Permanently yours: tattoos in Greenville
For many, college is a time for starting over, trying new things and rebelling from our parents. It’s when we really start to value our individuality, self-expression and going against the grain. It’s also a time when we are either turning 18 or already there. What does this all add up to? Students flocking to tattoo parlors and getting inked.
Really, tattoos are no longer even taboo. CBS News reported that 23 percent of college students have one to three tattoos, and 51 percent are pierced beyond the ears.
As tattoos become more common, students have much more freedom in how they want their piece to look. But before you flock to the nearest parlor and pick a tattoo off the wall, check out a few of these local shops.
They are new to the area, but definitely not new to the art. Déjà Vu just opened up shop in September, located in the Wal-Mart shopping center.
They have four artists with a combined 25 years of experience. Sessho-Lavvish, one of their artists, said they are all pretty well rounded, but specialize in photo-realism and custom drawings, all available in black and grey or color.
Their shop minimum for tattoos is $50. Any tattoo placed on the neck or above, the minimum is $80. They also offer a 10 percent student discount for tattoos and piercings.
They take walk-ins, but recommend appointments for larger pieces. “This season everybody is pretty booked, so just try to come in as soon as you can,” Lavvish said.
Déjà vu offered some advice: “just get something that looks cool,” Lavvish said, because meaning changes.
“The person you were five years ago isn’t who you are today,” Lavvish said. “So just get art.”
Garry’s Skin Grafix
The oldest shop in town. They are located downtown on Evans Street with another shop on Memorial Drive. They have three artists and one piercer.
“We are all artists here, so if you want something, we can do it,” said piercer David Porter. “We’re not just sticking with old school or just this style…it’s all around.”
They used to do hourly rates, but they’ve switched over to going by piece, which is $50 minimum for tattoos, and $40 for piercings.
Walk-ins are welcome, but it’s first come, first serve—opposed to the other shop on Memorial, which only takes appointments.
Porter also offered some advice and said you’ve got to be careful getting pierced in Pitt County because they are no regulations whatsoever.
“It’s kind of scary that anybody can do it, and then you have other shops popping up left and right,” Porter said. “They don’t know what they’re doing and they don’t care.”
Porter assures he has every type of certification you can get.
They first opened downtown on 5th Street in 1995, but they’re not the same ole’ shop today. Almost a year ago they went under new management with all new staff.
New owner and head piercer Tex has a lot of big plans for the shop, including adding more booths to the four they already have.
Currently, Cape Fear has three artists, but Tex—who has been piercing for more than 20 years–will have his license to tattoo in April.
Tex said everything done in the shop is original; nothing is flashier, everything that comes in is tweaked to be original.
“They don’t want you to walk around with something that a 1,000 or more people have,” Tex said. “They want you to walk around with an original piece of artwork.”
They have a $60 minimum for tattoos. The shop takes walk-ins, but they also recommend appointments if you don’t want to wait.
Tex said there is one thing though: they don’t rush.
“People come in here and they want it to be like McDonalds,” Tex said. “If you’re in a hurry, go somewhere else, because we’re not going to be rushing…we want it done right.”
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