Business Reviews

Icon Tattoo - Quality Sevice & Repair

Written by  February 29, 2004

When I first set foot inside the door at Icon Tattoo in Blue Springs, Missouri, I was taken back by how modern and clean everything appeared. In one corner of the waiting area you'll find a couple of full-size video games and a full-size statue of Captain Morgan, which just happens to be my drink of choice. Down both walls of the shop you find row after row of neatly arranged tattoo samples.

Denny opened his shop two years ago after working at several well known tattoo studios in Kansas City, including Grimms, Exile and Irezumi Body Art. Denny and Brian are the only tattoo artists in Blue Springs, which keeps them hopping. Denny informed me that tattoo shops have become the fifth fasting growing business in the United States.

Denny took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to sit down for an interview to tell me about Icon Tattoo.

CC: How did you get started in the tattoo business?

Denny: My brother is a tattoo artist and he introduced me to the art?

CC: What makes Icon stand out from other tattoo studios?

Denny: Low production and we specialize in custom tattoos. We do flash as well, but we really enjoy custom work?

CC: What should someone look for when choosing a tattoo artist?

Denny: Anyone who is interested in getting a tattoo should do their homework first. Always ask to see the tattoo artist’s portfolio and make sure they are licensed with the state. In the last six months, the state of Missouri now requires all tattoo artists to have a business license. Also make sure the tattoo artist uses new needles and you see them actually take them out of the sealed package. Believe it or not, there are some tattoo artists who reuse their needles. What most people don’t know is that most tattoo studios are actually cleaner than your doctor's office.

CC: What percent of your customers are men versus women?

Denny: I’d say about 70 percent of our clients are women?

CC: Where and what are the most popular designs for women these days?

Denny: The most popular spot is the lower back. Tribal is real popular as well as flowers. Large traditional tattoos are also back in.

CC: Where do most of your customers come from?

Denny: Most are from here in the Blue Springs area, however we have clients who come from all over the Kansas City area. We just had a lady who flew all the way in from Florida for a tattoo. We occasionally get customer from Oklahoma because they are one of the few remaining states where tattooing is illegal.

CC: Do you tattoo many bikers?

Denny: Yes, I’d say at least 10-15 percent of my customers ride. I’ve tattooed several Freedom of Road Riders members. Word spreads fast.

CC: What changes have you seen in the tattoo industry over the past few years?

Denny: There are more and more artists who are doing tattoos as another form of artistic expression.

CC: How many tattoos does the average person usually get?

Denny: It’s funny because most people start out wanting only one, but before long, they want more and more. It’s kind of addicting.

CC: Are there any body parts you won’t tattoo for a customer?

Denny: I won’t do the neck unless the customer already has a full sleeve because I feel you have to earn it. I also try to discourage younger kids and adults from getting finger tattoos or tattoos on other exposed areas, which I call job stoppers. You wouldn’t believe, even in this day and age, how many people still look down on tattoos.

CC: Do you offer body piercing?

Denny: Yes. We use hollow single use needles, which is much clean and safer than piercing guns you see used in a lot of mall locations. We even started a petition with the state to ban the use of piercing guns.

A few customers came into the shop looking for tattoos so I figured it was time to wrap up the interview so Denny could get back to business. So the next time you want a great tattoo from someone you can trust, stop by Icon Tattoo, which is located at 1412 G SW 7 Highway in Blue Springs, Missouri or give them a call at 816-220-8281 to schedule an appointment.

Story and photos by Mike Schweder

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