Trustworthy Tattoo to Open Downtown


Devin Cowan

Trustworthy Tattoo prepares to open in Oberlin.

Trustworthy Tattoo will open in downtown Oberlin at 53 South Main Street by the end of this month. Owner Shawn Patton, Oberlin native and Amherst resident, has 13 years of tattoo experience.

Trustworthy Tattoo is filling the niche of a highly-demanded, locally-based tattoo shop. The new establishment hopes to increase business in the downtown area.

Patton describes his style as “American traditional,” often characterized with bold dark lines and a limited range of colors. He is known for delivering a strong outline with a clean look.

“Some of these newer styles may look cool — and I’ll do them — but it’s really just a flash in the pan and I’ll be covering [them] up someday,” Patton said. “Given my chance to do something that I want, I always have a certain style I apply to things, and I look at it like I’m fortifying [the piece] to make it last a really long time.”

His approach comes through in many of the pieces highlighted on his Instagram,

@shawnpattontattooer, as well as his portfolio. Although he has his own style, Patton also likes to experiment with new styles. Many of his pieces include elements of new school style, such as bright colors and some exaggerated depictions.

Many students have shown interest in the new shop and plan to visit shortly after the shop opens.

“When I first heard there was a tattoo shop opening in Oberlin, I instantly started looking for my next tattoo inspo,” College junior Ariana Gladieux-Carter said. “I am thrilled about having a tattoo shop within walking distance.”

Students like College junior Jason Hewitt believe the shop benefits all members of the Oberlin community.

“I’ve been waiting for a tattoo shop to open in Oberlin since I’ve been here,” Hewitt said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the impact it makes on both the town and the College.”

The world of tattooing has boomed in the past 10 years with social media and shows like Ink Master helping expand it’s

popularity. Patton believes that the tattoo world’s growth is great because it expands the creative limits of artists and brings people to shops.

However, the growth of the tattooing industry comes at a cost.

“To some people, that is the only education they have in the tattoo world; it changes the expectations of the client,” Patton said.

Some of these changes include a lack of understanding of an artist’s strengths.

“Some of the best tattooers I know, their window of what they do really well is pretty narrow,” Patton said. “That’s not all they do, but you have to teach [the client] in what you can do best.”

Things like portrait and photo recreation may not be in Patton’s wheelhouse, but he will be able to recommend other artists he knows to ensure that clients get the best piece possible.

According to Patton, tattooing really comes down to the responsibility of the artist. He hopes his shop’s name will speak for itself and that Trustworthy Tattoo will be able to work with clients for the best pos- sible delivery of a mutual creative vision.

“I want to make sure that when people leave here, although it may not be my style, that they still have a good tattoo,” Patton said.