On my way to rehearsal one Thursday in Roselle, NJ, my GPS diverted me to Route 1 near the Menlo Park Mall to take the Garden State Parkway. Of course, I took a wrong turn and ended up getting lost, but I wound up driving past a place called Rorschach Gallery, which had a huge “Tattoo and Art Gallery” sign above it. For those of you who never took a psychology class, a Rorschach test is a psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning. At first, I thought this was a gallery for those inkblot art pieces. Then I saw the “Tattoo” sign and found myself intrigued. I looked at the clock on my dashboard, and realized that I had some time to spare before I continued my journey to rehearsal and ran in to take a quick look at this place.
I walked into a waiting room that I really wasn’t expecting to see. This might have been one of the coolest waiting rooms I’ve seen in any tattoo shop yet. The shop is two stories, with the lobby and waiting area above, and the tattoo workstations below. The upper floor was covered wall-to-wall in artwork, mostly done by various local artists who the owners allowed to hang their pieces on display, free of charge. There’s also an Xbox video game system on hand for those in search of further entertainment. There were also leather seating, hardwood flooring, AirStone veneer brick accents walls, and an extremely modern reception desk. This place was beautiful!
At the time of this writing, I don’t recall the name of the receptionist who greeted me, but they were super-friendly, and were willing to answer any quick questions that I asked. At the time, all of the artists on staff were tattooing clients and the buzzing in the air was certainly infectious. As I said earlier, my stop here was quick because of my rehearsal schedule, so I asked a few questions and bailed. So, I did learn that Rorschach Gallery owners and artists “Sunday” Brian Mahovetz and Dan “Doodles” Ward opened the shop only back in 2012.
When I asked my stock question of, “What would make a prospective client like myself want to come to Rorschach Gallery for my next tattoo?” I was told that the parlor’s mix of professionalism and comfortability were two great reasons to make an appointment. Their artists have a great chair-side manor, which can be both engaging and reassuring for clients, but the receptionist did tell me that the artists clearly connect with their customers because many stop by regularly, just to say hello. The entire staff seemed more than happy to chat and make small talk, joke and share stories while they worked on their clients. This was an extremely friendly shop from what I can tell.
I was also told that at Rorschach Gallery, they strive to provide the highest quality of tattoos at affordable prices for their clientele. They provide a sterile, state of the art tattooing and piercing environment and use only disposable needles. Brian and Dan surround themselves with four other artists in Dennis Van Blarcom, Carol “Cricket” Jacky, Jason “Havoc” Teodorczy, and Jennifer Davis, plus a piercer and tattoo removal tech, Alex Christopher. What’s a tattoo removal tech? Well, funny you should ask.
Okay, so, here is what sets Rorschach Gallery apart from the rest of the shops in Jersey. Rorschach is the first licensed Tatt2Away Studio in New Jersey. What is Tatt2Away? I’m glad you asked because I had no idea. Tatt2Away is a non-laser tattoo removal method that is much safer and more cost-effective than traditional laser methods, plus you’re not limited to the colors you need get rid of like in lase removal. Tatt2Away is an all-natural non-laser tattoo removal system that removes all ink colors with reduced chances of scarring, fewer number of treatments, and produces far better results than other tattoo removal methods including laser tattoo removal. The process is pretty amazing! Too bad I don’t want to get rid of any of my tattoos. How much does it cost? A consultation is needed to determine a price of the tattoo removal, but in this case size does matter.
When I asked about walk-ins, I was told that of course, walk-ins are always welcome based on availability, but appointments are obviously preferred and require a non-refundable deposit. If an appointment needs to be rescheduled, there must be at least a 72-hour notice. When I asked about the age requirements for the shop, I was told all clients of Rorschach Gallery must provide a valid photo ID before receiving any services by a staff member. Rorschach Gallery and the state of New Jersey prohibit anyone under the age of 16 to be tattooed or pierced. All minors must provide a valid photo ID and proof of age. (ex. state issued I.D., passport, driver’s license). They must also be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian with a valid I.D. and proof of guardianship.
It was time for me to head to practice, but if you want check this awesome shop out, they’re located at 174 Lafayette Avenue in Edison, and are open Monday through Sunday from 12 p.m. until 10 p.m. For any questions, call the shop at (732) 243-9242 or visit RorschachGallery.com.
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 whom I should ask for at email@example.com.