The love of tattoos on Grand Avenue

Tattoo artist answers questions about advice and his business.


Lucas Englin

Artist Ransom Bennett inks Beanna Elizondo.

Lyneah Knopik, Reporter

Students who have never had a tattoo may be asking questions about the reality of getting one for themselves. These could be anywhere from price to scheduling an appointment. A visit to Grand Avenue Tattoo provided answers to some of these big questions.

“Make sure you are comfortable with the person and the shop,” said Ransom Bennett, the owner of Grand Avenue Tattoo.

Bennett is firm with the relationship between the customer and the artist who will be giving the tattoo.

“Lots of artists have their preferred style of tattooing, their comfort zone,” Hannah Klaphake said who is a tattoo enthusiast and customer.

In fact, Bennett spends most of his mornings drawing for typically around 3-4 hours.
As for the kind of tattoos, he will usually do anything a customer requests, with a few exceptions.

“I avoid things like face tattoos as long as it’s not a symbol of hate,” Bennett said.

He also believes tattoos are for everybody, which he remarked as a common misconception.

“Give some thought into what you want to get. [Tattoos] are permanent for the most part,” Klaphake said.

Klaphake included that giving a personal, creative spin might help make it feel more proud.

Bennett emphasized the importance of being comfortable with the shop as well as the tattoo artist you work with. That may imply that a shop may not be clean or may not have a good vibe with some customers.

Klaphake agreed with Bennett’s statement that a tattoo shop should be trusted and clean. Klaphake had some advice for first-time tattoo customers.

“Overall make sure the tattoo is something you’ve thought about for a while, make sure to tip the artist as well. Follow their instructions [and] eat before you go. Sit still for them, makes the process much easier,” Klaphake said in an email interview.

Grand Avenue seems to fit the high standards of a tattoo parlor. The shop was very clean and the owners, as well as the artists, were very friendly, taking the time to answer questions in the middle of their workday. They opened recently in the summer of 2019, although Bennett has been tattooing for over ten years.
Bennett said they usually pay by the piece, but if the tattoo is smaller it can go by hourly. He recommends if anyone has an interest in being a customer tattooed at Grand Avenue Tattoo, they can message them over at their Instagram (@grandavenuetattoo). Make sure to look at the one in St. Paul as there is a parlor in Arizona by the same name.