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419 Alive: Tattoo and Piercing Artists

Warhawk Tattoo Studio | Photo by Kristina Shue | The Wright State Guardian

Despite the small size of the Grand Lake community, three local tattoo studios offer a variety of body art options. 

Sketcherz Ink

Owner Sean Luedeke has been running Sketcherz Ink, located at 229 East Spring Street in downtown Saint Marys, for nearly 14 years. His studio houses two full-time tattoo artists, three apprentices, and one piercer. Luedeke, a New Bremen native, has been tattooing for nearly 17 years. 

Sketcherz aims to make their clients happy and do their best to cater to exactly the artistic styles and details that clients are looking for. 

“Every artist has their own style they like doing. I am more customer-based; I can match a lot of different styles, but I’m here to make the customer happy,” Luedeke said. 

Quality customer service is a highly valued aspect of the Sketcherz approach to business. They offer a family-friendly, laid-back atmosphere where clients feel welcome and unrushed. Luedeke said that building rapport and trust with clients is key.

Sketcherz can be reached to set up an appointment by phone, walk-in, or via social media

Warhawk Tattoo Company

According to their social media, Warhawk Tattoo Company is “an upscale tattoo studio and piercing boutique” that fulfills “the needs of individuals and collectors alike with completely custom art in a private atmosphere.”

Brandon Kinser has operated Warhawk on Spring Street in St. Marys since 2015. There are currently eight tattooists, apprentices and piercers on staff, most with 10-15 years of experience. 

Kinser said that his goal with opening his own shop was to fill a need he saw in the community for an expanded selection of high-quality body art that he and his team could fill with their expertise. 

In addition to the shop on Spring Street, Kinser travels nationally to other tattoo shops and conventions and has many connections in the tattoo community. 

“I feel like if a tattooist doesn’t have tattoo friends, they’re not much of a tattooist,” Kinser said. 

Each artist brings their own unique style and experience to the establishment, and the walls are decorated with several art pieces created by the tattoo artists. 

You can contact Warhawk to set up an appointment by phone or via social media, but the easiest way is to “just come on in,” according to Kinser.

The Brass Knuckle Tattoo

Located at 122 West Fayette Street in Celina, Brass Knuckle Tattoo has been in business for ten years under the direction of owner Paul Hayden, who has been tattooing professionally since 1994. Hayden built up years of experience working in other tattoo establishments before starting Brass Knuckle. 

“I think with the amount of experience from all the artists here, that definitely sets us apart from others,” Hayden said. 

Brass Knuckle values the relationship between artist and customer. Hayden says that the culture has changed somewhat with customers now leaning toward the most immediately convenient studio appointment, but Brass Knuckle still focuses on quality work and the professional environment of the studio. 

Brass Knuckle does its best to advise clients on how to achieve the highest quality tattoos and make recommendations on details in order to minimize any future regrets. 

“More than five times daily we’ll have to speak with someone about a tattoo that is over-detailed, over-crowded, over-complicated, too busy of a design… we’ll have to tell them that as it ages, it will grow to look bad over time,” Hayden said. 

Their establishment sees an even amount of customer interest in tattoo and piercing offerings, with the highest volume of customers in the younger adult age demographic. 

“Generally your 18-30-year-old is going to be the highest volume age range, but we’ve had four generations come in and get matching tattoos,” Hayden said. 
Brass Knuckle accepts walk-ins and can be contacted to set up an appointment by phone or by social media.

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