Ink therapy, more than just skin deep
Devin Hartley of Sabetha owns and operates Ink Addiction at 1773 Frontage Road.
Are tattoos addictive? Some say that if you get one, you are going to want to get more. It is an artform that was born more than 5,000 years ago as body adornment to express culture, rites of passage, religion and beautification, and it survives and thrives in today’s culture remembering loved ones alive and passed, important life events, hobbies, ancestry, sports loyalties, signs of patriotism and as a means of self expression.
For local residents and people from the surrounding area interested in getting a tattoo, one has to go to Ink Addiction in Sabetha.
Artist, owner and operator Devin Hartley has been in the business for over a decade and stays very busy throughout the year sharing his talent with eager patrons.
After receiving his first tattoo, you could say he was addicted and he wanted to get more of his own, but also had the desire to use his talent to learn the business.
Devin grew up in Horton and that is where his affinity of art began, and where he learned to hone his skill and stoke his passion.
“I have always enjoyed art from an early age,” Devin said. “I took every art class that I could in high school, including drafting.”
Devin received his first license in 2009, when he opened a shop in Falls City, Neb. He ran that business for 11 years. Then, he decided to move his shop to its current location at 1773 Frontage Road in Sabetha approximately two years ago. He continues to renew his shop license yearly, and his tattoo license every two years.
“I specialize more so in black and gray, usually larger pieces but I have done about everything,” Devin said. “I enjoy anything that challenges me. I have dabbled in airbrushing, and you can find some of that work on my walls in the shop. I would say my favorite type of art is tattooing, because I get to help people express themselves.”
Memorial tattoos and flower tattoos are popular requests at Ink Addiction, but Devin has done a wide variety of subject matter over his years of experience. Its all art that he does and its art that he loves. He has tattooed upwards of 15,000 pieces in all different shapes and sizes, turning out 10 to 20 works of art per week to his satisfied customers.
“Tattooing has become more popular over the years and there are more and more people that you see that have tattoos,” Devin said. “Tattooing is an artform to express oneself and I wanted to bring that to Sabetha. Tattoos can be more than a ‘pretty picture’ on your skin, some may get a tattoo in remembrance of a loved one or friend, some choose religious tattoos, and some choose celebratory tattoos like the birth of a child.”
Receiving A tattoo
For those who have the inkling to get a tattoo, costs and time might be a factor to consider. Devin said it can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes to get the adornment, depending on the where it is and how complex it is, but some people can sit more than 10 hours to receive his services, and some may take more than one session to complete.
“It all depends on the design, complexity, location of the piece and the client cooperativeness are factors that are considered in pricing the work,” Devin said.
Booking an Appointment
If you are interested in getting some body art and need some questions answered before you are ready to jump in, Devin is more than willing to speak with you and answer all your questions.
Ink Addiction is located at 1773 Frontage Road in Sabetha and Devin is available Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., or until the last appointment is complete. To make an appointment, you can stop by the shop and schedule a slot, or call the shop at 785-285-1864 and leave a message. Those interested also can message Devin on his personal — or Ink Addiction — Facebook page.
To see some of his previous work, visit his Facebook page at Ink Addiction. Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are welcomed if the schedule allows.
When asked what part of his job is the most rewarding, Devin said, “I enjoy being able to use my artistic ability to create masterpieces that people can get tattooed on them. ‘Ink Therapy’ is a term that many people who have tattoos use and I truly believe that it helps people through different times in their lives, whether it be to celebrate life, mourn a loss, or just used to express oneself.”
Despite how busy Devin is — with bookings now lined up for the next three months — he finds time to spend with his wife Kristen and their five children, ranging in age from 14-23, outside of work. He also enjoys spending time with his family working on projects, fishing and shooting.