Under the Needle: The Stories Behind the Ink

Dan Lettieri got this tattoo in honor of his close friend who passed away. (Photo by Nicholas Rizzi)

Tattoo artist Dan Lettieri said that he gets two kinds of customers at Island Tattoos. People who come in, pick something off of the board in the shop or a very common design, and only get that.

Then there are people who come in with there own designs, who he works with cleaning up for a week or so, before they go under the needle. These designs, Lettieri said, usually come with interesting stories the customer has for getting them.

Lettieri said that he prefers these customers, because he looks at tattoos more than something people just put on their body. He thinks of tattoos as another art form, similar to his old form of graffiti because he said if you mess up a tattoo, like if you do a bad graffiti piece, people will cover it up.

To hear stories behind some tattoos, watch the audio slideshow below:

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