Tell me about your shop and the artists:
The more years go on, the harder this one is to summarize, and that’s not a bad thing.
Off the Map Tattoo stemmed from TattooNOW.com which is the tech-y side of the business where we produce website, apps, DVD’s, webinars and more for tattooists all over the world.
Gabe Ripley, founder of TattooNOW and Off the Map, opened our first location located in Easthampton, MA in December of 2005.
One of the most unique parts of Off the Map is our plethora of guest artists that travel to our studios from all over the country, and the world. As connections and business progressed our first partnership and second location came to fruition in March of 2012 when we joined forces with Jeff Gogue to open up in Grants Pass, OR.
Fast forward another year, and we were flying to Italy to celebrate our third location in Cervignano de Fruili with our Italian partner, Alex De Pase.
If that wasn’t enough, we also put on our event producer hats to facilitate the Paradise Tattoo Gathering, the Paradise Artist Retreat. Don’t like to leave the comfort of your own home? No worries, we have something for you too. We also produce bi-weekly webcasts featuring artist interviews, convention coverage and more.
You can find full details on that on TattooNOWTV.com! There’s never a shortage of exciting things happening around these parts, and luckily we have a phenomenal support staff and team of artists to keep all the wheels turning!
You currently manage Off the Map, how did you become interested in the tattoo industry?
I had always been taken by body modification from a young age, and as I grew older my intrigue started shifting more from piercings to tattoos. Quite honestly, it was working at Off the Map that really caused my interest to flourish and greatly expanded my knowledge of the entire tattoo industry and culture.
I never planned on working in a tattoo studio, and never really viewed it as more than a fascination, but after I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management at UMass Amherst in 2006, I pretty quickly realized a regular 9-5 wasn’t going to keep me professionally or personally fulfilled. A happy sequence of events later, I interviewed for the position and was hired on the spot. A few days later, I gave my notice at my “real life job” and haven’t looked back since.
What tattooing styles do your artists specialize in?
In Easthampton, MA, the “flag ship location” and shop I spend the majority of my time in, we have 7 full time artists and over 40 guest artists every year. While it’s hard to successfully offer every niche and style of tattooing, we certainly do everything we can to attempt it!
We have artists specializing in everything from black and grey realism, to bold, colorful illustrative and new skool tattooing, to dot work and good old traditionally inspired tattooing.
How does your staff find new design inspirations?
Our clients! We are really lucky to have an area filled with creative clients that are thoughtful with their ideas and tattoo concepts.
More often than not our clients come in with great inspiration and let our artists do the rest! It’s really the combination and teamwork of our wonderful, willing clientele matched with our talented artist pool that results in the unique, custom tattoos we are able to produce on a daily basis.
What are some of the current requested design trends at your shop?
Dot work, oftentimes including geometric patterns and “watercolor” tattoos have been trending here lately. We’ve also had a ton of space related tattoos! Those are always a fun concept to see executed, especially in the varying styles of tattooing.
Describe a time you where you believe the talent at Off the Map Tattoo Shop in Easthampton, MA truly helped someone?
The most notable would easily be our annual charity days. For these events we take a day, where the shop & staff all donate their time and 100% of money made, tips included, to the determined charity for that year.
To date we have raised over $10,000 through these successful events. We started with a fundraiser for the Gulf Coast Oil Spill in 2010. The following year we did Harry Potter tattoos for the Children’s Literacy Program at our local library. Our third event was Food Tattoos for Hunger. All proceeds were donated to the local food bank. Most recently we did Animal Tattoos for Endangered Species and donated to our local wildlife preservation.
Describe Off the Map in a few words:
More than you would expect from a tattoo studio.
When you aren’t managing the tattoo studio, you can be found:
On low key days, hanging out with my fiancé, and our continuously growing fur family.
We always enjoy our diverse local community that has really incredible restaurants, bars to indulge in, and great trails to run, bike or hike it off! On more remarkable days, playing in the air on aerial silks or running an obstacle course race.
To view artist portfolios, contact information or to review Off the Map Tattoo Shop in Easthampton, MA, be sure to visit their Member Profile.
Images courtesy Off the Map Tattoo