Transom stories: TC artist tells stories with needle and ink
Art Business

Transom stories: TC artist tells stories with needle and ink

Ram Lee is the owner of Traverse City Tattoo. It’s a bit cliché but true: behind every tattoo lies a story. They’re points in time laid painfully down in ink, memories of love and loss, drunken dares and thoughts about who we are or who we want to be. Ram Lee remembers the first tattoo he ever got. "Mine was a wolf," he says. "This really little wolf howling on my upper left arm that everybody in the industry wants to cover for me. But I said you can frame it because there’s only one first tattoo, and I’m not going to cover it." Ram says he was young when he got the wolf – a little drunk, too. But 30 years and several more tattoos later, Ram now owns Traverse City Tattoo. Ram makes tattooing look easy. With each movement of his hand the tattoo machine seems to glide effortlessly along. He’s friendly too, chatting with his customers and putting them at ease in the tattoo chair as needles set ink into their skin. "When I got into it, I instantly fell in love with it," says Ram. "And I fell in love with black and gray tattooing […]

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