On a recent jaunt to the southwest with my lady friend, we came across a great little tattoo shop in Scottsdale, Arizona that we wanted to check out pretty badly. The shop caught our eye on one of the evenings that we went out to meet some friends for drinks. We saw a shop with Indian décor making us think that there were products from India in there. So we looked inside the window since the shop was already closed, and realized that it was a tattoo parlor. I guess the sign above the door that read Divinity Tattoo should’ve been a dead giveaway. Anyway, we made it a point to stop there the next day on our way to Sednona, AZ for our Pink Jeep Tour! Anyone who’s been to Sedona knows what I’m talking about, everyone else can think what they want, but the Pink Jeep Tour rocked!
Getting back to the tattoo shop, Divinity Tattoo was as ‘divine’ on the inside as it was named. The shop looked more like a day spa than a tattoo parlor. Then again, it seemed everything in Arizona looked like a day spa. Instead of getting a tattoo, I felt like I should’ve been getting a massage or something. Regardless, it made for a very relaxing atmosphere.
We were greeted by co-owner Paolo Acuna, who was about to start tattooing a customer on a gorgeous sunny afternoon. Paolo allowed us to walk around the shop and take a look after we told him that we were from the East Coast and that we loved stopping at tattoo shops around the country. As we walked around the crimson colored waiting area that had a wood paneled ceiling and walls adorned with tattoo artwork along with Ganesh portraits, I started to feel hungry because now, I was starting to feel like the shop was starting to look like an Indian restaurant minus the smell of curry.
A little history about Divinity Tattoo, it was opened in 2002 by co-owners, Dann Hailey and Paolo Acuna, who had a vision of creating a tattoo studio that headed in a different direction from the normal tattoo shops. They decided to focus on fine art, cleanliness, safety, and professionalism, which became the foundation in which they built the studio. Paolo told me that Divinity Tattoo was built with the intention to be a custom tattoo shop. In fact, they prefer to tattoo original custom designs created by their artists, but inspired by their clients. He also said that they won’t turn down somebody who wants flash work, but they would advise something unique and original.
This Divinity Tattoo shop that we were standing in was one of three shops in Arizona. The brand new shop was in the city of Phoenix, which was about a half hour out of Scottsdale, and the other shop was in Flagstaff, an artsy mountain town which was about two and a half hours north of Scottsdale and the home of the legendary Route 66. All three shops are owned by Paolo and Dann, who also tattoo at all three shops on rotating days.
Besides being super impressed with the cleanliness and tranquility of this shop, I was blown away with the artwork. It’s some of the best artwork that I’ve seen yet, and I mean the shop as a whole. Paolo and Dann employ four other artists in Scottsdale. There’s Dub Weir, Tony Goeke, Dan Mattingly (not Don) and Austin West.
There are four private rooms for tattooing and body piercing. When I asked Paolo about prices, he told me that their prices started at a minimum of $60 and made its way up from there. He also told me that they make it a practice not to give a quote over the phone or on email due to the fact that there are way too many items to factor into the price of a tattoo. He urges customers to stop into the one of their shops, so that they can accurately give them a quote. When I asked about the age limit for tattooing and piercing, Paolo was quick to answer that Divinity Tattoo “will not”, under any circumstance, tattoo anyone under the age of 18. As for piercing, however, you must be of at least 16 years of age with a parent or legal guardian present, and both must bring matching state IDs and birth certificates. So, they’re pretty strict when it comes to age restrictions. Paolo also assured me that all needles are first time used and all machines are autoclave sterilized.
To book an appointment at Divinity Tattoo, there’s a $40.00 deposit required. Appointments also vary depending on the artist. Paolo said that on some occasions there may also be a minimal drawing deposit depending on the size and complexity of the artwork. A deposit for holding the appointment will be credited back to you upon getting your tattoo, while the drawing deposit will not be refunded. Also, Divinity Tattoo charges $150.00 per hour for tattooing. Paolo said that bookings go pretty fast since the artists are constantly traveling, so if you do happen to visit Scottsdale, Arizona and want to make an appointment for a tattoo, he suggests to make an appointment in advance at divinitytattoo.com or you can call (480) 970-5042 for any other questions. If you do happen to be in Arizona and want to visit the unique shop that I visited, they were located at 2947 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, AZ.
Well, I’m off to check out my next tattoo spot! Who knows what state it will be in! If you have a tattoo shop that you want to suggest, please e-mail me the name of the place and for whom I should ask at firstname.lastname@example.org.