Tattoo You

Tattoo You

Thu, Oct 22, 1998 (10:08 a.m.)

We remember the snappy sailor’s uniform, whistling corn-cob pipe and chronically closed right eye.

But what really sold that purveyor of punishment, Popeye, was the tattoo: a macho, black anchor inked on his bulging right forearm.

But these days, in the ever-expanding and increasingly accepted tattoo industry, it’s anchors away. Customers have become veritable works of art, roving tributes to the tattoo practitioners who, justifiably, refer to themselves as artists.

The days when a simple heart bearing the word “mother,” are waning. Now a customer can have a bouquet of roses on his chest, American Indian tribal art on his back, a wedding portrait on his shoulder or even Wonder Woman on his rear end.

The artists are eager to oblige nearly any request.

“I’ve always been into art,” said 22-year-old Adam Siehr, a tattoo artist since age 18 and one of the busiest employees at the city’s largest tattoo shop, Diversity, on the Strip across from the Holy Cow Casino Cafe and Brewpub. “I’m a chronic doodler.”

And he’s armed with a rapid-fire, ink-filled needle gun and fertile imagination.

“This is a type of art form that’s permanent and we take what we do very seriously,” Siehr said. “I’ve always liked artistic impression.”

Siehr — a native of Milwaukee whose method of “artistic impression” once included decorating freight trains with spray cans — says he’s typical of artists who have turned eccentric artistry into a career.

“The difference is, there’s work here for us (in Las Vegas),” Siehr said. “Where I come from, there’s not a lot of work compared to here.”

A time for tattoos

Following a national trend that has resulted in tattooing becoming a mainstream fashion statement, Las Vegas’ body art industry has boomed in the ’90s. Lonnie Empey, the environmental health supervisor at the Clark County Health District, estimates that the number of Las Vegas tattoo businesses has tripled in the past five years.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase,” said Empey, who monitors the shops’ safety and health records. “I’m up to my ears in work, and that’s one of the biggest reasons.”

Statistics provided by the Clark County Health District show a rapid rise in the number of permits granted to tattoo businesses. In 1993, the county issued 12 permits to businesses practicing tattooing and/or permanent makeup procedures.

In 1998, because of the swelling popularity of tattoos and other forms of physical embellishment such as body piercing and branding, the county issued 57 this year.

“Before I came here (in 1994) there was hardly any interest at all,” said Shahram Sheikhan, who owns Diversity’s three Las Vegas shops, as well as one in Walnut Creek, Calif. “Now there is a large number of young artists and we get all kinds of customers: police officers, lawyers, doctors, family people.”

One first-time subject who ducked into Diversity’s shop on the Strip was a tourist from San Francisco, 26-year-old Albert Rios.

“I was goaded into it, basically,” said the San Francisco State University graduate student, who was accompanied by a pair of giggling, tattoo-bearing buddies for a Friday night session. “My friends have been trying to get me to do this for a long time.”

Rios chose a maniacal court jester tattooed to his right shoulder for his virgin flight.

“I like it,” Rios said. “I’d better. It’s here to stay.”

Not necessarily. One of the evolving artistic methods in the tattoo industry is the “cover-up” — specifically, modifying a tattoo that has, for whatever reason, worn out its welcome.

“We do a lot of that type of work (on) people who after a while don’t want a name on their body anymore,” said a 26-year-old Diversity artist who asked to be identified only as “Tempt.”

Tempt then flipped open his portfolio — all of Diversity’s artists boast extensive and varied pictorial accounts of past masterpieces — and showed a woman who had a skull covered up to make a bouquet of roses that spread across both breasts.

Tempt said that his female customers outnumber his male subjects 60 percent to 40 percent.

“We get a lot of dancers, a lot of people in the entertainment industry who expose their bodies,” Tempt said, “but (the tattoos are) not always on the breasts or private areas. Only about one in 20 women will have their breasts done.”

Tattoo dos and don’ts

Tattoo sessions can last from five minutes to six hours. Rib cages and stomaches are usually the most difficult body regions for artists to navigate.

“They’re really fleshy,” Tempt said. “You have to be careful. There’s a fatigue factor, too. After a couple of hours you just get tired.”

Despite their adventurous reputations, artists have established ethical boundaries. Most won’t tattoo a certain sensitive area of the male anatomy, or service a customer younger than 18 (which is illegal anyway). And rare is the artist who will take the needle to a face, neck or hands.

“It’s not a good idea,” Siehr said. “If you’re in a job interview, you might not want tattoos all over your face or hands. That’s a big no-no because a lot of people don’t think it looks professional and want it covered up while you’re working.”

There are also specific tattoos — rendered hackneyed through popularity — the artists dread.

“I hate ‘Taz,’ ” Tempt said, referring to the Tazmanian Devil cartoon character. “I will not do ‘Taz.’ Don’t even ask for it. The whole ‘Taz’ thing got going in the ’80s, and it hasn’t stopped.”

In fact, it is a company-wide policy at Diversity not to do “Taz” as a form of artistic statement.

“I’d rather do custom work than anything people pick out of a book of samples,” Siehr said. “It’s like a musician. You want to create your own work instead of copying what someone else has done.”

Customers frequently present photographs for reproduction, or maybe a family crest. Some simply describe their request and turn the artists loose.

It’s not without risk, however. Prior to sitting with an artist, customers are required to sign a form freeing the artists from any “accidents.”


“If there are any mistakes or accidents with the design, we don’t want to be held liable,” Siehr said. “It’s up to the customer to give us the right spelling of a name or word they want.”

Keep it clean

The shops are quite clean, even clinical. The booths at Diversity look more like a dentist’s office than what one might expect from a tattoo parlor.

“People think we’re stinky and dirty, but we’re not. We’re very clean and professional,” Sheikhan said. “But there is that image, that we have only bikers, gang members and criminals in here. Whenever I try to buy property to open a new business, I go out of my way to show that it’s not what people have grown to expect.”

A glance around Adam Siehr’s booth shows that nearly every instrument is sterile and disposable. Needles are never used twice and used instruments are disposed of in a nearby biohazard container.

“We make sure the equipment is sterilized and they’ve maintained proper records of their customers to show that they’re not carrying communicable diseases,” Empey, whose department conducts random inspections every six months, said. “If there is a problem, they’re issued a warning and if they don’t comply, their permit will be suspended.”

However, Empey said suspensions are fairly rare. And the businesses continue to expand, with Sheikhan planning a new shop in west Las Vegas within four months and an additional outlet in San Diego early next year.

“It’s growing steadily,” Sheikhan said. “It’s a true form of expression and it’s becoming universal.”

The artists pride themselves on rich and famous customers who happen into Diversity’s shop on the Strip. Siehr points to a photo, dated April 30, 1997, which shows him servicing one of the more recognizable sports celebrities on the planet.

“There’s me with Mike Tyson,” Siehr said with a grin. “He got a big white tiger on his right forearm before the (Evander) Holyfield fight, when he bit him. But he was great to me. Tyson was really cool.”

And good for business.

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New website in the Works !

Tattoo Adam Is working on a new website , after many many years of running the old one , Tattoo Adam is surprised people even bother to look up his site to find him . But after some training in SEO , Tattoo Adam is focused on how important the internet is , as a advertising tool !

Check out Tattoo Adam’s website to find some custom tattooing done by Adam Siehr .
Click here:

Tattoo Adam is very busy now a days with a new born baby , his first Son ! Andrew Siehr , Future Tattoo Artist .
It is recommended to contact Tattoo Adam to set up a appointment this year . 1-808-391-8287

Thank you for taking the time to read Tattoo Adam’s Blog today and feel free to leave a comment .

Contact Tattoo Adam

Custom Tattooing LLC.

434 Ena road
Honolulu, Hawaii


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Custom Tattooing At a Glance

Some Customers have Idea’s all ready put together for the artist . Some Customers have Collected reference’s put together in a folder, or stapled together .Some Customer’s want The Tattoo artist to have free will, and create a master piece . Check out Tattoo Adams Website.

Do you fall into one of those categories ? Maybe you have a huge or small cover-up that many tattoo shops told you , its impossible ! Come give us a try, we can cover almost everything ..

That’s some simple ways to explain how customers feeling’s are when first walking in the door and approach there tattoo artist .

Besides knowing that , Our team of professional’s are trained to make you feel at home and help guide your idea’s through , and help complete your design after .Visit Tattoo Adam’s online Tattoo Shop .

Contact tattoo adam

434 ena Road
Hnolulu, Hawaii


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11 years Tattooing In Hawaii

After 11 proud years of tattooing custom tattooing for locals and the tourist industry . Tattoo Adam is very qualified and ready to sit down and have a Consultation about your future custom Tattoo design . Hawaii is Home to Tattoo Adam and wants to reach out to the community , let you know that they are special people who deserve the best ,Tattoo Adam can provide for them .

Have you visited Tattoo Adams Web Site before ? Inside you can read his bio and see some of Tattoo Adams Skill level and Artistry .

Tattoo Adam Is the President of Custom Tattooing LLC , and pround Owner of 434 TATTOO , Located in Waikiki , Hawaii . You can visit Our new Online Store by clicking here .

Our Professional Staff has been trained , and can answer any of your questions about your new interest in getting a Custom Tattoo done by Adam , or setting up a Consultation with him , by calling 808-391-8287. Ena Roads 434 Tattoo Studio is open everyday from 10am-10pm .

Contact Adam;


434 Ena Road
Honolulu, Hawaii


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About Custom Tattooing

If you are interested in having a design drawn up so you can see what it will look like , all you have to do is come on down to 434 Tattoo , and our Company will design your idea’s for FREE ! That right , at no charge you can see what your future tattoo will look like . If your not sure about where we are located , please click here , to visit our Online Store with a detailed map inside .

And if you are interested in Knowing more about the Owner of this business , please visit Tattoo Adam’s Web page .

We are very proud to serve you and treat you with the up most Respect , come on in and check out 434 Tattoo today .

contact us ;

434 Tattoo
434 Ena Road
Honolulu , Hawaii




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Custom Tattooing in Hawaii

When thinking about getting a tattoo , why not think about making it custom , original , one of a kind and so on .

Here at 434 Tattoo we take great pride and care , along with taking the time to explain in detail what is needed and how the correct way to do that design will be .

Please give us a try and we promise we will not let you down ..If this is your first time checking out this Custom Tattooing studio , in Waikiki , Hawaii, we like to call 434 Tattoo , we recommend you take the time to visit our website , Custom Tattooing 434 , Hawaii

Please feel free to contact us :

434 Tattoo
Honolulu , Hawaii


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Today’s Hawaiian Tattoo Design.

There are a lot of different meanings and elements and amakua’s to locals , ans they are even a little bit different meaning from island to island . After tattooing these types of designs for many locals of Oahu during the last 11 years , I have learned a little , respect the culture, will be happy to talk to you about what I do know, and i will be very Honest and true to your design with the knowledge I have picked up along the way .

Please visit my website to view some examples .
Tattooing Hawaiian Polynesian is a lot of fun for me and if you give me a try i would be happy to design something for you , at no charge .Please call today and set up a Free consultation ..

If you would like to visit our new online store , please click below
Waikiki’s Custom Tattooing

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new manta member now

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[hawaii tattoo]

Welcome to honolulu’s #1 [hawaii tattoo] custom art studio . we are awaiting to design you a original custom [hawaii tattoo] while on vacation .

please check out tattooadam’s website to get a feel of our art and skill .

Our website is now selling products to fit your needs. are you looking to buy ointment online ? check out our store

we are looking forward to hearing any comments or suggestions to help improve this site .

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custom tattooing in december

really slow , but got a dragon to do this weekend . a few works on friends to keep me sane , and a newborn child , that has me a little bit more busy than before .

custom tattooing is in my heart its what i live for .

check out my old website

you reading this , leave me a comment ..or suggestion .



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