Envious Ink 1

MANSFIELD - Four female artists, Tiffany Sutton, Jennifer Pennington, Autum Davidson, and Ashly Hough, opened the doors of the tattoo shop Envious Ink in January of 2021.

“I’ve always been into art, but I didn’t know where I wanted to go with it. I was at a tattoo convention with a friend and my heart was telling me this was what I needed to do,” artist Ashly Hough said.

As she tattooed a personalized Vans logo, Hough remained patient and kind with her client during the more painful moments. Hough is in her first year as a licensed tattoo artist, having just completed her one-year required apprenticeship in October. 

During the three-hour session, Hough discussed the passionate, yet nerve-wracking side of creating and leaving a mark, both literally and figuratively. 

“I’m fearful of giving someone something they don’t want, or a client being unhappy,” Hough said.

Her ink is inspired by the ilk of Andy Warhol and fellow tattoo artists across social media. 

“I love realism, that’s what I’ve always been drawing, even when I was younger,” Hough said.

Her background includes working at a nursing home, which she said helped her with being able to comfort clients and make them feel better when receiving a tattoo. This is evident in her calm demeanor.

“I’d love to say don’t be nervous, but everyone is going to be, whether they have 20 tattoos or none at all,” Hough said. “You have to treat your body right and trust your artist.” 

Receiving tattoos is a huge commitment for obvious reasons, but the fear of being unable to acquire certain jobs is still prevalent despite the growing acceptance, and near normalization, of permanent ink. 

It is all up to the employer. Hough recalls she never had issues having tattoos when working at the nursing home, but an old waitressing job had her cover up. 

“The nursing home was really cool with it. The residents loved it. I went to work at a restaurant after that and they made me cover up every tattoo I had,” Hough said.

Envious Ink 2

Despite these risks, the number of people with tattoos has increased over 20% in the past 10 years, and 36% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo.

According to TIME, when certain COVID-19 restrictions were lifted there was an increase of people going to get ink. This is believed to not just be caused by the lift, but also the decrease in inhibitions regarding receiving a tattoo.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to book an appointment, visit Envious Ink’s website.

DON'T MISS A THRIVE STORY

Sign up for the weekly thrive newsletter and get local inspiration delivered to your inbox every Monday.