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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

The S&B reviews: Slingin’ Ink

Photo By Jackson Schulte Marchesi gets tattooed by Reed

What better way is there to commemorate your college years than getting locally inked? For residents of Grinnell, Slingin’ Ink Tattoos is the lone parlor in town, providing creative tattoo expertise that can literally last a lifetime. After moving to Grinnell in 2007, Slingin’ Ink Tattoos began to provide their artworks in their parlor donned with particular antique and taxidermied decor.

On their website, Slingin’ Ink cites studio atmosphere as an indispensable aspect to their identity, which is without a doubt reassuring for customers. That first general feeling that one gets when undergoing a life-changing experience, such as getting a tattoo, is paramount to their subsequent mood. Slingin’ Ink certainly delivers a vintage, relaxed yet orderly skilled aura.

Photo By Jackson Schulte
Marchesi gets tattooed by Reed

Upon entrance, Jackson Schulte ‘20 and I were amicably met by Danny Reed, a shop artist since 2008. This was both of our first experiences in a tattoo studio, so being met with exceptional customer service immediately eased our skepticisms about the tattoo process. For the sake of this article, both Jackson and I valiantly defied our parents exhausted advice and volunteered to receive an everlasting alteration to our body. In short, it was most definitely worth it.

Our time spent collaborating with Reed and finalizing our stencils felt natural. Transcending his occupation as a tattoo artist is Reed’s underlying passion for all things art. Though his prevailing medium is painting, Reed expressed interests in photography and music as well, which struck up ardent discussions with both Jackson and myself.

While conversing on our common ground, Reed proceeded to tell us his story. He was born and raised in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he currently resides. After discovering that art was his passion, he sought opportunities to make a living off it, leading him to obtain his tattooing license in the state of Iowa.

Throughout this consistently friendly experience, I couldn’t help but to continuously return to the rumored notion that Slingin’ Ink is home to white-nationalists. Though the origin of this rumor is uncertain, I can authentically praise the studio for its politically and religiously neutral atmosphere. In fact, there is a sign noticeable upon entry that, among other things, condemns explicit politics and religious affiliation.

Overall, our experience at Slingin’ Ink was a productive opportunity to experience Grinnellians with no affiliation to the College. Unfortunately, it often seems that there is a dogmatic view on campus that associates residents of Grinnell with extreme conservatism by default due to the town’s rural location. While there certainly are concrete examples of these politics, Slingin’ Ink Tattoos is not one of them. The studio makes a conspicuous effort to make a space that is inclusive for all who share a passion for tattoos.

The store itself is moving locations at the end of the month, and will no longer be called Slingin’ Ink. The new locale will bring on the name Broad Street Tattoos, and will luckily be remaining in Grinnell. After a wonderful experience, both Jackson and I thoroughly encourage you to finally get that tattoo you’ve been pondering for quite some time now.

Photo By Sarah Ruiz
The final product just above Marchesi’s knee.
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