SILVERDALE — Bleeding Black Tattoo is a new feature in Old Town Silverdale.
The tattoo studio opened in mid-January. Specifically, owner Nik Flores said he wanted to open his shop on Friday the 13th, well, just because.
Bleeding Black is a fully custom tattoo studio, in which Flores mostly works alone.
“Everything here is custom, nothing is replicated unless requested,” Flores said. “In any style, as well.”
Flores got into the tattoo industry almost by accident, he said. He started in Los Angeles, where he was going to school to become a cook. Then he decided to pursue his band, which also didn’t work out. On the suggestion of friends, he began tattooing as both a hobby and a way to earn money, and it ended up being where he made his career.
“It was actually one of those random, crazy things,” he said. “This is not what I was planning on doing … I mainly just did a lot of tattooing back in California on my friends, and got lucky with my foot-in-the-door-type situation.”
Self-taught, he started working with a lot of custom shops in California.Flores said custom work is “something I ended up growing up with in the industry.”
Ultimately he ended up in Silverdale, where he now owns Bleeding Black.
“It’s a very lucky position to be in here, to be able to do what I’m doing,” Flores said. “That’s not usually how it works.”
Aside from tattooing, Flores also sells artwork out of his shop; his own, as well as from local artists. He said he has a custom art wall dedicated to artists who want to put up their work.
Flores feels he brings something unique to the Kitsap tattoo industry.
“I know for a fact that nobody does the type of work that we put out here,” Flores said, “because everything’s diverse here. There’s no one particular style.
“[Bleeding Black is] a very … unique environment. It’s very welcoming and accommodating for the clients, which is the most important thing to me.”
When it comes to tattoo styles, Flores doesn’t discriminate.
“Anything you want,” he said. “We go from realism, traditional, neo-traditional, Chinese traditional … tribal, line work … we do everything here,” he said. There’s pretty much no limit to what can be tattooed out of here. That’s how I like to keep it.”
Flores said he focuses on custom pieces because that’s where the best work comes from.
“[It gives me] the freedom to do whatever I want,” he said. “Clients come in and say, ‘I want a skull and a rose, I don’t care how you do it.’ That’s custom right there.”
He said that replicating something else can be limiting as an artist.
“When they give me the freedom … that’s usually when the best pieces come out, for me and for the client as well,” Flores said. “I can pretty much have creative freedom with it.”
Having been open only a few months, Flores said he’s already booked “pretty far out in advance,” and feels very welcomed in the Old Town community.
“I’ve made very great friends with the neighbors around here,” Flores said. “Everyone seems to be very welcoming.”
Bleeding Black Tattoo is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at 3594 Byron St., No. 101, Silverdale. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/bleedingblacktattoo or call 360-516-6155.
— Michelle Beahm is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@soundpublish ing.com.