Patten Parkway is home to a variety of businesses that provide the opportunity to get a new “do,” grab a beer, or get a new tattoo—the latter of which can be achieved by entering the maroon-darkened door of Triple 7 Studio into a clean and comfortable low-light setting, complete with found objects including skeletons, longhorns, and well-placed local artwork.
“We don’t cater to your average client, and you’re going to come across all kinds of people,” said Hollywood, Triple 7’s studio manager. She said that the studio’s clients represent more than just the rock ‘n’ roll generation, and noted how tattoo parlors have evolved into more of a studio rather than a biker hangout. Anyone from a 60-year-old getting their first tattoo to blue-collar types and students make up their customer base.
Owner and artist Brent Humphreys shared a driving philosophy for what they do: “I feel like tattooing provoked a Renaissance,” he said. And while this concept is foreign to the average reader, he said it makes sense in the context of the 1500s. Humphreys said that a renaissance is brought upon by a swell of interest that provokes a movement toward something.
“In the 19th century, to be called an artist you had to get an apprenticeship and work your ass off,” said Humphreys. Somewhere in the 20th century, he said art became splattering paint onto a canvas. Though some of these practices have undoubtedly carried into the 21st century, Humphreys made the distinction between widespread art and the art of tattooing.
“Tattooing is put in the hands of the artisan,” he said, “and while there are several well-known artists out there, the idea of an artisan is much different than an artist of the 20th century.”
Humphreys explained that artisans have devoted themselves to a skill and have mastered it. “Tattooing has forced artisans to be disciplined and technical practitioners,” he said. The dynamic at Triple 7 echoes this idea and is driven by artists that have the talent and strength about them to create great work.
Humphreys supports other local artists and recently got a tattoo of Mother Teresa by Eric Newby, artist and owner of Ink Expressions. “I went to him because of his talent, but what I got was an education and the discipline of art,” he said. He suggested that the same kind of devotion to this discipline of excellence is what will define tattoo artists in the future.
Triple 7 is a place for art in all facets, focusing on artisan work while also featuring local art on the studio walls. It sets itself apart from other studios with a unique commitment to customer service. Humphreys explained that the artisans at his studio are commissioned artists, collaborating with the client on specific ideas to generate a final product that the client will appreciate today, tomorrow, and five years from now.
To achieve this feat, Triple 7 artists conduct consultations with clients prior to their appointment. So whether in-studio or over a beer at the Pint’s countertop, consultations help to better evolve this lifetime investment.
“Tattooing has given an appreciation for art back to the middle class,” said Humphreys. He includes himself in this grouping, suggesting that respect and understanding for art does not have to come from an exhibit or gallery. “Tattoos are extremely personal, and as an artist there is a tremendous amount of respect for the skin.”
With that in mind, Triple 7 understands the value of your investment, and as true artisans they work with you with a degree of customer service found no where else in town.
Triple 7 Studio Tattoo & Art Gallery
29 Patten Pkwy.