Humble Ink Tattoo Studio opens in Peterborough

  • Luis Gonzalez of Humble Ink, a new tattoo parlor in Peterborough, works on a tiger tattoo for Lynn Snow on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Luis Gonzalez of Humble Ink, a new tattoo parlor in Peterborough, works on a tiger tattoo for Lynn Snow on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Luis Gonzalez of Humble Ink, a new tattoo parlor in Peterborough, works on a tiger tattoo for Lynn Snow on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Luis Gonzalez of Humble Ink, a new tattoo parlor in Peterborough, works on a tiger tattoo for Lynn Snow on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/14/2020 4:11:06 PM

There’s a new spot to get some fresh ink in Peterborough after Humble Ink Tattoo Studio opened its doors last month. In fact, it’s the only place for a tattoo in town.

Owner Luis Gonzalez hadn’t really thought too much about opening his own shop. He was happy with where he was at Mayhem Ink Tattoo in Nashua and has only been a tattoo artist for the last six years. But then one of those opportunities came along that he just couldn’t pass up. One of his clients, Misty Craig, owner of Healing Hands in Peterborough, mentioned she had the perfect place for him to carve out his own space in the 105 Grove St. building she owns.

It all happened quickly for Gonzalez, only taking a couple of months, but he got everything in order and opened for business on Aug. 25.

Gonzalez lives in Jaffrey with his wife Amber and their children, and the commute back and forth to Nashua meant more time away from his family.

“I’m the kind of person who’s first in and last one out, so that hour each way was a lot,” he said.

Moving his work closer to home also meant relocating an hour away from where he established himself, so it was obviously a bit of a leap of faith. But having a good clientele base from the region, Gonzalez knew he’d be able to fill appointments. And to his surprise, many of his clients from the northern part of Massachusetts and eastern parts of New Hampshire have been eager to follow him.

“They stay loyal,” he said.

While he wasn’t looking to go out on his own, Gonzalez enjoys the freedom in which it allows him to operate. There’s no pressure of someone waiting for the next available artist or tightly booked appointments. Now he can focus solely on the artform.

Under the current coronavirus guidelines, Humble Ink can only offer appointments, not walkins, and it’s more than worked out for Gonzalez. He can schedule as many or as few as he wants on a given day, depending on how involved the tattoo is.

For Gonzalez, it’s more than just someone sitting in his chair for a tattoo of their favorite quote on their arm or a tiger on the leg. He likes to build a relationship and that starts with making sure the design is just right. If a client has an image they’d like to use, Gonzalez will “try to put my own style into it,” he said, unless the person has exactly what they want in hand. If it’s simply an idea, he’ll take to his iPad to sketch something out.

“I always go further than what people show me,” he said. “I think ‘how can I make it better? How can I take this art even further?’”

There’s typically a discussion beforehand and a 30 minute consultation before he starts anything in the studio to go over the design and placement one final time.

“Sometimes they know what they want, but don’t know where they want it,” Gonzalez said. “Once they see the work they feel comfortable and I can ask those questions.”

For smaller pieces, Gonzalez can finish it in a day, but for more intricate work, including colors, there can be multiple sessions scheduled. And even if he finishes in one appointment, “I always want to get a second look to make sure it’s perfect.”

Because it is truly about the art for Gonzalez. His dad used to create wood carvings, and it was then that his creative passion was born. He loves to draw and expects to hang some of his work in the studio.

Gonzalez came to the U.S. when he was 11 years old from Puerto Rico and didn’t speak any English. He’s lived in Lawrence, Massachusetts and Manchester, and came to the area for a job at the Phoenix House where he was a junior counselor before embarking on a career in welding for a decade and a half. Then he drew a portrait of his son and his wife said it would look great as a tattoo. That’s when the wheels started turning on making a career change.

He started by working on fake skin “until I felt comfortable doing it on a person,” Gonzalez said. He has watched countless YouTube videos of tattoo professionals to hone his craft.

“I’m always finding different ways to improve,” he said.

With a hair salon and nail establishment in the same building, Gonzalez equates it to “like a one-stop shop.”

So far business has been good with appointments every day (he is open six days a week) and expects interest to grow as his name gets out there.

As for the name Humble Ink? “I’m just a humble guy,” he said.

Gonzalez even taught his wife to tattoo and she’s done a few of his small ones, saying “they came out great.”

For Gonzalez sitting down next to a client with one of his 15 machines in hand, that’s where he feels at home.

“I’m in my world; I just love it,” he said. “It’s more about seeing people excited and happy. The money is just a bonus for me.”

For more, visit https://www.facebook.com/Humbleinktattoo/. For appointments, call (603) 554-7504.




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

20 Grove St.
Peterborough, NH 03458
603-924-7172

 

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