Electric Graffiti comes to Main StreetAugust 12, 2020
By ALLEN LAMAN
JASPER — Inside the ink, Boone Taylor has found trust and respect.
The Jasper man has previously owned seven tattoo shops in his life — including Voodoo Dolls in Jasper — and after stepping away from the body ink industry for about eight years, he has launched a new spot that he hopes to one day pass down to his son.
Electric Graffiti Studio opened at 708 Main St. in early June.
“As far as art goes, I could have looked at graphic design, I could have looked at a thousand other things to do with my art,” said Taylor, 45. “But this makes me feel the best. This is trust. This is respect.”
Art and tattoos have been big parts of his life back to when he was a boy growing up in Sellersburg. Taylor gave himself his first tattoo at the age 12, and he completed an apprenticeship at Tattoo Charlie's in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1994.
“Tattooing kept me out of a lot of trouble, growing up,” Taylor said. “It’s always that thing that you can lead back to.”
While serving at a U.S. Navy submarine base in Connecticut, Taylor began working part time at a parlor that he would one day take over and turn into a hugely successful business.
The craft is an escape for him. He credited his middle school art teacher for allowing and encouraging him to experiment by drawing dragons, warriors, skulls, grim reapers and more while his classmates completed other projects.
“She was amazing,” Taylor said, “because if she wouldn’t have done that, I would’ve lost interest in it. So she let me build off what I like to do.”
He takes pride in his personal versatility when it comes to sketching and imprinting his creations, and he also finds value in bringing in aspiring artists and coaching and guiding them on their own professional paths.
He explained how rewarding it can be to hear a customer’s description of what they’re looking for and then turn it into a permanent fixture on their body.
“Somebody comes in and says, ‘Hey I want this,’” Taylor explained. “You kind of pick their brain, get their ideas, and then you put it on paper. And it’s a talent to be able to do that. And it feels good when you can draw something up for somebody, and — ‘That’s exactly what I want.’ I mean, it makes you feel great.”
Years ago, Taylor worked with the Dubois County Health Department to establish a tattoo ordinance. He has focused on his construction business, BNJ Construction, since selling Voodoo Dolls around 2012, but Taylor said that his son, Brandon, is one of the main reasons he wanted to return to tattooing.
Brandon is currently completing his apprenticeship at Electric Graffiti. His dad wants the shop to be his one day.
“It’s not about the money so much as it is about giving back,” the elder man explained. “I mean, yes, I still have bills to pay and I still have things to do. But I’m not in it to get rich. I’m in it to give it back. Eventually, at some point, this is all going to be his, more than likely.”
Boone charges $100 an hour for his services. Electric Graffiti is open by appointment and can be contacted at 630-7151, or on Facebook.
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