Painting the body canvas
Business Spotlight: Absolute Ink
From the time he was a child, Pac Man has been an artist. And for the past two decades, he's found a way to turn his passion into his profession.
Pac Man is the lead artist at the recently-opened location of Absolute Ink in south Spencer. Located in the newly-remodeled development just west of the the south T, Absolute Ink offers two skilled artists, Pac Man and Lindsey McClary, who recently completed a two-year apprenticeship.
Pac Man inked his first tattoo at the age of 15, providing his own skin as a testing ground.
"I used a mirror. It was the worst experience of my life, but I fell in love with it," the shop manager explained.
For the next 12 years, he taught himself the skill, and apprenticed for three years in Pigeon Forks, Tenn., with some of what he called "the best tattoo artists I've met in my life."
The Indiana native has traveled the United States demonstrating his skill, and has now settled into life at the Spencer shop, which opened July 1. In addition to his tattoo skills, Pac Man has been piercing for the past eight years.
"My sister moved to Minnesota and told me there was a tattoo epidemic," he said.
Pac Man moved to the area looking to begin marketing his craft, but found pickings slim.
"I power-washed hog barns for eight months while I was looking for work. I was ready to leave when I saw an ad about a new tattoo business opening," he added. "I came here looking for something better. I'm glad I stayed."
He helped Absolute Ink begin operations in Okoboji and continues to help manage the Lakes shop, but said he will be spending his time primarily in the Spencer location.
"This is pretty much my home base here," Pac Man said.
It may be his home, period. Opening at 11 a.m. six days a week, the man who believes in using his own product has been at the "office" until 1:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. on two separate occasions the past week.
"Tattooing is a passion of mine. If you're in this for anything but the love of it, you might as well hang it up," Pac Man said, suggesting he will stay as long as it takes to get the job done.
He's hopeful the business will move from a six-day-a-week to a seven-day operation soon.
The two artists will accept both appointments and walk-in clients, providing a full line of tattoo and piercing services.
"We pride ourselves on being sanitary and safe for our customers. Sometimes it takes longer to set up than to do the tattoo," Pac Man said.
Both McClary and Pac Man stand behind the company logo, "You dream it, we draw it."
To schedule an appointment, call 262-0103.