This month’s feature Chamber member is Sink n’ Ink Tattoos, owned by Kya Dubois.
Dubois’ shop is now in its second year, but she has been tattooing for five years.
“I was always artistic, all throughout my life,” Dubois said. “I actually grew up in Calgary and was always put into fine arts schools, things like that.”
When she got to high school, she tried to go the trades route to become an electrician.
“But it didn’t work out and I sort of came back to art the next couple of years after I got out of high school, started getting my first tattoos, started realizing I was spending a lot of my spare time looking at tattoos on the internet.”
At the time she didn’t know what she wanted to do and was working minimum wage jobs. Then one day it just clicked: She enjoyed art and tattoos, so why not do that?
While she said tattoo artists are usually trained through apprenticeships, she trained in Toronto. There she learned all sorts of theories and received her Blood-borne Pathogens certificate.
“Then it was practice makes perfect,” she said. From there she started a studio in her house. “That quickly evolved only a year later to being too busy to be in my own house and I opened a shop.”
Dubois said she prefers to do tattoos with colour over black and grey.
“I’d also say my style is very different from most people — I like to make it a little more artistic, I like to put lots of hidden meaning and styles combined.”
That includes sacred geometry, graphic design and the semi-realism of what is called neo-traditional.
Saying that, she also noted she likes challenges with things she hasn’t tried before, that perhaps clients bring in.
“I definitely will take on things I don’t normally do. I think that’s a good way for growth and I think taking on those new challenges is what has really lifted my talents and skills — because you have to try new things to do new things,” she said.
The walls of her shop are filled with artwork.
“My goal was to have a local art gallery and tattoo shop and when this spot became available to me I pretty much jumped on it because it had the room to do that,” she said. “I showcase a local art gallery with all local artists, as well as an artisan boutique.”
That includes homemade cards, handcrafted jewelry, knitted attire, homemade scented candles, all from local small businesses and entrepreneurs.
“I think other local artists need as much showcasing as they can take,” she said. “It’s a hard industry when it comes to art… to get successful and to get going and to get word of mouth out. So I do my best to contribute to that for all those local entrepreneurs.”
Dubois aims to be community oriented.
“We have our cancer fundraiser in June, when Relay for Life is going on,” she said. “I participate in Pride Day, I am always open and willing to give gift certificates to fundraisers and auctions and raffles. I try to be very community oriented in my shop.”
The shop also has a piercer, who recently started.
Dubois said being a member of the Chamber has presented great opportunities for networking and for fundraising opportunities.
“I would definitely say that being part of the Chamber has been a really positive thing,” she said.