NEWINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — People have been getting tattoos to express themselves and send a message for centuries.
One Newington tattoo shop is helping to keep that tradition alive, inking up their customers with symbols of significance.
Kelly Green works at Nautilus Tattoo in Newington.
“I tried going to art school [and] realized it wasn’t for me,” Green explained. “…When I was in art school, I met someone who was really into tattooing and he was like, ‘why don’t you go and learn how to tattoo because you seem more interested in that.”
Kelly took on an apprenticeship a few months later, crediting it with helping her hone her skills.
“If you have a great apprenticeship, you’re probably going to go home wondering what you’re supposed to be doing multiple times,” Kelly stated.
Kelly emphasized that a budding artist shouldn’t rush through their apprenticeship, touching on the traditions of tattooing and its history.
“There should never be a quick way to do anything, especially tattooing,” explained Kelly. “Such a huge tradition. Such an old way of doing things. It should never be quick. The longer the apprenticeship…the better.”
Kelly has been creating art for 15 years now and has seen the growth of the craft.
“With a lot of tattoo shows, they kind of brought tattooing out into the light,” Kelly stated. “…That can be great because it’s getting a lot of people that were scared about tattooing the idea of getting one [and] maybe more comfortable with the idea of having tattoos.”
With this newfound comfort, people are becoming more at ease with the idea of inking up to express themselves.
“Sometimes, you almost feel like a therapist when you do this job,” Kelly said. Usually the reasons why [people are] getting that tattoo come out while they’re getting [it]. It becomes more part of the story…It doesn’t always have to be a part of the story. You could just get a snail in a blender for no reason. I actually have that tattoo, but it’s for my grandmother.”
Whether there’s a message behind the ink, or if someone just wants a cool-looking picture on their body, Nautilus Tattoo is helping customers express themselves one mark at a time.