I had been long overdue for some new ink and have used a couple of different shops in the past.  The first was in Springfield, Illinois where I learned what I don't like in an artist.  After a couple more tats locally I took a break from new ink for a while, taking my time to figure out what I wanted to get done.  I knew my next piece was something I wanted to really be proud of, something that would catch someone's eye.

A friend of mine had told me a while back that his son had a shop called Living Art.  I had heard the name but didn't know much more.  I did some reading up on them and was pretty impressed.  Then I stopped into the shop and the atmosphere was extremely welcoming.  I got the tour and saw the view....Wow!  The Picture doesn't do it justice.  Talk about a relaxing view while new art is being created.

View while being inked at Living Art Studio

Living Art has several artists to chose from, all high caliber with their own unique styles.  Chris Owen the owner, Josh Kirkpatrick, Josh Crotty(who I swear has inked half of the people in the area who have ink), Joe Penn, and Adam Kemptar.  The artist I chose was Chris Owen.  I brought in about 10 pictures of ideas to have Chris build a sleeve out of.  I am so bad at drawing that I mess up stick figures so I presented him with my vision and told him to roll with it.  We decided to work on only half of the half sleeve which would still get us a nice completed piece for my annual bike show I put on, and wouldn't have me in the chair for 12 hours in one sitting.

I went in the morning of my appointment and saw his drawing for the first time.  It was exactly what I had envisioned!

Just starting on the outline

I like guns, and Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver are in my top 5 favorite groups, so we started with a very detailed revolver and roses.  Chris and myself agreed that it had to be detailed as I've seen some pistols inked on people before and detail is what they lacked, plus I knew more detail would fit the eye catching piece criteria I wanted.

Shading the Revolver

Chris was great for conversation during the process, cranks the music of your choice, and is constantly checking to see if a break is needed to keep you comfortable.  He is just a real straight shooting guy doing what he loves, creating art.  It really is the best inking experience I have had yet.

Still need to shade the roses and add white to the revolver

Total time was just shy of 6 hours and that included a few breaks mixed in.  I am beyond thrilled at how it turned out.  Chris decided to throw in white to add even more detail to the revolver, these photos don't do it justice.

Completed work

If you are looking for ink in a relaxing atmosphere with a view, at a place with amazingly talented artists, where by the time it's done you feel like family, go see the crew at Living Art Studio, located at 724 East Superior Street in Duluth. If you want to see more of their work, you can find some on their Facebook page or on their website.