Step into 805 Ink on State Street, and the first thing you notice is the smell of rubbing alcohol wafting through your nostrils.
“Your office is usually a reflection of how you live,” said JJ Ortiz, one of 805 Ink’s tattoo artists and the boutique’s owner.
Mr. Ortiz told the News-Press that he and his team pay extra attention to cleanliness regarding their workspace. And he advises that those interested in inking up pay attention to details (like checking for dirt under a potential artist’s nails) and doing the research. The research involves finding the right match amongst tattoo artists for the design that you want. The research process also includes exploring and innovating, but it is essential that the art is exactly what you want according to Mr. Ortiz.
“Be assertive with your ideas,” said Mr. Ortiz.
The tattoo artists at 805 Ink, according to Mr. Ortiz, has been helping Santa Barbara County’s locals and visitors materialize their ink ideas into the real world for more than a decade. When he was trying to materialize his business idea 11 years ago, however, it was not without difficulty.
With tattoos all over his arms and torso, Mr. Ortiz told the News-Press about the challenges he faced securing a lease as a 20-something-year-old.
“It was gnarly,” said Mr. Ortiz.
At the time he was searching for a lease, the tattoo artist had graduated from Cal State Northridge with a liberal arts degree.
“People don’t know that from looking at me,” Mr. Ortiz told the News-Press.
Fortunately, being a Goleta native who has worked in another tattoo shop in Santa Barbara helped.
“I had a lot of people in the community rally for me,” said Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. Ortiz has expanded this community to include his employees, customers and mentors.
“I see most of my customers in town,” said Mr. Ortiz, who added that the interaction is the beauty of getting tattoos in your hometown.
“You’re not just a person that (the client) walks in and is never going to see,” explained Mr. Ortiz. If a client has a follow up question, she or he can come back to the boutique.
And Mr. Ortiz prides himself on being a tattoo artist in Santa Barbara.
“It’s a melting pot of so many types of people,” said Mr. Ortiz, who added that the colleges, UCSB and EF International Language Campus bring their own flavors from back home as well as learn from the Santa Barbaran culture.
“There’s cross pollination of style, beliefs and thoughts,” said Mr. Ortiz.
805 Ink is located at 1228 State St. For more information, call 805-845-5805.