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Meet Stephen King of King’s Ink in MetroWest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephen King.

Stephen, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After getting a BA in Commercial Art & Illustration, and 13 years of being a graphic designer, I began looking for a career change. Without any formal apprenticeship, I took the necessary medical and safety courses and began teaching myself enough about tattooing to land my first position in a tattoo studio. Over 9 years of experiencing the best and worst aspects of our industry, I improved my skills learned how to (and how NOT to) run a studio. In 2011, I opened my own studio, King’s Ink, which has been going strong ever since.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Most of the struggles I experienced were with peers within the industry. There were a couple shops that ran their business as if it were a crime and were expecting to be shut down at any moment. This created unpleasant environments to work in. This, in turn, led to a lot of back-stabbing and a cut-throat attitude between artists. This negative attitude also exists between some shops.

Many in the business might cite difficulties with health departments, or negative public opinions about the industry as some of their struggles. But I feel the industry lacks a feeling of community, and that affects us all, if only indirectly, by diminishing our public image.

King’s Ink – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
First of all, we try to provide a welcoming environment. I’ve heard too many stories from customers who have left other shops because of the poor way they are treated. ‘Tattitude’. The experience is almost as important as the result. If you get a great tattoo from an artist who also treated you with respect and was friendly, you are going to recall the experience fondly every time you look at your tattoo.

We do a little of everything here at King’s Ink. I personally like Realism and Horror, whether its color or black & grey, but that won’t stop me from doing a full sleeve of flowers if that’s what my customer wants.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Opening day of my own shop was my proudest moment, and scariest. Having always worked for someone else, even before tattooing, it was thrilling to strike out on my own, fully holding the future of my career in my hands every day.

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