Owner of A Different Image Tattoo shop in Midwest Oklahoma, Tony Garcia is a firm believer that if you ask the right questions, you can create something beautiful. Working hard and staying humble, Tony believes kindness keeps customers coming back.
Tell me about your shop and the artists:
We’ve been open over 7 years. We actually had to change the laws of the shop when we opened.
The city had placed a 1000 foot rule on tattoo shops, meaning we couldn’t be within that distance to any schools, etc.
I did some research and found that the liquor stores and strip clubs could be within 780 feet of these locations. Basically tattoo shops were treated as if we were sex offenders or drug dealers.
I think we’re changing that image. We have five artists here willing to put out the absolute best customer service in this industry.
My favorite moments are when an elderly person randomly compliments our tattoos. They’re starting to appreciate tattoos as an art.
What strengths set you apart from other tattoo artists or Oklahoma tattoo shops?
I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make people happy.
What tattooing style do you specialize in?
I really love Realistic tattooing.
What’s the most interesting part of your job?
Really just listening to people’s stories and then taking their words and putting them into imagery.
How would you describe Oklahoma tattoo shop A Different Tattoo?
Well first, we’re different. I’d say we’re inviting and warm with a very open atmosphere.
We listen to all different types of music and play a variety. It’s not just rock or hip hop here. We also have a pretty even demographic of clientele, roughly 50% men and 50% women.
What are some of the current tattoo design trends in your Oklahoma tattoo shop?
Our clients usually give us artistic freedom so they’re not really set on their designs. We often take the popular Pinterest tattoos that customers come in with, and steer them away from copying them in exactness. We can take these to get an idea and still make it different and unique.
What has being a tattoo artist taught you about yourself?
To stay humble. Whenever people praise my work they might say “You’re awesome.” I always reply “No I’m just Tony.”
Have you ever tattooed something on someone that you later regretted? What was it?
No not anything that I’ve personally regretted, but I’ve.covered up tattoos on people that have later changed their mind. I won’t do hate, gang related, sacrilegious or genital tattoos.
Describe a time you where you believe your talent truly helped someone?
Once a gentleman came after his four year old son had passed away. He wanted to get the typical R.I.P. tattoo and I said let’s make it happy instead. Tell me about your son.
Turns out his boy loved the beach, so we did a beach scene with a sunset, four rays of light for his age, four seagulls, and the silhouette of this little boy.
Rather than take a bad memory of death, I try to make happy memorials. If you want to share your story with people who ask about your tattoo, you can. Or you can keep the significance private. I think that’s healing.
When you aren’t tattooing, you can be found…
Painting, adventuring in car audio and spending time with my wife.
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Images courtesy A Different Image Tattoo