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Tag Archives: Sin on Skin

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: www.myspace.com/sinonskinri

Sin On Skin 012 (cmyk CP)

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I was lucky enough to be able to meet and talk to some past clients of Sin on Skin in Tiverton, RI.  I wanted to find out what they thought of their overall experience so I asked each of them the same questions:

~ What helped you decide to choose Sin on Skin for your tattoo?

~ Did you come here with an idea for your tattoo or did you let the artist come up with an idea?

~ Were you here for a sentimental piece or for something that represents you?

~ How do you feel about the end result?

~ Have you been to other tattoo studios?  How was the overall experience between the both of them?

Rick G. (from Somerset, MA) said: He’s known Glen for twenty years and he had no other reason to go elsewhere because of the work they do.  Rick had a few ideas of what he wanted as a tattoo but Glen also helped create the tattoos that Rick received.  “Sin on Skin just has good people and their artwork is very unique.  I loved the end results and won’t go anywhere else!”

One of Rick’s tattoos:

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Brittany D. (from Fall River, MA) said: She’s known Arias for eight years.  She came to Sin on Skin with a little bit of an idea as to what she wanted but she also wanted the artists to create it and let them decide what looked best.  Brittany wanted tattoos that represented her: a butterfly with stars on her ankle and one of her son’s name, Malaki (almost 2 yrs old) that is located on her neck.  The reason why she chose Sin on Skin for her tattoos is because “she was more comfortable with the artists and she really liked the results!”

One of Brittany’s tattoos:

Tattoo 015

Karissa R. (from New Bedford, MA) said: She’s known Jake for about 5 years.  She has one tattoo for now, but plans on getting more in the future.  Karissa knew what she wanted when she came to Sin on Skin, a tattoo of a flower.  Karissa “loved the results and will be getting more from Sin on Skin!”

Karissa’s tattoo:

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Aaron R. (from Westport, MA) said: He has approximately seven tattoos altogether.  Some of the ideas for his tattoos were his (for example, the tattoo of an outline of a mudflap girl on his back) and some were ideas of the artists (freehand tattoo on arm of an abstract face).  When I asked Aaron about the experience between Sin on Skin and the other tattoo studios he’s been to, he said “I was 200% happy with the results of Sin on Skin.  I plan on getting more tattoos in the future from SoS because the atmosphere is so much better here than the other studios!”

One of Aaron’s tattoos:

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**Here are some other photos that I took of other clients and some of the artists of Sin on Skin as well:

A small amount of the many awards that Sin on Skin has received (both national and international):

Sin On Skin 041

Some artwork & piercings on Jake:

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Some artwork on a client (Pat):

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Portrait of Arias:

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Portrait of Reggie (Phil’s brother):

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I took a self-portrait for everyone to see the tattoo I received from Sin on Skin. I told Glen that I wanted to incorporate both of our sons’ names (Justin & Zachary) as well as my love of photography. This is what we came up with:

Pieces of Me 002 (color web)

So as some of you may know, I am working with a tattoo studio to barter services (I recently got a tattoo this part week and in return, took photos of the artists/clients and will help advertise their business for them).  A Newport Magazine was interested in running a bartering story and contacted me a while back.  They had to meet their deadline before the exchange took place, so I had a phone interview with them a couple of months ago. They have a website (http://newportmercury.ri.newsmemory.com/) but it’s a little confusing to find the article.

If you were interested in reading the snip-it of what they said, here it is:

“Building your own business clientele and networking is another great reason to barter. Warwick resident Teresa Sweet, of Teresa Sweet Photography, is a full-time photographer who’s always wanted a tattoo. And since she typically photographs weddings and children, she was ready to expand her portfolio and shoot something edgy. So she posted an ad on Craigslist asking to trade her photography skills for a tattoo. When she didn’t get a response, Sweet e­mailed the tattoo parlor, Sin on Skin in Tiverton to propose her trade. They took her up on it, as did Underground Tattoo in Bellingham, Mass., who later saw her ad on Craigslist.
Sweet plans to barter with both shops that are currently busy designing her perfect tattoo (her first) for her upper back that incorporates her children and love of photography. For the size she wants, the tattoo would normally cost around $200. She will choose the best design and let her husband receive the other bartered tattoo. For both shops, Sweet will take photos of their tattooed clients, including a photo shoot of a corset piercing — a series of piercings on the back that emulate a corset’s lac­ing.
Definitely a far cry from Sweet’s typical wedding shoots.
“It might help me with future clients,” said 29-year-old Sweet. “Obvi­ously, making money is a great thing for your business, but bartering is a great way to network.”

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Now, I’ll be writing up a nice article for Sin on Skin, who did my tattoo on Monday very shortly, so stay tuned for that!  If I hear back from Underground Tattoo, I’ll still be interested in the barter but will let my husband get the tattoo, as one is enough for me.  For now, at least.  😉  Here are a couple of photos that my hubby took of me getting the tattoo.  I’ll post some photos once it’s healed.  It’s a lot bigger than I planned on getting, but when the artist said it really wouldn’t look that good smaller, hubby and I completely agreed.  Now, I am really glad I didn’t get it smaller, I love it!!  If you can’t make it out, it’s a film reel with our sons’ names, Justin & Zachary inside of the film.  The colors will fade as it heals and the color of the film will be a vintage “cherry bomb” color. =)  It rocks!  Thank you, everyone, from Sin on Skin!
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