The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
Neil Jhurani, Sports Writer • May 23, 2024

A warm, summer evening bestowed Hoover, Alabama on Wednesday night when the No. 4 Texas A&M Aggies faced the No. 15 Mississippi State Bulldogs...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

C.S. Ink

 
 

With each needle puncture delivering another dose of intricately injected ink, the art of permanent body tattoos becomes both more appealing and acceptable in today’s culture. Former student Andres de la Concha, Class of 2008, helps to fuel that trend.
De la Concha, who studied health while a student, began working at Arsenal Tattoo in College Station in 2005, and began his apprenticeship six months before he graduated. Although de la Concha knew he wanted to become a tattoo artist, his boss, Cliff Collard, encouraged him to finish school.
“The stipulation with Cliff was he wanted me to finish what I started — didn’t want me to drop out of school. I showed him that I could work hard, showed him I was trustworthy,” de la Concha said. “He got to know my family and he knew how important it was to them that I graduate. He was very adamant that I put school first.”
De la Concha said he became a tattooist because of everything that tattoos incorporate, from the artwork to family values.
“I just loved art, drawing, I loved getting tattoos. I loved the artwork. I loved the culture, too,” de la Concha said. “Once I started working conventions and started hanging out with other tattooers, I liked the camaraderie and the family values within the tattoo community. We hold a lot of stuff close because it’s a trade that you have to earn the right to tattoo.”
De la Concha said tattoo culture is growing in College Station, although there are still some misconceptions. But tattoo artists in College Station take pride in their work, which requires clients to understand what it means to get a tattoo that is done well.
“People are starting to learn a little more about what a good tattoo is,” de la Concha said. “If they just look at the quality of the work of the tattoo shop maybe they would understand why there is a wait, and then they would understand [a tattoo] is forever.”
The culture has also spread to the campus as students get bigger, more detailed tattoos.
“It’s not necessarily Aggie tattoos, but we do get several students, and then, just by word of mouth, the shop’s reputation definitely spreads through the campus,” de la Concha said. “They’re starting to see the [tattooing] shows on TV, which sort of inspire them to see it as more of a popular thing to do. It’s no longer just about very simple designs — [the Taylor Brack, junior communication major, said tattoos are still seen as taboo in conservative settings like A&M, but that he hasn’t received negative feedback for his tatoos. As a Christian, Brack said tattoos allow people to express their spirituality.
“If someone asks about [my tattoos] it opens the door to my life, to my spirituality,” Brack said. “I’m going to get tattoos that mean a lot to me. It gives an opportunity to share about my life and my spiritual walk.”
Brack said tattoos are becoming available to more groups because they won’t change a person’s personality.
“It’s not limited to the liberal group anymore,” Brack said. “A lot of people think they’ll become a social outcast. It changes your appearance, but it doesn’t change your character.”
Ryan Bray, junior technology management major, said tattoos are an art form that uses the human body as the canvas and allows people to express who they are.
“A tattoo should have meaning,” Bray said. “If you’re getting tattooed, you have to treat your skin as a canvas, not a high school spiral that you’re just doodling on.”
Although he doesn’t have any tattoos, Bray said he would get tattooed in College Station as opposed to a big city, because location doesn’t define artists’ talent.
“I think it’s about the artist, their reputation and work, not about location,” Bray said. “There is hidden talent everywhere. It’s just a matter of finding someone’s work you like, putting your confidence in them as an artist and laying the ink down.”
De la Concha said there are things to consider when getting your first tattoo.
“Wait. It’s not a spur of the moment thing,” de la Concha said. “Definitely start where you can keep stuff a little bit hidden. Think about your future. If you’re not sure what you’re going to be doing, make sure it’s not going to keep you from being able to do what you want to do.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *