As of late, I’ve been noticing some incredible ink on some of my friend’s arms, legs, backs, etc. And one name that seemed to be constantly coming out of their mouths when I asked them who did it was Paula Higgins-Clark from Ground Zero Tattoo Studios in Haledon, NJ. Paula is the co-owner of Ground Zero Tattoo Studios with her partner in crime, Tommy Silva, whom she’s been partners with since April of 2001. I got to visit Paula and Tommy back in November of 2006, and thought that she did terrific work back then. Little did I know, she would be tattooing everyone that I know.
Paula Higgins-Clark has been tattooing for nine years now, and she only works on custom designs. In her nine years of tattooing, Paula claims that the weirdest tattoo request that she’s ever gotten was by some guy who came into the shop and wanted a tattoo of a heart with his wife’s name in it on his ass for his 25th wedding anniversary. I’m not sure if Paula went through with tattooing that one, but she did however get to tattoo people like Danny from Ill Nino, and most of the members of Mermaid In A Manhole. The one thing that I do remember when interviewing Paula was that in her studio, she had a TV and DVD player set up by her tattooing chair so her customers wouldn’t get bored while they got tattooed. They’re able to watch their favorite movies, and keep their mind off of the things while the needle was being used on their bodies. It also makes her customers really comfortable. Next to being a tattoo artist, Paula is also a painter, and a devoted mother and wife. When she’s not tattooing at the shop, she’s either traveling to a tattoo convention or spending her time with her family enjoying her farm in Boonton, NJ.
In a recent email, Paula told me that she and Tommy are going their separate ways. Tommy Silva will stay at Ground Zero Tattoo Studios in Haledon, NJ (groundzerotat2.com), while Paula will be opening her own shop in October or November of this year called Devotion Studios And Gallery. At the time of this writing, there wasn’t a set location for the shop, but Paula did say that Devotion will still be everything that Ground Zero is, only she will be bringing something new to the table by incorporating an Art Gallery within the studio walls. She hopes to bring local and national artists together, so customers can examine the influence and the relationship between fine art and tattoos. You can find out more about Paula’s new shop at myspace.com/devotionstudiosandgallery. Paula says that she will remain at Ground Zero until her shop opens. Ground Zero is located at 334 Belmont Ave., Haledon, NJ. For an appointment, call 973-904-3030. Why not? All of my friends apparently are!