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CHARLIE MURPHY Although Charlie Murphy is a relative newcomer to the industry his work has the mark of an experienced professional. Having entered the business at the young age of twenty, he quickly became known under the tutelage of artist Mike Hynes, out of Jordan New York. Before the tattoo bug bit Charlie he had used graffiti as an artistic outlet. Charlie was born in Media, Pennsylvania, but lived in Hershey until he was thirteen years old, when he then moved to Rockland Maine, the lobster capital of the world. Three years later he moved with his mom and dad to Manlius, a suburb in Syracuse New York. It was here Charlie finished high school with a passion for technical drawing and design. He then moved to Bangor, Maine and went on to complete a year of college with a major in Philosophy, but quickly realized he didn’t want to write books, teach or go pre-law. Charlie left college and moved to Portland, Maine where he began his formal apprenticeship under the watchful eye of Mike Hynes. It was here Charlie learned the basics, setting up and breaking down stations, making stencils and talking to clients as well as getting blood borne pathogen certified. He learned at a time when you had to make the most of the equipment you had, using acetate stencils, all while making sure nearby competitors weren’t going to burn your shop to the ground. It was a time where people weren’t apprenticing anyone just to make a buck, only to give them the boot shortly after, and hands were getting broken if you didn’t pay your dues. A time where artists gave respect in general for those who were in town before them.


“I don’t think I had a real understanding of how lucky I was to meet and be able to hang around someone like Mike and I feel very blessed that I did. I felt like I was being let into something really special and sacred.” Charlie’s down to earth persona and friendly disposition are one of the reasons he is highly regarded among the tattoo community. Since his time as an apprentice, his tastes in styles and tattoos have turned upside down from realistic into more gritty and bold designs.

“I think if you’re going to get a tattoo, don’t be afraid of sending out the wrong message, be yourself and go bold.” His artistic inspiration stems from early American traditional tattoo flash. He is open to new things and loves drawing custom designs as well. Exposed to eastern philosophy at such a young age, it tends to surface in the pieces he creates. He also avidly practices meditation and tries to merge some of that esoteric vibe into his flash work. “Not everything has to be custom. People attach their own meaning to things even if the design had a totally different meaning originally.” After all, if everyone were the same, well, tattooing wouldn’t be very interesting.

Charlie is genuinely passionate about what he does. He’ll even go into the shop on his day off to accommodate a client. He loves walk-in tattoos and meeting various types of people. He does his best to relate to his clients. “We’re all human so we all have something in common,” he says.

He has a huge interest in taboo conversation, such as conspiracy theory, politics or religion, so if you like to talk while getting tattooed, Charlie is your artist. Charlie is also very much into Austrian Economics and the writings of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard. Charlie tattoos larger scale pieces at $100/hr. and everything else he charges by the piece, depending on the size and placement of the tattoo. His personal flash piece rates are less expensive because he truly enjoys tattooing them. For those who are looking for something different and require a unique tattoo, Charlie is more than capable of providing it. You can find him at Built to Last Tattoo in York, Pa.

Follow Charlie's Work: /brianmurphytattoo /Built-To-Last-2

After pursuing a two-year apprenticeship in 2006, York native Kurt Windish gave up his unsatisfying job that failed to challenge or motivate him, to begin his full-time career as a tattoo artist. Sometimes we don’t have enough faith in ourselves, or our creative talents to take the leap we need to take to reach our goals. We look to the people who mean the most to us for advice. This is exactly what Kurt did in 2006. After talking with his wife, he made the decision to become a tattoo artist, and took an adult education course in drawing. Although the class was expensive he did what he felt he needed to do to further his knowledge in Art and sharpen his skills to the best of his ability.

“Choosing a favorite tattoo is always a tough thing. Any time you create something that enhances someone’s life is a favorite.”

Kurt is a young artist specializing in Biomech/Bio organic, Geometric, Bioluminescence and Realism tattoo designs. His least favorite styles are Traditional and lettering tattoos, and although black and grey are easier on his brain, “there is nothing like the fun of an unlimited color palette,” he says. When it comes to theme, Kurt’s choices are organic texture, light source, light-play and color theory.

“I really enjoy organically inspired aesthetic tattooing with light-form or geometric presence. Also realism, I would like to do more character portrait tattoos.” Today people go looking for cheaper rates rather than quality. Kurt goes to great lengths to customize every aspect of a design and experience. He offers a maximized approach to the tattooing experience to usher in a greater understanding for the tattoo enthusiast, collector and artist. These days it’s hard to make every client happy. Some people prefer not to have the kind of service offered by Kurt.

“I find inspiration seeing the amount of work other artist’s put into things. Nature and the mystery of existence are also pretty inspiring.”

Kurt is Blood Bourne pathogen certified and renews every year. Clients usually don’t consider these things when choosing an artist, or the harms of cross contamination. It’s comforting to know the artist tattooing you does. The Ink Well asked Kurt which artists he goes to for his tattoo work. He stated that Wayne King and Brian Geckle are his top two artists. His favorite tattoo, most time spent and enjoyable by far is his upper arm piece done by Geckle out of Flower of Life Tattoos in State College, Pa. If you’re looking for an insane custom design Kurt can usually schedule you in within a week. Expect to pay at least $100/hr. for one of his works of art. /kurt.windish


The Ink Well Magazine


The Ink Well Magazine  
The Ink Well Magazine  

The Ink Well Magazine is a synergistic creative publication that benefits everyone: advertisers, readers, artists, shops and distributors. I...