Got ink? If not, and you want some, Tattoo Artist Luke Sims would find it an honor to create permanent art on your body. Sims, 40, is the owner of The Silverton Tattoo Co., which he opened March 1, 2016 at 201 Oak St.
“If somebody walks in here and I have the opportunity to make him or her happy and change their life, that’s what I want to do,” he said.
Sims will celebrate his one-year anniversary on March 4 beginning at 9 p.m. at Mac’s Place, 201 N. Water St. In addition to free T-shirts, he’ll be giving away $1,000 worth of tattoos. There will be live band karaoke with the Flextones.
Sims has three sons with his former wife, Jamie Nida, who was born and raised in Silverton. Raymond, 11, Ryan, 9 and Royce, 5, all attend Silverton schools.
“There’s no better place to raise your kids than Silverton,” he said. “I decided to open a shop here so my children could come see me when they get out of school. The town’s been amazing to us.”
Sims fell in love with tattoos when he was 15. His friend’s mother was a bass player in a local rock band. He spent a lot of time at their house.
“Some guy came over one night and started tattooing her,” he recalled. “Only bikers and rock stars were tattooed back then. I sat there and watched every single thing the guy did. I was completely fascinated.”
Sims said Oregon requires tattoo artists to complete hours of book study and to pass two tests. In addition, 150 hours of tattoo experience with at least 50 procedures is required.
There are two basic methods of tattooing: outlining and shading. Tattoo border lines hold everything together.
“I have seen tattoos done without lines and after seven, eight or nine years later they are a faded blur,” Sims said. But shading can show its appeal with tattoos such as baby feet, where line borders could take away from its intended softer edges.
While there are benefits to each method, Sims prefers the aesthetic of a lined tattoo. He offers simple advice to those who may struggle between a tattoo’s quality and price: “A cheap tattoo isn’t good, and a good tattoo isn’t cheap.”
Before a client gets a tattoo, Sims shares some insight, making sure the client is comfortable and knowledgeable about what is happening.
With the vintage “Mom” tattoos getting popular again, Sims said American Traditional is a very hipster thing. “Now they’re far more elaborate with lace, etc..”
“Name hearts” are also popular, where clients have a loved one’s name tattooed inside of a heart-shaped outline.
Sims’ father, a former pastor, is not a fan of tattoos. But he is supportive of his son’s talents.
“My dad is my hero. He’s definitely of the mindset of the body is a temple. But I tell him all the time ‘where have you seen a temple that isn’t decorated?’”