A local tattoo artist has gained notoriety for his unique creations.
Mike Jones, owner of Steel Life Tattoo, 2 E. National Ave., Ste. 1, Brazil, recently participated in the Second Annual Elemental Arts Tattoo Show, Kokomo, March 11-13.
"It is a big gathering of tattoo artists across the Midwest," Jones said. "At the end of the show, the artists are judged on the tattoos they create during the weekend."
Much to his surprise, Jones took home an award in the Men's Best Small Black and Grey category for a barber-inspired tattoo he inked onto local barber T.G. Timberman.
"It is a good feeling to have won an award because I put a lot of work and effort into my drawings," he said. "While it was surprising, it only motivates me to draw more and continue being creative in my designs."
Jones moved to Brazil when he was 2-years-old and spent the majority of his life here, graduating from Northview High School and attending Ivy Tech and Indiana State University.
He has been a professional tattoo artist for 11 years, working at shops in Brazil and Greencastle, and opened Steel Life Tattoo in June 2010.
"I've been drawing my whole life," Jones said. "The show was the first one I had been to, and it was a great learning experience because there were about 30 or 40 other artists and it was a good way to learn new techniques and tricks."
Jones added his shop will be moving in early June to 217 W. National Ave., to accommodate an increased demand for his services.
"It will give me and my co-worker, David Steele, some more room to work and take on more clients," Jones said. "It feels really good to come back to Brazil, and to need a bigger area less than a year after opening my shop."
Unlike other artists, Jones lets his clients come up with original designs for their body art.
"For the most part, I do custom work that people bring in for me to draw," he said. "That way, everyone gets a tattoo that is unique and meaningful to them, rather than picking out a pre-made design from a catalog."
Steel Life Tattoo is currently open from 1-8 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, and Jones told The Brazil Times after he moves to the new location, the hours of operation will be modified and plans to be open every day except for Sundays.