Jared Preslar always knew he was going to open a tattoo studio, but his actual inspiration for doing it came not from what he liked, but rather from the things he didn’t.
Jared had worked in a number of studios over the first decade of his career, and was always noticing things that he felt were done wrong or which he would do differently given the opportunity. He recalls having clients pass out on average once a week due to the anxiety producing atmosphere that compounded their stress and fear. Working in studios where everything was out in the open, he felt, was another factor adding to the stress levels. Wanting to provide what the others weren’t was a major catalyst in going into business for himself.
The plan was to open in nearby Salt Lake, but Jared decided a more convenient location for him, and a better move business-wise, would be to stay close to home in Layton where there weren’t many options for getting tattooed. Ultimately, what he wanted was a studio that would stand out and be heads above the competition.
“I wanted to have the best studio in Utah, so I wanted it to be the most impressive inside, from the ambiance to the staff. The biggest difference, and the thing that some artists have had a hard time grasping when they’ve come here, is that we’re very professional, where other tattoo studios are rather laid back.”
“It’s hard for me not to look at things from a business aspect when dealing with a consumer,” Jared adds. “Even if an artist is resistant in the beginning, they typically end up liking how we do things and how it benefits them.”
At Lucky Bamboo, you’ll find an art gallery at the front of the space, and private work stations further in. Jared worked hard to create an upscale atmosphere that is both comfortable and creative.
Working along with Jared at Lucky Bamboo are Christina Walker, Haylo, Pineapple, and Walt Watts. Together they have more than fifty years of tattooing experience, and specializing in styles ranging from painterly to portrait realism, American traditional, neo-traditional and black & grey. But ask and you shall receive, because these guys have the talent to do it all.
“I’m not a big believer of being a ‘Jack of all trades’ so I wanted to bring in artists who would give us a diverse mix,” Jared says. “It’s also that they are reliable and focused on growing and becoming better artists.”
For Jared, 39, his passion for tattooing goes back to when he was twelve years old and saw members of the heavy metal group Pantera inked up in magazine.
“I was fascinated with the tattoos and the stories behind them. I was already into art, and I was drawn to tattooing because it was so unique,” Jared says.
“As for my own tattoo style, I’ve kind of mixed art with realism,” Jared adds. “I have a background in traditional Japanese style, and that evolved into a modern traditional Japanese, but the more I focused on my art the more I let go of the rules.”
Along with doing new tattoos, Lucky Bamboo also takes pride in their coverup work. To aide in the process, they utilize Tatt2Away, a natural, non-laser removal system, that has the benefit of being able to selectively remove portions of a tattoo. Jared found the need for incorporating tattoo removal into the services offered after coming to the realization that coverups can’t be done to the level that the artist and client would really prefer because the majority of the time, unless the coverup is solid black, it’s easy to spot the old ink underneath.
“We wanted to be able to offer more options, and be able to do pattern disruption or lightening,” Jared says. “I’m a researcher by nature, and I was confident after calling some other artists that were successfully using Tatt2Away and seeing their results. Tatt2Away has revolutionized removal. I can’t support laser because it pushes the ink into the body and the lymphatic system which isn’t a healthy or safe choice. Tatt2Away removes the ink from the body, and does so even after one treatment.”
“Having that control and flexibility to be able to navigate the removal to fit what we’re trying to do (that’s in the best interest of creating the coverup) is awesome,” Jared adds. “It opens the door to lots of possibilities. With this system, I consider a coverup as a new tattoo because we can get (the old tattoo) to whatever level we need.”
Lucky may be part of the name, but there’s no denying that the success of Lucky Bamboo Tattoo comes not by chance, but rather dedication to establishing and maintaining high expectations.
“I’m living my dream at this point. Everything that I had in my mind before I opened the shop, and the goals that I had, have been achieved,” Jared says. “It’s really neat to be able to see that in motion.”