Saugerties has all of the hallmarks of a tattoo destination: lots of tourism, a community that supports local art, and a strong independent streak. When it’s compared to other places in Ulster, Dutchess, Greene, and Columbia County, however, it’s not there yet.
As a new tattoo shop, Ink Inc. of Saugerties is looking to help create a critical mass for tattoo culture, by growing the total variety and amount of tattoo artistry in town.
With Kingston Creative's help, we looked at a year of Instagram data from surrounding cities and towns, and saw that Saugerties only had about 40 tattoo-related posts.
The methodology: we counted all pictures that had the word or hashtag "tattoo" in the description, all pictures geo-tagged within a tattoo shop, and all posts by tattoo artists geo-tagged with the towns.
Tattoo artist and shop manager Sal explains:
“We want to cater to the local tattoo scene, but we also want to create a bigger audience,”
“We want to bring the world to this location and establish Saugerties as a destination for tattooing next to places like Wappingers, Kingston and Poughkeepsie.”
Sal, along with Stephanie, Ink Inc.’s other artist in Saugerties, have settled in town after hopping across many other places in their careers.
“It’s next to Woodstock and lots of nature, and there’s a family atmosphere,” said Sal. “Everything is fine-art, fine tailored, locally made. You have space to be silly and courageous in business, and everyone’s doing their own thing here.”
As for the tattoos themselves, Sal says that the shop is ready for anything that people can throw at it.
“Lots of people want realistic portraits, and we also do lots of hyper-realism, traditional, neo-traditional and spiritual tattoos,” he said. “As for new things, people are asking for vegan ink, or have allergies, and we can cater to that. We’re also doing a lot of spiritual tattoos lately, which will never change; people love clouds or a clean, beautiful rose.”
“We're trying to bring a fine art style to tattooing and raise it up a notch,” he said. “More illustration, longer-lasting and more impressionable pieces.”
Here are some examples of Sal's work:
Here are some examples of Stephanie's work: