Located in Keansburg NJ, East Coast Ink and Body Piercing is home to an Old School tattooist and a master in Black and Grey.
Working alongside owner and professional body piercer Heidi Bird, there’s over 40 years of combined tattooing experience between TBone Merullo and Marvin Moskowitz.
Heidi Bird took a moment to speak with me and shared the latest in New Jersey body piercing trends and tattoo designs.
How do both of your shop tattooists get inspired for their work?
"They’re very talented in Old School tattoo designs, Black and Grey, Japanese, Realism portraits and floral tattoos.
TBone Merullo draws. If you bring him a design he’ll sort of go off of that and create a custom piece. He’s been doing this for over 25 years. Marvin works off of flash. He’s a Traditional Old School tattoo artist. His grandfather was a tattooist and was taught by Charlie Wagner, so that’s pretty much his style. Bill Jones is one of his favorite flash artists."
What are currently the most popular body piercings in New Jersey at the East Coast Ink shop?
“For certain it’s belly piercings, microdermals and nose piercings”
How long does a microdermal body piercing last?
“A microdermal body piercing is a semi-permanent body piercing. As the skin sheds its outermost layer every 28 days, the piercings draws closer to the surface and eventually the anchor becomes visible. They can last several years, I had one customer who came in who had her microdermals 5 years later. I guess her skin didn’t shed as much? I don’t know. It’s unique and individual for each person."
Describe a time you where the tattoo artist talent at East Coast Ink truly helped someone?
"TBone makes people cry all the time. This past time it was a woman with a cover-up session. They were happy tears."
What are the most covered-up tattoos in the industry?
"Name tattoos. Our joke has always been we’ll see you in six weeks to cover it up."
What is the greatest professional goal you have achieved as a professional body piercer and body modification artist?
"I’m actually kind of quiet and keep to myself."
When you aren’t working at East Coast Ink, Heidi Bird can be found doing what?
"I’m usually acting on television shows and in movies. I’ve had roles in Person of Interest, Blue Blood, White Collar, Gossip Girl, and Mr. Popper’s Penguins, amongst many others. I mostly work right here in the city."
To review, book an appointment or view the artist galleries, be sure to visit East Coast Ink’s Member Profile
Images courtesyEast Coast Ink and Body Piercing