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On May 4, 2009…I embarked on a new adventure.  Some say I can never look back.  Once you get one, you will be addicted and will always want to come back for more…..

 Yes, four weeks ago, I bit the bullet and finally got a tattoo, my very first one.  It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time but I just never took the time to get it done nor did I really know which tattoo studio to go to.  My husband has quite a few tattoos, from different places around the world, but I wanted to do something different.  As my friends, family and readers…you all know that I have my own photography business.  In the near future, I would LOVE to take portraits of the average person who has a story to tell with their tattoo.  Or even better, those who really believe that their bodies are a canvas and want the art to portray who they are as a person.  I thought, what better way than to contact a tattoo studio here in Rhode Island to see if they would be interested in bartering services.  I would take portraits of the artists and in return, I would receive a tattoo. 

Now as many of us know, there are hundreds of tattoo studios throughout each state.  How would I narrow it down?  That part was fairly simple.  I first did a search of all the tattoo studios who had a website and viewed their work carefully and compared each one.  There was one who really stuck out amongst the rest.  They are Sin On Skin in Tiverton, RI.  While I was there, I also asked the artists a few questions about themselves and I was able to talk to some of their past clients as well.  I’d love to share with you what I learned:

Sin On Skin 026 (B&W)

Phil Girard is the owner of Sin On Skin.  Phil and his crew have been on nine world tours, winning over 100 awards including National and International magazine covers and spreads.  From the moment you walk into the studio, you can see how much they take pride in their achievements and their work certainly speaks for itself.

Phil used to belong to an outlaw motorcycle club and they encouraged him to tattoo, while practicing on them.  That was the very beginning of  Phil’s passion and career for tattooing.  I had asked Phil if there was a story that stuck with him throughout the many years of tattooing and the first one that came to his mind was one of his first customers got killed in a motorcycle accident.  Phil thought he was young and his tattoo would grow old with him.  Outside of his artistry, Phil loves to spend time anywhere he can find culture.  I was curious to see what other artistic abilities Phil has so I asked him that very question.  It was interesting to find out that he used to be a radio announcer so he likes to believe he has a way with words. 

 Now, as an artist myself, I can most certainly appreciate the next question that I had for him.  I asked Phil what global artist was his inspiration.  Without hesitation, he said the very man who mentored him.  The most famous tattoo artist of all time, Spider Webb…because he is a great, all-around artist and the ultimate showman.

Sin On Skin 010 (CP edited)

Glen, Arias and Jake make up the rest of the crew at Sin on Skin.  I wanted to find out a little bit more about them as well.  I asked each of them who their inspirations were, what made them take their artwork to skin and what was their most memorable request. 

Sin On Skin 003 (B&W)

For Glen, his inspiration is himself.  I think that is well stated and I can admire that.  As an artist, you need to be born with the artistic ability and you grow with the field throughout the years, but you also need to be confident as well.  Growing up, Glen always wanted to get tattoos even before he could even get one.  As a child, he said that a guy would come in to get a haircut and he would always have a new tattoo and would show it to Glen.  He’s been hooked ever since.  For Glen’s most memorable tattoo is definitely one that would be forever remembered.  Glen said that a guy committed suicide in his (Glen’s) backyard on Christmas morning and a year later, on the anniversary…the guys’ sister came to get a tattoo of her brother’s name and date of his birthday on her wrists.  It was then that Glenn found out that her brother was the man that he found. 

 Sin On Skin 017 (B&W)

For Arias, his inspiration is Phil (owner) because his work is inspiring and he’s a cool guy to be around.  Arias decided to take his artwork to skin after he got tired of drawing on paper and practicing on his friends.  The most memorable tattoo for Arias so far has been when both he and Phil free-hand drew a tattoo together of skulls, bones and smoke on a client.

 Sin On Skin 007 (B&W)

For Jake, his inspiration is his uncle (Glen) and Phil (his mentor).  If it wasn’t for them, he wouldn’t be doing what he loves to do.  Jake has known ever since he was a child that he knew he wanted to be a tattoo artist because he was always around his uncle and that’s where his passion began.  The most memorable tattoo for Jake so far was “Scalpels Aint Shit” on the side of an operation scar, down the middle of his stomach. 

Sin on Skin is located at 2 Main Rd, Tiverton RI and you can view their website at:

Sin On Skin 012 (cmyk CP)



  1. You did a great job on the story and pics!

  2. I would love to come in and get a cover up on my back.. Just a butterfly average size. My brother Eddie and Nephew say you’re the best. Looking forward to being a customer!!! What time do you open?

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