REEDSPORT — With tattoos becoming an increasingly costly form of expression, a new shop in Reedsport is changing direction and offering artwork most people can afford while taking time to do the best job possible.
Poseidon Ink, on Winchester Avenue, recently opened, helmed by tattoo artist Steven "Stevil Knevil" Hancock. The tattoo parlor's focus will be doing high quality, professional tattoos that won't break the bank and not rushing to complete a piece.
"One thing I've noticed working in all these different shops, sometimes the main drive is a monetary thing," said Hancock. "That's something I am no longer going to focus on. I've decided to put prices at a really attainable rate for most people."
The price cap for tattoos at Poseidon Ink will be $71 per hour. Hancock also offers free touchups on his work. He said people shouldn't have to pay for a tattoo twice.
He explained he set the price where he did to maintain the integrity of the art form. One thing Hancock said he wants to avoid is having to leave a piece incomplete, or denying someone the design they want, because of the cost. Hancock's philosophy is that everyone should be able to get tattoos if they want them.
He said people should be able to afford them, and he should be able to take his time to do a good job.
"I believe it should never be about a title or about money or about racing a clock," Hancock said, recalling reality TV tattooing contests that seem to prize speed over quality.
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Hancock said he learned to tattoo at Lifetime Tattoos in Springfield. He's been tattooing professionally for years and joked he "stopped messing people up really bad around 2002." He added he was lucky, because the company worked with him and made his education possible where it might not have been otherwise. Now he hopes to pay that forward and provide opportunities for others to learn to tattoo.
"I'm gonna try to take that a step further and try to help people," Hancock said.
One of his long term goals is to open a tattooing school to pass on the art form and his traditions to a new generation. There is some work to do first though. In the past, someone could apprentice with a tattoo artist and learn from them as they work, but Hancock said there are now special requirements that have to be met to be certified as an instructor and to qualify to work on people.
He noted lots of artistic talent comes out of the prison system, but former inmates can have a hard time getting back into the work force. He said tattooing gave him the focus and drive to improve his life, and he's confident others can be helped in similar ways. As he gets the school set up, Hancock plans to start looking for people with a talent for the art style and an interest in learning how to tattoo.
The school also would operate with the ideal of affordability, and that there doesn't need to be a huge price tag to learn to tattoo.
People can reach Hancock to set up appointments by calling or texting 541-232-2582 or through the Poseidon Ink facebook page. Hancock also has an Instagram page of his work at StevilKnevil541.