Self-described as a little small tattoo shop that’s not fancy or spacious, owner and artist Carolyn Hawkins of Shelton Tattoo, CT., believes a little courtesy can go a long way.
Tell me about your Shelton Tattoo Ct., shop and the artists:
We opened in 2004 and presently have four artists. We do special requests and really try to be well rounded and give people what they are looking for.
Are there any current tattoo trends you advise against?
Writing is not something that lends to a beautiful tattoo and it goes against everything I was taught as an artist. I have to do X amount of damage control or employ a trick or two to jazz it up.
What has your career as a tattoo artist taught you about yourself?
I think I like to really make customers happy.
I’m not a bubbly people person, so I have to find a way to empathize with everyone and find something about them to care about. And then I have to ensure they get a great tattoo.
People need to feel comfortable speaking their mind and I believe they can tell me whatever they want. People getting tattooed should feel that way. You need to be your own best advocate.
How do you feel about the mainstream popularity of tattooing?
It’s a mixed blessing at times. It’s best to really talk to and listen to your artist and achieve a meeting of the minds.
Pinterest tattoos are real cute not always practical.
Inside and between the fingers sounds good on paper, but in reality nine times out of ten the ink doesn’t want to stay. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad tidings.
Describe a time when you believe your tattooing talent truly helped someone:
Anytime someone felt uncomfortable in their body and my tattooing made them feel much better about their self-image.
What is the greatest professional goal you have achieved as a tattoo artist?
Sticking with it for sixteen years and not quitting, going through the ups and downs.
What was it like tattooing in a male dominated industry?
It was interesting and not always positive, not always comfortable, but I persevered.
I really think women are great at this. We have innate skills that make us well suited for the art. We understand beauty and we’re good listeners.
What’s your best advice to aspiring tattooists?
Treat people the way you’d want to be treated. Have courtesy.
You can review Shelton Tattoo CT., check out the artist portfolios or contact the Shelton Tattoo Studio shop by visiting their Member Profile.
Images courtesy Shelton Tattoo Studio