2017-10-11 / Business

New Catskill Mountain Tattoo making a mark in Margaretville

By Paula DeSimone

A new artist has arrived in town! Ray White of Catskill Mountain Tattoo and his wife, Susan have been well received since their summer opening in Binnekill Square on Main Street in Margaretville.

The pair, who are born and raised flatlanders from Long Island, have traded the rat race of down state for the peace, tranquility, friendly people, incredible scenery and slower pace of living in the region. Enjoying their new hometown with them is their mascot/greeter, Thunder a loving Old English Bulldog mix, who at seven years old weighs in at 90 pounds and looks for all the loving he can get.

Ray was born to draw and began when he was old enough to pick up a pencil. He continued to hone his skills and found tattooing as his passion. In this tattoo parlor, there are no “flash tattoos” which are numbered tattoos copied from others. “You don’t pick a number here,” says Ray. “I create a tattoo for you and you alone.” His work involves cover ups, portraits, pin-ups, lettering, hot rods and everything else including reworking old ink.

At the free initial consultation, Ray finds out what his client has in mind. Why do they want this tattoo? Is there a story behind it? What is their style, what are they visualizing? “The customer is very involved in the design,” he adds. “I pick their brain to get their idea out of their head and onto the skin.”

After Ray gathers all his info, he puts together a design on paper. Different wants, different types of skins, skin colors, body parts, all must be considered.

Skills and personality

It’s not an easy medium. Once the design is approved, Ray gets to work. And once that machine turns on, Ray’s lively personality turns off and he fixates on his work. Ray has 27 years of tattooing experience so he knows his craft. When the tattoo is finished, Ray wants clients to “not just have a tattoo you love, but to have a tattoo that you can’t live without.”

The tattoo trend started about 10-15 years ago, and has been going strong ever since becoming more acceptable and popular every year. Women actually provide 70 percent of Ray’s business. Susan has been booking appointments and they have been busy working a few days a week. By the end of the year, they plan to be open full time.

When thinking of a tattoo, Ray and Susan warn people to shop around, and look at the artist’s work.

“Pricing,” says Ray, “depends on how intricate the artwork is, size, body placement and other variables.” He says, “Don’t go discount; like anything else, you get what you pay for. Tattoos are permanent, expensive and painful to remove. Once your skin is tattooed you can never go back to clean skin.”

Susan adds “make sure it’s something you love. If you can’t afford it now, put your pennies away and save so you can get something awesome.”

Ray and Susan are happy to be part of the Margaretville business community and invite folks to drop by the store at 746 Main Street or call @ 845.681.3101.

E-mails are also welcomed at ray@catskillmountaintattoo.co m. Ray’s work can be seen at raywhitetattoo@instagram.com or check out facebook.com/ catskillmountaintattoo.com.

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