For my first few tattoos, I was nervous, careful, and attentive. But for my sixth one, I went to Patty’s Art Spot and Piercing Studio’s “Walk-in Wednesday” to get a spurof-the-moment creation. It was an adrenaline rush from the moment I stepped into the Beechurst Avenue studio. The music rocked, the tattoo gun buzzed in the back, and the smell of incense permeated the air. Both of Patty Colebank’s shops are hung with vivid displays welcoming customers to their artistic spaces.

I consulted tattoo artist Paul Anderson about the design I wanted: a small drawing of an elephant that’s been swallowed by a boa constrictor from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Anderson didn’t know where it was from or what it meant, but all it took was one look for him to capture the design in his artistic mind. Less than 10 minutes later, he had drawn a perfect sketch.

Anderson prepared his tattoo gun, needles, and ink. Getting a tattoo is an experience that’s different for everyone. For me, it’s a thrill. It’s all about trusting the artist—even if he took just one look at the design. Anderson started tattooing my arm. It’s a unique tingling sensation, irritating at first, numbing by the end. Half an hour later, the result was a flawless copy of the original design. How did he do it? “Photographic memory and the 14 years of experience,” he laughs. Anderson loves everything about his work. He gets to draw, meet new people, and listen to music. “I love art and I love tattooing. It’s a fitting job for me, all in all.”

Check out Patty’s online to see the resident artists’ exquisite portfolios, and note the new Sabraton location. — DFR

1836 Listravia Avenue, 304.598.0190; 425 Beechurst Avenue, 304.292.2885; @pattysartspot on Facebook