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Stories are skin deep at Anchor Tattoo shop


Lately, it seems tattoos have become increasingly popular among younger generations.  Walking around campus, you can see some ink, from small designs to larger pieces, on almost everyone.

One local tattoo shop, Anchor Tattoo, is just a quick walk from the College Avenue Campus. On the corner of Easton Avenue and Hamilton Street, the shop sits just above Sanctum Body Art and Sparks Salon. Fairly new to the New Brunswick scene, Anchor Tattoo opened it's doors to the University community in 2012. With its affordable prices and eclectic style, Anchor is a perfect place for students to add to their growing tattoo collection — or get their first. But be warned, most people that get one tattoo go back for more.

Upon entering the shop, you are immediately greeted by hundreds of pictures of tattoos lining the walls, exposing you to the wide variety of tattoo styles the shop has to offer. 

Anchor Tattoo artist, Erik Nyegaard, said they pride themselves on being diverse and not having a single specialty. He also added their dedication to giving good, clean tattoos that will age gracefully.

Looking at the collective works of all four artists Anchor Tattoo houses, you can find examples of American traditional tattoos, marked by bold black outlines and saturated colors, photo realism tattoos, New School tattoos, identifiable by exaggerated illustration style cartoons, lettering and surrealism – just to name a few.

People with tattoos are often asked why they got their tattoos. Some can easily answer, wanting to share their story beyond the body ink while others would rather keep it to themselves, holding the meaning close to them. 

“The reasons for getting tattooed are as diverse as the people who get them — from signifying a major life changing experience to just picking an image that resonates with them,” Nyegaard said. 

Nick Richard has been a tattoo artist for seven years and has been an Anchor Tattoo artist since January.

"Interesting tattoos would be ones that I like doing," Richard said "something that I drew and put together, and I can really enjoy"

The majority of the people already have an idea in their head of what they want when they come in, Richard said, but if they don't they do their best to help them.

Richard admitted that many Rutgers students come into the shop with a similar aesthetic in mind.

"Feathers with birds breaking off, the infinity symbol, the infinity symbol with birds breaking off,"  he laughed. "Anything you see on boardwalk t-shirts ... that stuff's common. But people like it for a reason, so good for them."

While at the shop, we were lucky enough to run into two Rutgers students looking to get impromptu tattoos.

Tammy Mehman and Kinnery Chaudhari were planning on having an average Wednesday night when Mehman texted Chaudhari that she might want to get a tattoo that evening. 

"We always wanted a matching one," Mehman admitted, "but she (Chaudhari) didn't want one today, and then we walked in and she (Chaudhari) was like 'I'm here I'm gonna get one',"

No strangers to tattoos — 10 between the two — to be exact, the friends seemed excited about their spontaneous decision, but opted to keep their final tattoo choice a secret.

The shop does accept walk-ins, but if you want a guaranteed spot with an artist, an appointment is recommended. The shop is open from 12 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 12 to 7 p.m. Sundays. 

If you are looking for a local shop with a friendly, talented staff to help you tell your story through body art, make an appointment at Anchor Tattoo.


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