When ink tells a story: a tattoo studio up close
By Jem Felicilda and Angelica Fernandez
Photos by Joan Navaja
WE all know someone who has a tattoo: a friend, a loved one, a sibling, a relative, an acquaintance. That’s because having a tattoo has become part of the norm, as mainstream as tuslob buwa on the side of a busy road.
That sounds like a good thing, unless you’re the one who’s getting a new tattoo. Sure there are plenty of skilled tattoo artists all over Metro Cebu, but it gets tricky whom to trust when one factors in design, execution and safety considerations.
Chow Abinales, Jayland Remoricas, Jeffrey Altamira and Alex Cabrijas are few of the tattoo artists who have earned the trust of tattoo enthusiasts over the years. And the studio they built from scratch, 032 Tattoo Shop, has received numerous awards and recognition from various organizations in the industry.
The shop located on General Maxilom Ave. is open to anyone who wants to “get inked.” And each of the four young tattoo artists has a different expertise. Chow is a master of colored designs, while Jayland does all portrait designs. Jeffrey is more into photo realism, while Alex prefers to do faces. They also do customized designs.
And since the art of tattooing is as painstaking as it is rewarding, they take great lengths when it comes to quality control, not just design-wise. For instance, the tattoo inks they use are all imported, and tattoo paraphernalia that need to be thrown are all disposable.
The first ink stroke that started it all can be traced all the way back to college when Chow, Jayland, Jeffrey and Alex first realized they had skills in tattoo design. They started to ink their classmates using ball pens. Friends whom they called “tambays” became their first costumers.
Chow, Jayland, Jeffrey and Alex have come a long way since, but beyond inking skin, they are now driven to inspire people to experiment and be creative in life.
And as proud Cebuano artists, they want to promote Cebu City further. It was for this reason that they named the tattoo shop “032 Tattoo,” referring to the city’s area code.
Tattoo artists do abound in this city and they get into the trade for a number of reasons, but for Chow, Jayland, Jeffrey and Alex, it was an indelible friendship that bound these four creatives to get serious with the business of inking skin.
* Visit their facebook page, www.facebook.com/032-tattoo for more info.