The Valdosta Daily Times
Seeing someone with a face tattoo and multiple facial piercings could bring up the stereotypical ideas of an unprofessional hooligan. However, local tattoo artist Ben Stubbs strives to set himself apart from this misconception of what a tattooed person is.
Ben is proudly “straight edge,” meaning he abstains from using alcohol, tobacco, or any form of drugs.
“I just want to give people an experience they didn't know they could have in a tattoo shop,” says Stubbs.
Growing up in nearby Cook County, Stubbs always had a passion for drawing, which he later turned into an unconventional career. Initially working in retail jobs such as Harvey's and Wal-Mart, he developed a knack for dealing with the public. It is this skill, along with his artistic ability, that made him the successful tattoo artist that he is today.
His tattooing career started in August 2008. Stubbs currently works at The Brass Quill Gallery in Valdosta.
“Being a rock star didn't pan out,” says Stubbs. "So I thought being a tattoo artist was the next best thing.”
The Brass Quill Gallery is owned and operated by Ben's twin sister, Kelly, who shares his passion for artistry. Not only does he get the joy of working with his twin, he gets to work with friends Jacob Walsh and Blake Meeks.
While he enjoys every aspect of his job, it does not come without its challenges.
“The hardest part of a tattoo is just figuring out what someone has pictured in their head,” says Stubbs. "It's sometimes harder than the tattoo itself.”
However, he enjoys the difficulty and skill it takes to do his job successfully. His most rewarding challenge is doing coverups on a tattoo that a client no longer likes, whether it is a gang symbol, a lost love's name, or just a horrendous train wreck of a tattoo. He feels it helps to improve the client's self image when you can turn a hated tattoo into something to be loved forever. Many tears of joy have been shed in his tattoo chair.
“I try to devote extra time to each of my clients,” says Stubbs, who strives to make each client feel important. “It's a personal bond between you and your artist; they're trusting you to put something permanent on their body.”
He also donates tattoo time to help various people in need in the community. He has donated time to local poker runs, the Valdosta State University Chamber Singers, and to various local music scene events. Even raffling tickets for a breast cancer victim, he believes in sharing his talent to help others.
He will be tattooing during a 25-hour event being held on Nov. 2 at the Brass Quill Gallery to help raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
While Ben is talented in almost every aspect of tattooing, he stresses that it is an art that can never truly be mastered. It is an ever-changing field that will continue to grow and evolve for years to come.