Mark McKinnon opened Marked Studios Tattoo in Reno, Nevada to invite artists who are customer focused and driven to cater to clients who seek talent in a comfortable and welcoming establishment.
His professional blend of fun and serious and careful and meticulous, makes Marked Studios a tattoo shop that is quickly attracting a large female demographic that is eagerly booking appointments in his artists' chairs. Here’s why.
What was your main goal when opening Marked Studios Tattoo in Reno,NV.?
Our main goal was to provide a high end and comfortable tattoo shop in Reno, a place that people would go who wouldn’t normally step into to a traditional tattoo shop.
I also built the studio to create a different atmosphere for artists. Most all tattooists have no vacation, no benefits, etc. I am creating comfort, allowing them to do what they love. I pay a base salary plus commission and offer a happy work environment.
How did you get your start in tattooing?
I have been tattooing professionally for five years. I always had an interest in art, so I went to Seattle and planned on using my talent in visual communications, advertising design, or editorial.
I ended up coming home and started back into tattooing. At first I set up a room in my house with all top of the line equipment. I was careful to do everything professionally to avoid being labeled a “scratcher.”
I would work on a strict, rigorous referral basis and meet clients first in coffee shops or other places to go over their tattoo plans. I was extra cautious and careful around my family and my home.
Eventually, I got turned in to the Health Department from my competition and I was forced to open my studio. Everything I do, I do big- so this place houses six or seven artists, and I work diligently to continue refining my skills as a tattoo artist.
What tattooing style do you specialize in?
I love Realism and any form of landscape portraits.
What are the most important skills for an aspiring tattoo artist?
The natural skills are first being an artist and having an eye for design and flow, and being able to draw.
Customer service is the other. Too much focus is often turned on the artist rather than the people paying the bill.
How do you find new inspirations for your tattoo designs?
I am a sponge for information. I’ll search websites, sign up for classes, read books, DVDs, and enroll in webinars to educate myself.
I look at what’s trending, although I don’t want to be influenced by other people’s work, so I don’t like to look at tattoos.
Instead, I’ll look at picture references. So if you come to me with a floral request, look up flowers, not flower tattoos. I try to steer clients away from trends by looking at art.
Your greatest strength:
Dealing with people. I’m a peace maker of relationships. I always strive to be amicable when there’s a mistake or when someone’s unhappy.
Describe Marked Studios in a few words:
Great experience would be the biggest, followed by creativity and cleanliness.
We keep our playlist calm and put people at ease. We’re not playing death rock as we pound your arms or legs. There’s nothing wrong with a little music variety, or playing Mumford and Sons.
You can check out the Marked Studios Tattoo in Reno, NV. Member Profile to review the shop, obtain contact information, or view artist portfolios.
Images courtesy Marked Studios