Salt Lake City has fostered a steadfast tattooing scene for a couple decades now. It seems like no matter where you go within the city limits or beyond, there is an established shop to be found with committed, knowledgable, skilled and wise people on the tattoo machine. So you may have time to plan your next custom piece or esoteric flash once the heat dies down, SLUG has compiled images of tattooers’ work and their thoughts on their craft. Since it’s impossible to include everyone involved in local tattooing in one issue of SLUG, we’re mixing it up with a range of tattooers from different shops with a range of professional backgrounds, experience, etc. to depict a segment of the current local-tattooing mosaic of SLC/Utah.
Shop: Oni Tattoo • 325 E. 900 South • 801.355.1885 • @onitattoogallery
Years tattooing: 12
Where you apprenticed and for how long: California, Greg Spellman, Tony Salgado, a solid year and a half.
What styles of tattooing do you favor/specialize in: Japanese-inspired imagery.
Favorite subject matter: Dragons and snakes with a touch of vegetation.
Favorite flash: Ed Smith and Earl Brown.
Favorite custom piece you’ve done: Half sleeve on my friend Adam of an infant portraying himself and crawling into a mouth of a hippopotamus—an idea derived from a particular dream he experienced in which a realization took place and detoured him from his familiar road and onto an even greater life journey.
Tattooer you admire: Henning Jorgensen.
Other visual art you make: I paint. A lot.
Tattooing guilty pleasure: I suppose my guilty tattoo pleasures are my very own mistakes, with lack of a timeless approach to my illustrations.
Nerdiest thing you know about tattooing: Like the wolf, one must be a nerd of their surrounding field or get eaten alive.
Best tattooing tunes to play in the shop: Benjamin Todd, Craft, Childish Gambino, Sade, Chet Baker.
Shoutouts: Riding Hoods choppers, howdy fellas!
Find a selection of Garcia’s works below:
All photos courtesy of Oscar Garcia