Today we’d like to introduce you to Ben Collins.
Hi Ben, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I started tattooing in 2007 under my mentor Brian Michki in Huntington, WV. I opened my original shop in Huntington as well in 2015, Hell Hound Tattoo. In 2018, I moved to Elizabeth City NC, and reopened my shop here in 2021.
In 2017, I got my first publication in Road Hawk Magazine to be followed by 2 more publications and featured in that magazine. In 2019, I was featured on Premier Tattoo Care social media, and in 2022, I was featured on Industry Inks social media.
I have been to several conventions and shows to include multiple Easyrider and Villian arts shows, Indy Tattoo Expo, Power and Ink Expo, and Roadhawk Magazine expo.
I took on my apprentice Kat in 2020 and have done 2 shows with her this far, be on the watch for her to become one of the greats in this industry.
In 2017, I began piercing and am the only licensed piercer in my area for North Carolina.
I have a certification in graphic design, an associate in integrated technology, a bachelor’s in fine arts with a minor in education, and a master’s in business.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
By no means has it been easy getting to where I am now. I have worked in shops owned by some really crappy people who in my opinion have no business owning a shop.
I’ve had my financial struggles while trying to get established as an artist and at times work 2 other jobs while tattooing just to make ends meet.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I view myself as a traditional artist, that’s what most of my publications are for. I also specialize in watercolor, which I have also been featured for. I enjoy drawing traditional flash when I have the time. Outside of tattooing, I enjoy woodworking. I enjoy the challenges of putting together a puzzle that woodworking creates.
The thing I’m most proud of in terms of my career is being able to travel to these different shows and be able to tattoo beside the best of the best. Early in my career, I didn’t feel worthy to even be in a shop and now I’m working beside the best this industry has to offer and I’m the one the client chooses to do their piece.
What sets me apart from others I think is my ability to relax a client. I enjoy joking around and making people laugh, and when u can get a client to go from extremely nervous to relaxed and laughing and having fun makes the entire experience more enjoyable for everyone.
And when I’m able to create that atmosphere I feel like my work is better as well.
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I don’t really consider it luck, as I do, am blessed.
From the time I entered this industry, I always felt that way. No matter what the obstacles I always felt God was watching out for me and putting me where I needed to be when I needed to be there.
- The shop minimum is $100
- Pricing is typically done by the piece rather than by the hour
- We require a $100 deposit to book an appointment and that goes towards the cost of your tattoo
- Instagram: @Bcbodyart
- Facebook: Bcbodyart
- TikTok: @bcbodyart