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    As you might have seen in last week's feature, I had the opportunity to interview Buddy Wheeler, owner of Tattoo Charlie's. Thanks to the help of Buddy, this week we'll be returning again to this same shop with another gifted artist. Louisville, meet Joel Schlenkerman!

    Q: How long have you been tattooing?

    A: I started in 1992. 


    Q: What got you started in tattooing? How did you become a tattoo artist?

    A: I always had a love of drawing and a fascination with tattoos.


    Q: What shop do you work at and why did you choose to work there? 

    A: Tattoo Charlie's on Preston Highway. Being from Cleveland, I knew that when I moved to Louisville I wanted to go to the most respected studio in Louisville.

    Q: What is your specialty/favorite type of tattoo to create?

    A: I specialize in portraits and photorealism, but I enjoy all genres. 


    Q: What was your favorite/most unique piece you've done?
    It's hard to pick one. I've done a lot of unique pieces over the years.


    Q: What does your typical day look like?

    A: You never know what's going to come in the door, that's what keeps it exciting.


    Q: Who influenced your work the most?

    A: My main tattoo influences are Paul Booth, Guy Aitchison, and Tom Renshaw.

    Q: What is your favorite part of the job?

    A: The uncertainty of how the day plays out.


    Q: Tell us about your first tattoo (either one you tattooed or one you got).

    A: I was my own guinea pig. I had to know how it felt before doing it to someone else. 


    Q: Why Louisville? What is your favorite part of being in Louisville?

    A: I love the history and southern culture. 


    Tattoo Charlie's is a very familiar name to the Louisville community, with two different Louisville locations. Tattoo Charlie's hosted their Tattoos Against Cancer event earlier this year to raise money for Meghan's Mountain, a local charity. For more information about Joel or Tattoo Charlie's, visit their website. Check out their Instagram @tattoocharlies to see samples of their work. 

    Photos provided by Joel Schlenkerman

    Taylor Ichinose's picture

    About Taylor Ichinose

    I am an incoming senior (finally!) at the University of Louisville. I will be graduating with three degrees: English, Spanish, and Humanities. I intend to continue my education and get my masters in English next year. I have had the pleasure of working at both Louisville Magazine and over the last year.

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