After five years of business in the village of Jordan, tattooist Mike Hynes says people are still surprised to come across his tattoo and body piercing shop.
Which could be considered a good thing, since when Hynes moved into the space at 6 Clinton Street in the village, some residents worried the "wrong type of people" would be attracted to Jordan as a result.
"A lot of the stigma still remains," Hynes said of the art of tattooing, and those who perform it. "Our goal is to show people we're not some hunchbacked guys in a dark room scrawling with dirty needles."
Hynes designed his Mystical Magical Tattoo Studio with that in mind, and aimed to create a comfortable atmosphere, where people would not be intimidated. One wall of the studio is completely mirrored, so that "there is nothing the tattooist does that you don't see," Hynes said. The shop also acts as a safe spot for kids, who are welcome to come inside if they feel they are in danger or even just to say hello.
Hynes said his own interest in tattoos was sparked when he was just eight years old. Growing up in South Boston, his mother would often send him to the store and along the way he would a tattoo shop. Though in those days, Hynes said, tattoo parlors had a closed-door policy - as in, the doors remained closed. Oustide, Harleys were always parked, he said.
One day, he caught a glimpse inside. He watched a man grimace in pain as he received a tattoo, and when the artist looked over his shoulder at the boy and winked, he was hooked.
Hynes said he began as an apprentice at the same shop, under Paul Sheffield, the artist who had sparked his initial interest in the art.