Tattoos and tattoo parlors have not always been part of mainstream American culture; however, the times have changed and more now than ever, people are making the choice to get permanent artwork put on their body. Once a person decides to take that step, it is always good to research your artist before you let them go to town on your skin. By no means should every tattoo artist be doing every type of tattoo. To add to that, not every tattoo artist specializes in specific subject matter. This in where the artists on A&E’s new show Epic Ink come into the picture. The artists at Area 51 Tattoo in Springfield, Oregon, not only know tattooing, but they specialize in all things, nerd, geek, and pop culture.
There are a lot of tattoo shows these days and not all of them are good, but Epic Ink is a fun 30-minute journey into the world of nerdy tattooing and the incredibly talented artists behind these works of art. Unlike many tattoo shops that only have one or two artists that specialize in hyper realism and portraits, all of the artists at Area 51 have these skills. I had the chance to watch the premiere episode which debuts on A&E on Wednesday August 20th at 10:30 pm PST.
In the premiere episode, the audience meets shop owner Chris 51 along with artists Chris Jones, Heather Maranda, Josh Bodwell, and Jeff Wortham. This group of artists have nerd and pop culture in their veins and on their skin as well. The “oddball” of the bunch is the Area 51 receptionist Caroline Russell who is a mainstream girl learning to bridge the gap between the nerds and the rest of the world. The tattoos seen in this first episode are definitely unique but are beloved by the clients who leave with them. Artist Josh Bodwell tattoos a beautiful Alice in Wonderland piece, while Chris Jones permanently leaves the mark of Arnold Schwarzenegger on his client, and Heather Maranda gives an old friend the best friend Goonies tattoo he has always wanted.
I will definitely be tuning in for the rest of the Epic Ink season. The shows is not pandering to nerd and geek culture, but instead celebrating it through the work of some incredibly talented artists. The team at A&E has crafted a fun show that showcases niche tattooing in a really interesting and positive light. Whether you are tuning in to see the artwork or for the nerdiness of it all, Epic Ink is a good watch.