Revolutionizing getting inked

Published 6:04 pm Monday, July 14, 2008

When you step into Revolution Ink you expect to make an appointment for a spa treatment or to be seated for dinner. The long wall of mirrors, chandelier hanging from the ceiling and oriental-style furnishings would never suggest that people walk into the shop to get inked.

The tattoo parlor opened by Jeff Hubbard three months ago feels a lot more inviting than those in the movies and that’s the way Hubbard likes it.

“A lot of tattoo shops are scary-looking. We’re trying to change things up a bit and make the shop more approachable,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard said he wants to buck the stereotypes people have about tattoos. His plan of action — showing people that anyone can use the art as a form of expression and not just rebellion.

“If I put a suit on, you would never know I have tattoos. I don’t look like a tattoo artist,” Hubbard said. “My brother, he works in the corporate world, but he has two tattoos. And my mother, who owns a daycare, she’s got one too.”

The idea is to offer people more than a copycat butterfly or skull.

“This boy right here can draw,” said friend Carrie Kendall. “When he sits down to design someone a tattoo, he’s in the zone.”

Hubbard hand draws each and every tattoo he inks onto someone’s body — refusing to do what’s called flash art.

“I don’t do anyone else’s work,” Hubbard said. “You’re not going to find books of pictures you can flip to at Revolution. We want to be original because anyone can just sit down and trace.”

Hubbard’s first tattoo was admittedly cliché. He got the Chinese symbol for “free” tattooed on his body when he was 18 at Panama City beach. He said he walked into a shop that looked dirty and was blaring loud music. He wants others to have a different experience.

The cheapest tattoo Hubbard will do costs $50. The most expensive he’s ever created was a Japanese backpiece that took five months of sittings to complete and cost the owner $3,000.

Revolution Ink sits across Highway 31 from the Pelham Post Office. The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 2 p.m. until no one else comes in looking for a bit of body art.