As far as art goes, tattooers have one of the most difficult canvas's to work on: the human body. Not only are they transferring their work onto a living, breathing person, it's also going to be a part of that person's life every day for the rest of it. For Pete and Mel Clarke, married tattooers in Albany, NY, it's a responsibility that they don't take lightly. Having met in the tattoo shop, their love of the craft grew alongside their love of each other, and now they work at the same shop creating together. We spent the day with them to find out what goes on when two people live together, tattoo together and... drink really strong coffee together.
"When we're tattooing, that's when we are at our best. I can see Mel at her best, you know, and she can see me at my best, at my happiest."
"I got a client who's super awesome. He came at me for his first tattoo. He asked me for like an EGA, an eagle, globe, and anchor. He came at me like a week ago or something. He wants the other sleeve, and he's going to let me do a tiger on him."
"I'm from Pittsburgh, I joined the military. During the military, I spent three years in Korea. On base, they, everyone knew me as like, the artsy kid. So this dude asked me to do a tattoo for him, asked me to design a tattoo for him. But like where I was at and on base, you're not allowed to tattoo at all. And I had no idea what I was doing."
"I love tattooing. I think it's a big responsibility to be a tattooer, and I'm super grateful to be able to do that, to give someone something they're going to have forever, that they're proud of."
Below, listen to a chill tattoo session playlist inspired by Pete and Mel's tattoo rooms.