Artists: Erick Lynch
2094 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
FRESHLY INKED: What year did you start tattooing?
LYNCH: I lived in Queens ’til I was 2, then we moved to Pittsburgh ’til I was 13. My parents moved from Pittsburgh to New Hampshire in ’86—that was the year I started to get interested in tattooing.
FRESHLY INKED: How did you get into tattooing?
LYNCH: I tattooed myself at 13 after seeing someone do it jailhouse style in a movie, and I bought my first tattoo kit at 15 or 16. I did quite a few tattoos with that junk ’til I was about 18 or 19. I was never really tattooing full-time then; it would be here and there when I would find some unlucky soul to get tattooed. I had no idea what I was doing back then and should never have been tattooing.
FRESHLY INKED: Where did you apprentice?
LYNCH: I finally found someone in 1993 to apprentice me, but that only lasted about three to four months. It was a pretty dysfunctional studio and it just didn’t work out. A year later someone offered me a job as a front person in a local shop, and that led to being offered another apprenticeship, but that one only lasted maybe a year. The shop closed and the owner moved out of state. I unfortunately never had a real apprenticeship, but I was lucky to have a lot of people help me out in the beginning. I got my first full-time tattooing job in ’95, worked in a few shops ’til 2002, when I opened Redemption with Mike Shea.
FRESHLY INKED: What conventions have you worked at?
LYNCH: I’ve worked quite a few conventions in the past, but just really have not been doing them in the last few years. There are a lot I would
like to get back to working, and I have some overseas trips in the works.
FRESHLY INKED: Have you won any awards?
LYNCH: I’ve won my fair share of trophies at conventions in the past, but more importantly, our shop has won multiple local business awards, including Boston A-list “Best Place To Get Inked” 2010, Boston Phoenix’s “Best Tattoo Parlor” 2010, City Voter “Top of the Heights Winner” 2009, Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” 2008, and WBZTV “A-list Winner” 2007.
FRESHLY INKED: How do you describe your style?
LYNCH: Simplistic, clean, easy-to-read tattooing.
FRESHLY INKED: What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
LYNCH: I like to do tattoos that look like tattoos.
FRESHLY INKED: What tattoo artists do you admire most?
LYNCH: These days it sounds so cliché, but American and Japanese tattooers of the past. But even today there is so much good tattooing going on it’s hard not to be inspired by modern tattooers too.
FRESHLY INKED: What other mediums do you work in?
LYNCH: I’ve been collecting vintage drawing paper for a few years, which I do graphite drawings on. And I do watercolor tattoo flash—but that kinda comes with the job. But I’m first and foremost a tattooer. I’ve always drawn things that in some way I intended for tattooing since I was 13. I’ve always said that I’m a tattooer who does art, not an artist who tattoos.
FRESHLY INKED: Is there anyone that you would like to tattoo?
LYNCH: My business partner at Redemption, Mike Shea. We’ve been talking about tattooing each other for nine years now—maybe this will be our year.
FRESHLY INKED: Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?
LYNCH: Most advice I would give would be about design and placement. I really try and be picky about how something sits on the body. I think placement is a huge part of having a great tattoo.
FRESHLY INKED: Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
LYNCH: A few years ago I did a fox on a guy’s neck crawling up his back. I would love to do a panther or tiger in the same way.