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HomeTop StoriesKoi Ink Tattoos relocates downtown on 2nd Avenue North in Saskatoon

Koi Ink Tattoos relocates downtown on 2nd Avenue North in Saskatoon

‘There are 9 of us on workers and all of us do a wide range of types. We can accommodate virtually anyone’s wants or needs.’

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Businesses and non-profit organizations often open and transfer in Saskatoon. Today the StarPhoenix talks to Rodney MacDonald, who has been working Koi Ink Tattoos for 12 years however not too long ago moved to a brand new location on 2nd Avenue North.

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MacDonald knew he would work in an art-related area since he was younger. He by no means anticipated to be a tattoo artist, however his art work impressed folks in the trade a couple of years after he completed highschool in Saskatoon. He finally opened his personal store and has regularly been enhancing and increasing. He even provides the identical type of apprenticeships to others that he acquired when he first began.

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Rodney MacDonald, who has been operating Koi Ink Tattoos for 12 years, recently moved to a new location to accommodate more tattoo artists and a wider range of services.
Rodney MacDonald, who has been working Koi Ink Tattoos for 12 years, not too long ago moved to a brand new location to accommodate extra tattoo artists and a wider vary of companies. Photo by Michelle Berg /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Q: How did you get into the tattoo trade?

A: I’ve all the time been into all types of artwork — drawing and portray, and as a younger teenager I used to be actually into graffiti, the art-park tradition. It was a ardour I’ve had since I used to be 5 years previous. The motive I obtained into tattooing is as a result of I used to be working at a job and somebody mentioned, you’re a very good artist, possibly it’s best to check out this apprenticeship in tattooing — somebody was providing that in an advert in the StarPhoenix on the time. I assumed, yeah, possibly. I ended up displaying up with a bunch of my drawings they usually requested, nicely when are you able to begin?

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Q: Did you progress to a unique location on 2nd Avenue North?

A: I’ve all the time been on 2nd Avenue. This is the third location now in the previous eight years right here. I’ve slowly upgraded as we go. We had a couple of artists that wished to affix our staff and we simply didn’t have the house so I discovered an even bigger, extra accommodating location. Now now we have a store that may accommodate as much as 10 artists and it’s in all probability one of many nicer retailers that I’ve seen in the town itself, and I’ve been advised so by fairly a couple of of my prospects.

Q: What is the ambiance in the brand new studio?

A: The aesthetics in the store make it actually lovely. We have numerous crops. It’s a really open idea. It’s very welcoming while you stroll in the door. We have snug seating and really snug tattoo beds for each buyer. All the work stations in the store are very symmetrical –— it’s like while you go right into a salon and all of the stations are good they usually all look the identical. Some tattoo retailers it’s all over and also you’ve obtained random previous chairs right here. But now we have a really trendy and clear store.

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Q: Are there a wide range of tattoo types that you just supply?

A: There are 9 of us on workers and all of us do a wide range of types. We can accommodate virtually anyone’s wants or needs. I specialize in extra black and gray realism — nice line detailed work. We have one other artist that does numerous nice line summary realism. Then I’ve one other artist from China who specializes in very nice, very delicate lovely tattoos. Another artist is actually into comedian books and Marvel superhero stuff. He does numerous comedian ebook type tattoos — vibrant, actually shiny and vibrant. He’s actually good at what he does. And I’ve three different women working for me which might be just a little bit newer at it. They’re discovering their type proper now however they’re studying actually fast. They love to do extra female tattoos with nice traces.

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Q: Do you develop tattoo designs in your store?

A: Sometimes somebody will come in with simply an concept in their head and we’ll put it on paper for them they usually’ll say, how do you know what I used to be pondering? Other instances somebody will come in with a few completely different designs and we’ll put it collectively for them and create a masterpiece that they’ll be pleased with for the remainder of their life.

Q: What is the method for getting a tattoo?

A: When somebody comes in they fill out a consent kind that has a bunch of questions we go over, whether or not it’s if they’ve diabetes or coronary heart circumstances or any medical circumstances in any respect. That method we will voice our issues, or if they’ve issues generally we will allow them to know what’s the neatest thing to do. Sometimes folks aren’t even in a position to get a tattoo however we all the time strive to determine the very best decision if there’s a downside. Then we have to guarantee that the individual is snug in getting the tattoo, even simply ensuring that that’s one thing they really need and that they’re set on their concept and never going to remorse it or change their thoughts in the longer term.

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We begin the drawing course of as a result of generally it could take hours. After that we’ll principally dimension it up placement-wise, ensuring it’s precisely the place they need it they usually’re glad. If we might have to alter the scale or the location a number of instances we try this simply to verify they’re going to like the tattoo they usually’re not going to need something modified in the longer term.

And we all the time guarantee that they’re snug once they sit in the chair. When we put the stencil on earlier than we begin we all the time test and ask them how they’re doing, how they’re feeling. And that’s one thing that we do all through the method as nicely. If they want a break we will take a break. But folks all the time go away glad.

Q: How lengthy can it take for a tattoo?

A: It relies upon on the scale. Sometimes a tattoo solely takes 5 minutes. I’ve executed tattoos earlier than the place it actually took longer to arrange my machine than it did to do the tattoo. And then there are different instances when it could take 20 or 30 hours with 5 of six full-day classes. But typically, most tattoos are about one to 3 hours.

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Q: Do you generally host visitor tattoo artists?

A: We have artists that come from all around the world. Sometimes they attain out to us, generally we attain out to them, relying on their type or what we’d wish to showcase in the store. We generally simply deliver a unique type to Saskatoon, one thing that possibly hasn’t been seen or executed right here earlier than.

Q: Why did you name yourselves Koi Ink?

A: In Japanese mythology, the koi struggles to perform its purpose — to develop into a dragon in the tip. It’s obtained to undergo life travelling upriver in opposition to the grain to get to the place it could develop into the place it’s purported to be. That’s type of the place I began, from nothing myself. I used to be the one artist and I constructed Koi from the bottom up and constructed a superb repute for the store after which steadily obtained increasingly artists and now we’re the place we’re. I really feel like we’re transitioning. I nonetheless assume now we have extra to go and extra to develop, which is thrilling.

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Q: What do you like most about working Koi Ink Tattoos?

A: Just getting to satisfy numerous folks and listen to their tales. Sometimes even having the ability to assist somebody recover from one thing dangerous that’s occurred to them by giving them a tattoo and giving them new life and a brand new feeling. Sometimes folks use tattoos for memorial functions, or to recollect the great instances. And then additionally folks do tattoos to look to the longer term and to place the previous behind them. I’ve had quite a few folks cry. Sometimes I really feel like crying with them. I positively benefit from the expertise of offering that for any person and ensuring they’re glad. lt’s very nice to see folks have our artwork on them for the remainder of their life.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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Koi Ink Tattoos

Owner: Rodney MacDonald
Address: 210 2nd Avenue North (Between twenty third & twenty fourth Street)
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to six p.m.; Friday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to eight p.m.
Phone: 306-370-4096
Check: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Have you latterly began or moved a brand new enterprise or non-profit group in Saskatoon? We wish to hear your story. Please e-mail

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