Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tattoos in Detroit

This past weekend, I attended the Motor City Tattoo Expo in downtown Detroit (Marriott Renaissance Center). I had been jawing with Pennsylvania tattoo artist Josh Bodwell (Facebook, Twitter) for two years or so about the possibility of getting some work done, and this weekend we were finally able to connect.

This wasn't my first tattoo rodeo, but I was nevertheless excited about getting to work with an artist of Bodwell's caliber.

After a six and a half hour sitting (and an infinite amount of patience on the part of my significant other), the following is what he came up with: his interpretation of Plato from Raphael's School of Athens encircled by "Kirby Krackle," the visual representation of cosmic energy first used by legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby).

Needless to say, Bodwell's work is amazing, but what was striking to me is that Bodwell (and every other tattoo artist working the expo) had to be approved to participate in this event. Bodwell told me that Motor City Tattoo Expo is one of the most well-renowned gatherings of tattoo artists in the country, and if you get some work done at this event, in all likelihood, it will be by a top artist.

This event was especially relevant to me because I recently attempted to get another piece done at a local tattoo establishment (which will remain nameless) and was incredibly dissatisfied with their customer service. After a very brief conversation with the person on duty at this local shop, I left and vowed never to come back.So, Damn Arborites, show us your skin! And tell us where you have had great (and not so great) tattooing experiences.


  1. I have 2 great artists. Bill Falsetta at Depot Town tattoos does amazing work - his line work is damn near perfect. I also go to Aaron Ruby at Eternal Tattoos in Livonia and he is such a perfectionist - which is an amazing quality to have in an artist - that he looks up the spelling of every word before he puts it on your body and sets and resets the stencil until it is perfect and you are happy.

  2. Mike Aul at Spiral Tattoo is aces!

  3. Ann Arborites will hate to hear it, but Columbus Ohio is a tattoo mecca.

    High Street Tattoo (particularly Gunnar and Giovani) is top notch, as is Evolved.