Congratulations are in order for Living Art Tattoo and its owner, Andy Bagshaw, who is now celebrating his third annual win in the Siouxland’s Choice Awards tattoo category.
Bagshaw started his business in 2005. Since then, this husband and father of three who enjoys riding motorcycles and cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs has grown his business and has acquired a large clientele.
When and why did you start tattooing?
Bagshaw: “I did my first tattoo when it was still taboo. When I was 13 I figured that if you took a needle and wrapped it with string and dipped it in pen ink, you could poke yourself. I started doing that in my mom’s bathroom. When she found out about it, she almost lost her mind.
“I was always artistic, but I didn’t seem to fit in anywhere. To me, tattooing was like lifting a middle finger to the world.”
What do you think makes your studio stand out in Sioux City?
Bagshaw: “Honestly it’s the guys who work here. Everybody here is a good artist, but I really think it’s the fact they are good human beings. Nobody has any ulterior motives besides tattooing.”
How does it feel to keep your top honors in the tattoo category?
Bagshaw: “It’s awesome. Like I said, it is really more of a testament to the guys I work with. They treat everybody well and people love them. It’s easy for me; I own the shop so I get to claim part of it. Really, when you are surrounded by workers in a good environment, it breeds creativity. There’s no drama here…ever. We don’t have to lock our stuff up. Most times when you work at a tattoo shop and leave for the night, you have to lock your stuff up or it might get taken or used. Nobody here has to worry about it. Everybody is friends.”
To what do you credit this win?
Bagshaw: “We’ve got really cool clients who vote for us. We never ask people to vote for us, so I always thought if we ever won this award it should be genuine, not because we were bored and sitting around asking people to vote for us six times a day. I’ve got people who have been coming here for over a decade. We have made good relationships over the years with folks. We try to do things in the community like bike races and fundraisers to give back. Our best form of advertisement is our customers who talk about us, recommend us and show other people their tattoos.”