattoo. com, the viewers will find that he is a true artist. The realism of his portraits, the dimension plus creative use of color and in his color tattoos, and the detailed shading variations that he uses within his black and grey art is that of an unquestionably seasoned artist. The true artist in George Goss speaks when he says, “I live for it… probably would die for it.” He stated, “It’s something that stays on my mind every day. Soon as I wake up…
until I go to sleep I’m thinking about pieces I have to do the next day, or how I’m going to color something. It’s just on my mind 24/7. So I actually eat, sleep, and shit this business.” George participated in the Hampton Roads Convention that was in Hampton, Virginia. He has also traveled to San Diego, California where he was embraced with the experience from a different region’s style of tat art. “Their style is way different from the
east coast. They were amazed by our work, and we were amazed by their work. It was two different types of styles. West coast is more traditional.” He expressed the depth of the Hispanic culture or style in California’s tattoo art. Also how the west and east differ even with where they choose to get tatted. George stated, “Like on the east coast you don’t see too many people walking around here with tattoos on the face and their necks. Over there that’s the going thing. It’s not anything gang related, it’s just what they do over there. I love the art that they have over there.” Here on the east, George informed, that women love to get tattoos on their feet. He laughs, “A lot of women come in here and get their feet done.” The foot fetish comes out of the artist as he continues to laugh, “I love when they come in here and say they need their foot done; I be the first person on it!” He says the majority of his male clientele in the Virginia area go more for the military style. “The Navy guys go more traditional with skulls, guns…etc.” His openness for the art form allows him to receive the beauty of the art’s variations. George Goss gives his designs his branded distinction. He stated, “They bring an idea and I try to change it up to make it look even better.” George Goss realizes that his talent is God given and said, “I give all my blessings to God.” He further showed gratitude for others that has supported his destined work. “I have to thank a lot to my apprentices… Brandon Beans and Ashley Rodriguez.” He added to those names… James Rivera, Dominique, Shawn Havron, Jeffrey, Justin… and all that are a part of their artist support group (so to speak) The Black Magic Tattoo Center. George also gives a personal shout out to a talented artist and friend out of Durham,
NC named Todd Eastep at Skin City. The superior tattoo art of George Goss can be part of your body art; just visit George at All-Out Tattoo located at 1540 Azalea Garden Rd.-Suite G, Norfolk, Virginia or call the shop for an appointment at 757-857-4465. There’s a photo gallery of George Goss’ unique and professional tattoo art available on www.All-OutTattoo.com.
undreds of years ago, in the midst of the bloody feudal wars of Japan, a boy was born under a hallowed red moon. Left to fend for himself by his half-wolven parents, the boy was taken in by a band of traveling Ronin and was taught in the ways of the Iron Brush. On a diet of fish heads and rice, he wielded the iron brush with grit and determination, all the while experimenting in various techniques and styles. This boy was working his way into becoming a man... A man who would come to be known as... Cliff Evans. Inevitably, the implementation of automated weapons forced Cliff to travel west and adapt to western culture. His travels brought him to the East Coast of America, where he crafted a modest lodging in the far outskirts of Virginia Beach. He has been spreading the Artwork of the Iron Brush on clients for 14 years and continues to improve and promote his work despite being decrepitly ancient. He currently practices his art form in Norfolk Virginia at Fuzion Ink Tattoo Studio and is currently accepting challengers to his test his Iron Brush technique for themselves. All challenges require a fifty dollar deposit, which is applied to the final cost of the tattoo. Konichiwa, bitches.
rom his humble beginnings in Crown Point Indiana to his hectic Navy family moving lifestyle, Drew “Drewski” Elish has come a long way to be where he is now. Resettling in Virginia in the midst of middle school, Drew had to adapt to his new environment early; and he did. Now as the youngest of 11 artists at Fuzion Ink Tattoo Studio in Norfolk Virginia, Drew’s not just adapting, he’s setting a new stylistic standard. Whether it be through artwork showing at local art shows or through one of his unmistakeable tattoos; People are definitely starting to notice. “I’d say my ‘style’ is a Japanese-inspired pool of finger waves, an animated nightmare filled with skulls and winged creatures, and occasionally a nice girly flower.” says Elish. “My inspirations in the art world are my mentors, cartoons, surf art, Jeff Gogue, Juan Salgado, Victor Portugal, Drew Bophy, Kyle Cotterman and Timmy B.” With so many influences coming from so many sources, Drew’s style continues to evolve and meld a path to a bright and creative future. He’s only three years in, and already causing a commotion. Whether at Fuzion Ink or at one of the many convention he attends, Drewski will continue to carve out a special niche in the tattoo industry for himself; and he’ll make it look amazing.
en Johnson, owner of Virginia Beach Ink (located at 612 Nevan Road, VA Beach, VA), opened the tattoo studio November 15, 2008. When the studio first opened to the public Ben, who is a Virginia Beach police officer started the business with Greg Hayes. Ben and Greg both had worked on the police force and were in search of opening a business together. The two had bounced around a few ideas but after Ben, along with his son, attended a tattoo party, the idea of opening a studio became the one that the two entrepreneurs unanimously agreed upon. The two opened Virginia Beach Ink, but soon after, partner Greg succumb to cancer. This was emotionally devastating for Ben and it also left the business management team with a void. Ben turned to his friend Terry, who had a daughter that was thinking about changing her career path. After some negotiating and deliberating, Tiffany joined the Virginia Beach Ink team as manager. “I jumped ship and came over here,” she said happily with no sound of regret. The business startup for Virginia Beach Ink obviously had its hurdles due to the unexpected loss of partner, Greg. Nonetheless, Ben rebuilt the business and with the dedicated support of family
friend, Tiffany, Virginia Beach Ink was able to uplift and bring masterful body art to the Hampton Roads Area. Ben, who wears an attractive collage of tattoos on each arm stated, “I’m one of the few out here that are owned by non-artists.” Even though he is not an artist himself, it is obvious the tattoo studio owner has a passion for the art itself. “Yeah I have a love for it,” Ben rubs across his artfully detailed body exhibition, “I have about 22 tattoos.” He admits “I’ve always liked tattoos I just never thought I would get into the business itself.” Ben told ENK Magazine, “We originally started out with just tattoos, and then in June 2009 added piercing. Since then we have really grown.” With the piercing came two new employees to add to the roster so the amount of space we had available became tight. In the spring of 2010 the neighboring hair salon became available so they made a leap of faith and decided to expand the shop. Ben explained, “We expanded the shop by adding an extra 1200 square feet to our business which has been great! We cut through the wall and we put piercing on one side and kept tattoo on the other side.” With the new available space Virginia Beach Ink has also added new jewelry and clothing. We are pleased to have working with us Sourpuss Clothing and Hardknox Clothing. The renovation worked out well because the piercing clientele can get pretty busy. “We have a lot of business when it comes to piercing….piercing is a great part of our business as well,” manager Tiffany responded to ENK Magazine’s question of
the comparability of the duo services. Virginia Beach Ink has two piercers, John Fauls and Kat B. John Fauls has been piercing over a decade and has the years of experience and training to back up his piercings. Kat B has been piercing since 2004 and she enjoys doing micro dermals but finds that other piercings are just as fun. Virginia Beach Ink is one of the specified shops that do the micro dermal piercings. The popularity of micro dermal piercing is gaining fast, and Virginia Beach Ink has the experts on site to accentuate you with this extremely eccentric form of body art. As for the aftercare of a piercing, Virginia Beach Ink stays up to speed on ways to care of a piercing. Each customer is given verbal instructions as well as an aftercare sheet they can take home. Virginia Beach Ink also offers H2Ocean spray and green soap as an option for an aftercare cleaner. H2Ocean combines the mineral enriched value of sea salt and the antibacterial properties of lysozyme to develop safe, effective and natural aftercare products that are patented and protected under federal laws. The artists at Virginia Beach Ink are talented in what they do. The shop has 6 tattoo artists: Carson Ellen, Shannon Reed, Dominick Taylor, James Rivera, Nikki Canady, and Eric Rodriguez. Carson Ellen has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, from Norfolk State University. Carson prefers to tattoo portraits, realism, black and grey, and color and enjoys working in other mediums as well. “I’ve been making beautiful tattoos and people cooler for the past three years and enjoying every minute of it, and looking forward to the future of tattooing,” says Carson. Shannon Reed has been tattooing for over 3 years. Shannon really enjoys tattooing traditional pieces as well as traditional inspired pieces, although she can work with other styles. Shannon states “The bold with hold.” Dominick Taylor was originally from
Baltimore, Maryland and is a full custom tattoo artist blending his backgrounds in his award winning original paintings and graphic art. Dominick’s paintings have been seen on the Virginia Beaches own Schmack Clothing and nationally know urban magazines such as Vapors, Source and Complex. Dominick likes to create and push the envelope on all full color, black and grey, and realistic body art while consistently trying to maintain his illustrative style that he displays on skin as well as in galleries. James Rivera has been drawing since he was eating paste in kindergarten. He has always had an appreciation for all forms of art from sculpting to painting and even architecture. James has been tattooing now for over 7 years. He has tattooed people from California to Florida and up to New York. James state “I enjoy placing art on people giving them what they want and can enjoy as well as appreciate for their entire lives and can take with them anywhere.” James can tattoo anything from traditional tattoo art to realism. He enjoys color work, pinups, black and grey and just about anything. “Bring it, I’ve got you,” quoted James. Nikki Canady has been tattooing over 8 years. Nikki has won several tattoo awards in best large tattoo, best black and grey and best overall. Nikki was also featured in an article in 2003 in The Daily Advance Newspaper in
Albemarle, North Carolina as the “Teen Tattoo Queen” by the age of 17. Nikki enjoys doing all styles of tattoos from portraits, fine detailed black and grey, to cover ups. Nikki quoted “with imagination comes no limitation.” Eric Rodriguez has been tattooing for about two half years and attended VCU. Eric is really into a style of tattooing that is a good mix of illustrated images and realism. He enjoys tattooing black and grey as much as color. “Each of our artists has something great to bring to the table and a customer is guaranteed to find someone at Virginia Beach Ink that fits their style they may be looking for,” stated Tiffany. Virginia Beach Ink is growing into their deserved respect. One of their employees, Jamie Shorts, made the cover of Tattoo Magazine; as well as two of Virginia Beach Ink artists Nikki and Shannon were also mentioned within the write up…..all representing Virginia Beach Ink. Jamie is currently working with Hardknox Clothing and in the future INK Magazine. The tattoo studio also makes attending and participating in tattoo conventions and shows a priority. This keeps Virginia
Beach Ink on top of the tattoo business. Virginia Beach Ink has recently attended a tattoo convention in Hampton and in Cape Fear, North Carolina. After going through all of the trials of starting the shop and then to have to restart the business from scratch there was a strong will to continue what Ben and his partner Greg had started. The loyalty and trustworthiness of shop manager Tiffany, along with Ben’s determination, and their talented team of artists and piercers as well as our front desk staff Virginia Beach Ink has been gifted with, guarantees Virginia Beach Ink is sure to be an ever growing tattoo establishment. Virginia Beach Ink is run as a family business with everyone involved acting like family and we have a lot of fun doing so! Stay tuned because you never know what will be coming next from Virginia Beach Ink. To stay informed you can friend Virginia Beach Ink Tattoo and Piercing Studio on facebook for daily specials and news.
helly from Rocksteady Tattoo spoke with Enk magazine to enlighten us on the tat and piercing services they have available at their easy to find location; 2525 W. Mercury Blvd, in Hampton, Virginia. Positioned in the heart of Hampton you can find the tattoo shop that owner and tattoo artist, Michael Higgins (who has been drawing art for over 25 years), opened over 3 years ago. Shelly speaks for the shop owner, “The whole art aspect of it was something that he really loved and he latched onto tattooing and never went back. He just kept getting better and better.” When looking at some of the reviews of this shop you can tell
that the artwork done is that of expertise. One review from The Insider read, “I got my third tattoo from Rocksteady and each time has been better than the last. Great shop great people I’m highly satisfied.” Another read, “Thanks to the hard work of Mike, we can now have an upper class tattoo parlor that is friendly to walk into and that supplies nothing but a great wide variety of artists and work.” It’s easy to see some of the studio’s amazing work; just go to Youtube and type in Rocksteady Tattoo. The slideshow reveals one after another colorful pieces of body art that could rank highly at any competition. Enk Magazine chatted with Rocksteady Tattoo’s
piercer and tattoo apprentice, Shelly, to get more details on what make patrons leave from their shop with the highest of praise and immediately make plans to return. Nine tattoo artists, one piercer (Shelly), and one piercing apprentice makes up the Rocksteady Tattoo team. Shelly who has five years experience with piercing explains how she entered into the world of body art. For her it began with the form of piercing. She said, “It was something that always held my attention. It was really the only thing I could focus on. I was pretty driven about the piercing thing, and now I am kind of floating towards tattooing.” The art aspect of tattoos has been growing into this professional piercer’s interest. As she currently is a tattoo apprentice under shop owner Michael Higgins, she is emerging into a double threat within the business of body art. She states to Enk Magazine, “It’s a little more challenging and it’s a lot more diverse.” Shelly has worked at various shops within Virginia as well as North Carolina, but has found Rocksteady Tattoo as her home. Enk magazine asked Shelly were there any body parts that Rocksteady Tattoo would not do. She replied, “Of cause each artist has their own take on that. It’s really to each their own. Some of them are kind of weary about faces. We try to talk people out of getting their faces tattooed just because it’s such a long term thing. Facial tattoos will start to blur out over time. If somebody really wants it, we will explain to them the risk of getting it done… how it’s going to impact getting a business job and things of that nature. Other than that it’s not really a whole lot of parts on the body that we won’t tattoo.” The shop will do cover-ups for customers that have changed their minds on a previous tat. She informed the details of that procedure. “The number one thing that we cover or try to fix is like tribal or names. When we do cover ups we want it to look like it’s not a cover up. Something like that you normally have to do something two or three times the size of the original tattoo.
When it came to different styles of tattoo work Shelly’s favorite is that of the Japanese Traditional. “I think it flows very nice,” Shelly expressed. “You got the finger-waves and the wind-bars… everything just flows really well when you put it all together.” Shelly also told Enk Magazine of one recent memorable tattoo done in the Rocksteady Tattoo studio by artist Demon Dean. She explained, “He’s been tattooing for years and years; at least 15 years… maybe even 20. He does realism black and grey portraits, and he did a portrait of Stevie Nicks on my piercing apprentice’s leg. It was just awesome!” Next I wanted to find out more about Rocksteady Tattoo’s additional service. I would like to call it Shelly’s baby… the piercing service at Rocksteady. Shelly does the traditional piercing all the way to the dermal (a form of modblog) technique. Shelly gives me a look into her world of piercing, “There’s a couple different ways of doing them. Cervix piercing... It’s like a cervix bar that runs in the skin. I only like to put them in certain areas because if they don’t heal properly they will leave bad scars. Micro-dermal I found doesn’t leave as bad of scar tissue. I’ve seen cervix piercing, whether I did it or another piercer did it, on the chest and on the hip reject. And as far as your lower back; people always want cervix piercings on their lower back. I just tell them to get micro-dermal. You wouldn’t want a flat bar going over your spine obviously.” She stated about the micro-dermal, “They allow more movement in high motion areas. They’re a little bit more versatile. If you snag it you can kind of push on it and it’ll pop back in. They take minimal time to heal for the most
part; as long as they’re taking care of with the right aftercare. Microdermals are pretty cool. They’re super tiny and the piercing itself, most people don’t complain of them being very painful. Maybe a little more so on the lower back. Usually people sit for them very well and they’re equally just as quick as a regular piercing. A lot of piercers will try to use needles. I prefer miltex sterile biopsy punch.” Rocksteady Tattoo has participated in several body art conventions and shows. Shelly says, “We try to as much as possible. These guys have a lot of clientele… they stay pretty busy; but when we can attend a convention we definitely try to if they’re in our traveling range. We went to Philadelphia last year. That was awesome! We did the Hampton Roads Convention this year. It was just awesome because it was the first annual Hampton Roads convention. It had a really good turn-out.” Rocksteady Tattoo is the place to go when you want individuality combined with superb experience in body art. Shelly put it perfectly when she said, “We’re just trying to do good work
and we work hard. We don’t have much flash up in our shop. It’s just mostly our work. If someone comes in and wants something specific then we will do it; but we try to give everyone custom tattoos so nobody is walking around with something that ten thousand other people have.”
nk Magazine spoke with Lisa Harrison; an artist and the owner of All-Out Tattoo that is located on Azalea Garden Rd. in Norfolk, Virginia. The Norfolk tattoo studio has been in existence since September 29, 2007. Lisa wanted to open up her own shop so that she could exhibit her art and learn how to tattoo. She had always been a canvas artist that had a love for body art. “I didn’t know how to tattoo before I opened my shop. I was more of an enthusiast,” she explained. “I wanted to open up a totally different kind of shop where customers feel welcomed when they come in the door.” Lisa believes in a business to have superb customer service. “I had been to other tattoo shops in the area and out of town too… they were just so rude. They didn’t recognize you when you walk in the front door. When you got a tattoo they really didn’t talk to you. They just had that cold feeling.” Lisa Harrison relays to E-nk Magazine the customers’ feedback when she said, “We’ve even had clients say that they appreciate not having to stand up for twenty minutes and not being recognized.” All-Out Tattoo has several promotional rewards to show appreciation for their patrons. One of the incentives is the customer rewards program. Every time a customer comes into All-Out Tattoo to receive service, the visits are accumulated. Once the client receives four tats then that customer will be given either a discount on the next service or a free tattoo. The shop has another program called the Friend Referral program. Customers are given five referral cards, and once the shop gets those five cards back through the referred customer, then the referring customer receives a phone call letting them know that that have just got their self a free $100 tattoo. Lisa stated, “It’s about giving back to the customer… they’re the ones that keep our door open.” The talented tattoo artists that make up All-Out Tattoo have walked into the shop’s door after being carefully chosen, and the work has been observed through their portfolio. Each artist specializes in various styles, making sure that there is always
someone within the All-Out Tattoo studio that will be able to deliver whatever your flavor. AllOut Tattoo also has an apprenticeship program for budding tattooists. Lisa informed the details of the program, “We bring them up from the ground up and they end up staying with you.” I previously had the opportunity to speak with Shawn Havron, who is one of the tattoo artists that went through the apprenticeship, and now is a licensed artist at All-Out Tattoo for a year. Shawn suggests that people should get into a shop before they even pick up a tattoo machine, because otherwise they are going to be learning the wrong way. Shawn Havron said, “You know the things that you’re doing look nice but they don’t look perfect. When you come to a place where there are people that have been doing it [professionally] a longtime, and did come up
the correct way, then you basically see everything that you were doing was wrong… and that there are sometimes easier ways to accomplish what you’re trying to do with a better outcome.” The apprenticeship program at All-Out Tattoo is thorough and extensive. Shop owner Lisa added more insight on their program’s success. “We get apprentice and bring them up from the ground up and they end up staying with us.” Lisa expresses her feelings about the environment at All-Out Tattoo as a humble one. “It’s not crazy or anything. Everybody seems to be upbeat.” She also had mentioned about the staff ’s rapport amongst each other. “We all get together… we became friends. We’ll hang out. We go fishing. We go shoot pool together. We don’t talk shop; we just go let our hair down together.” The environment is also a very safe one. Lisa makes
sure that all of the shop’s safety and legal requirements are met. She is very detailed with making sure everything is in order. Lisa ensures, “The Norfolk Health Department comes out monthly. We’re always good.” When other shops fail the monthly and annual checks, All-Out Tattoo always passes with flying colors. “It’s just making sure that you are following all of the guidelines,” Lisa Harrison explains. “The frustrating part is that other shops are not. I wish that everyone would be mandated to be incompliance so that it’s straight up across the board.” The clientele that comes into All-Out Tattoo varies. It has a big part to do with the fact that the All-Out Tattoo artists are collectively skilled in every aspect of tattooing. Lisa states, “I have an artist for any area of tattooing. I have a one that does portraits, I have a guy that specializes in color, one with black and grey, I have a couple that can do either one, traditional, cover-ups… we can pretty much cover any of it.” Lisa finds the best thing that has come out of
operating All-Out Tattoo is meeting many people and putting that smile on their faces. “People come in and are so happy of how their tattoo came out that they smile… they cry.” She added, “I’m a people’s person so it’s just seeing the reactions on their face!” All-Out Tattoo makes it fun but professional. Take a trip to All-Out Tattoo’s website where you can see the exceptional and professional artwork for yourself. Better yet, stop by and get a feel of their entire environment. All-Out Tattoo accepts walk-ins as well as appointments. They are open seven days a week. Monday to Saturday they are available from noon to 10pm; and Sunday from noon to 8pm. ALL-OUT TATTOO: 1540 Azalea Garden Rd.-Suite G, Norfolk, Virginia 757-857-4465 www.All-OutTattoo.com