WEB EXCLUSIVE: New tattoo artist offers ‘tattoos for smart people’

Jessica Wojcik

Jason Wells, 25, owner of Kent’s newest tattoo studio, Pulse Dermagraphics, tattoos senior art major Ed Pecek’s shoulder. Visit StaterOnline.com to see a Web-exclusive story and photo gallery about Wells, and learn why he calls his art ‘tattoos for smart

Credit: Jason Hall

Web-exclusive photo gallery:  ‘Tattoos for smart people’

Walking up West Erie Street in downtown Kent, patrons of Pulse Dermagraphics Studio are confronted with a large cartoon face on a red door. The face, in the likeness of Pulse owner Jason Wells, greets customers as they walk up a narrow staircase into his tattoo parlor.

“It’s basically a custom, more of a personal tattoo shop, a place that you can actually come, get tattooed and not be rushed out the door,” Wells said.

Although Pulse has been open for just a few short months, opening the business has been a goal of Wells’s for some time.

“It was something I actually wanted to do for a long time, but I was never put in a situation where it looked like the best option for me,” Wells said.

After working in other people’s shops for nine years, the time came to venture out on his own. Wells moved to Kent so his fiance could attend graduate school at Kent State, and he was able to open a shop where he is free to work in an environment cohesive with his own artistic ventures.

“It’s me,” Wells said. “I don’t have to deal with anyone else. I don’t have to deal with the politics.”

This atmosphere allows Wells to do what he does best: design and ink large, elaborate pieces of art that can take days to tattoo.

“It’s always kind of a scary thing to do something that requires a lot of work and a lot of time,” Wells said.

The time, dedication and hard work have paid off. Although he is still advertising, Wells has had steady business to his small second-floor studio at 112.5 W. Erie St., above Zeppe’s Pizza. It may help that the inside of Pulse is clean and bright, a stark contrast from what some might expect a tattoo parlor to look like.

The first room, reminiscent of a graphic design studio or night club, is painted a cool, relaxing blue and has several couches for clients to sit on while they wait for appointments or browse through albums of Wells’s work. The room also serves as Wells’s office and offers a television with a DVD player and Nintendo NES.

“(You can) bring in your own movies, CDs, and try to have the best time that you possibly can,” Wells said. He stresses the importance of creating a comfortable and relaxing environment for his customers.

In the connected room, Wells does his tattooing. Also very open and bright, this room is decorated with little more than a large black upholstered table for clients and a table of tattooing supplies for himself.

David Collier, 19, of Kent, recently got his third tattoo from Wells after someone he worked with recommended the studio.

“I liked his work and went through his portfolio,” Collier said.

Collier, who has never gotten a tattoo that wasn’t done by Wells, said the privacy Pulse offers helped to make him more comfortable.

“I was nervous at first, but you can watch movies and stuff, and I liked the atmosphere of the studio,” Collier said.

Should anyone want what Wells calls “tattoos for smart people,” Pulse is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon until 6 p.m. Appointments are preferred and can be made by calling 330-204-8265.

Contact web correspondent Jessica Wojcik at [email protected].