A Day in the Life of a Tattoo Artist

By : Cecil Frazier and Daisia Farley

Canalside Chronicles Staff

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Pain, needles, infection and permanent ink that last on your skin forever. These are some of the negative thoughts that many people have when they hear the word tattoo. People frequently look at tattoos as mistakes, but for some, tattoos are a form of art and a way for an individual to express themselves.

Creative Inking is a well known tattoo shop in the village of Brockport. Students shared that one of the popular artists at Creative Inking has a calm demeanor and he makes them feel at home.  Teddy “Ted” Clarke, tattoo artist at Creative Inking, was originally from New Jersey, but currently resides in Buffalo.

Clarke started his apprenticeship in the year 2000, but he did not actually start tattooing people until 2003. He said that most people have the misconception that all tattoo artists are the same. He explained that every tattoo artist specializes in something different. Clarke specializes in full color, black and grey, tattooing over a previously unwanted tattoo and fine line.

“Once it got much more popular in mainstream it tended to lose a bit of its spark, ” Clarke said when asked about what he disliked about tattooing. He even made a joke by saying a lot of soccer moms get tattoos.

Clarke also described how the tattoo business worked by stating how fast paced it is and how a tattoo artist does not need to stay in a place too long. For the future Clarke does see himself doing tattoos for another 15 years because he said he is too old to do anything else.

Jejchelle Dickenson, a sophomore at The College at Brockport, was eager to get her first tattoo. She started doing her research around the village and she ended up at Creative Inking. She enjoyed the conversation with Clarke and he eventually did her first tattoo. Dickenson was extremely impressed with the work Clarke did on her first tattoo, so she went back for her second one.

Dickenson referred her friend Cassidy Bogle to get her first tattoo done by Clarke. Bogle was apprehensive about getting a tattoo because of the outcome and backlash she anticipated from her parents. However, Clarke assured her that he would do great work and she would love her tattoo.

Bogle said this was the best decision she ever made.

“For each customer I feel Ted can relate to them and help them on any journey,” she said. “He can do anything they are looking for whether it is as big as a lion, or as small as an ant.”   

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Categories: Day in the Life, test

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