Alabaster man caps off Alabama sleeve with James Spann tattoo
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
PELHAM–Those who have lived in the state of Alabama at any point in time are aware that Alabama weather can be wacky to say the least. When one thinks of severe weather, a prominent figure comes to mind: meteorologist James Spann.
Since 2011, Alabaster resident Nick Simmons has been making multiple trips to visit tattoo artist and owner of Skinworx Tattoo Studio Greg Ashcraft to have work done on his right arm to complete a tattoo sleeve that is a tribute to the state of Alabama.
A few of the tattoos on Simmons’ sleeve include the state bird and flower, flag, the Vulcan statue, the Huntsville rocket, Auburn and Alabama logos and more.
Simmons said when one thinks of severe weather in Alabama, they think about Spann.
“It got down to the nitty gritty, and I had one spot left on my arm to complete the piece,” Simmons said in an April 6 phone interview. “I told Greg, ‘Lets do something a little different.’ To me, James Spann represents Alabama to a T. I got to thinking that I didn’t want just a plain portrait, but I wanted to personalize it and do a James Spann bobble head tattoo, and that’s what we did.”
The tattoo was finished on April 1, and the famous meteorologist donning suspenders can be seen on the back of Simmons’ arm above his wrist.
“You won’t believe how many friends I have who have moved to other states and mention how much they miss Spann,” added Simmons.
Ashcraft, a Helena resident, has been doing tattoo work for 20 years, and said that the Spann tattoo and sleeve as a whole is one of the most unique pieces he’s worked on.
“I believe it’s unique, and for him to get his whole arm representing the state of Alabama is a big deal,” said Ashcraft. “It’s one-of-a-kind and unique.”
When pictures first surfaced of the tattoo, Ashcraft and Simmons got some negative feedback saying the tattoo of Spann wasn’t quality work, but they said those people failed to understand that it was not a portrait of Spann.
“We wanted something that people would look at and chuckle to be honest,” said Simmons. “This was the comedic part of the sleeve and that’s why we did a James Spann bobble head and not a portrait.”
More pictures of Ashcraft’s work can be found at Facebook.com/greg.ashcraft.