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Tattoo parlor makes its mark

By: Laura Newell Telegraph Staff Writer
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The appreciation of tattooing is not taken lightly for one local shop owner. “Tattooing itself is personal appreciation. You do it for yourself,” said Bill Henderson, Folsom City Ink owner and artist. Folsom City Ink was voted Best Tattoo Salon/Artists in the Telegraph’s 2010 Best of the Best survey. Henderson said the secret to his success is simply to listen and understand people’s ideas and wants. Then deliver. “We appreciate people’s ideas and are responsible enough to carry them out to our best ability,” he said. Henderson has been tattooing professionally for 18 years and has been in Folsom for 10 years. He began taking art classes in high school, and was later connected with local tattoo artists in the Monterey area. “When I saw how fascinating it was to carry out someone’s idea (with a tattoo) on their body, I had a real interest with that,” Henderson said. After leaving the Monterey area, he said he opened a shop in Folsom because he wanted to live and work in a small town. He said during the past 18 years, he has seen tattoos make a comeback and become more widely accepted. People can choose from a range of themes including traditional American tattoos, trends, realism and free line work. “I appreciate the art,” he said. “I just really like tattoos.” Folsom City Ink currently has three artists including George Hernandez, Conrad Melancon and Henderson. “At this shop when we appreciate someone’s ability, I don’t want to make them work for me, I want them to be their own boss. So, other artists rent their own space,” Henderson said. Henderson said while tattooing, it is easy to build personal relationships with his clients, especially returning clients. Margie Richlen, 31, of Granite Bay, received her first tattoo at the shop when she was 25 years old, and said now she is riddled. “It’s more personal than buying a dress,” said Richlen. “If it’s your first time, you’re nervous. But after that, it’s a fun, personal experience.” Henderson said the best form of advertising for his shop is by word of mouth. He said about 90 percent of his clients are referred to him by other clients. Tattoos, like anything, come with good and bad qualities. Since tattoos are a form of art and expression on a body, she said people tend to question her personal tattoos, even without her permission. “People become too close and want to see the tattoo up close,” she said. “They will start to invade my space.” Richlen said to avoid this issue and keep personal tattoos private, a lot of people will cover tattoos up with long sleeves and clothes in the work place and out in public. Henderson said people who share this common interest of body art will also approach each other. “When you find someone with an interest (in tattooing) you will get to meet and talk with interesting people,” he said. “And people can be either subtle or aggressive (when approaching someone’s tattoo). But I have found it has become much more widely accepted.” Still, tattooing can be found in many places. “From one culture to the next, there is a wide variety of tattooing,” Henderson said. “There is a form of tattooing in every culture.” He suggested newcomers entertaining the idea of getting a tattoo first do a lot of research on what they really want. “Go online and research what people are getting done,” Henderson said. “When you are ready to meet with an artist, have a reference ready to show a tattoo artist to get your idea across.” People can bring an artist something to be exactly recreated or a collage of artwork to be created by an artist. “I tend to be an art counselor. I work closely with clients and we take time to make clients happy,” Henderson said. “We appreciate the fresh air of a different challenge.” * * * IN THE KNOW What: Folsom City Ink Where: 97-B Natoma St., Folsom Info: 355-8008, folsomcityinktattoos.com