CHEROKEE, N.C. (WLOS) — Whenever you first stroll into Indian Ink Studio, you immediately see there are a variety of choices.
Below the roof of what was at one time solely a tattoo studio, now homes a retail area, barber’s chair, tanning mattress, hair styling and beauty tattooing.
All the way in which within the again is an extended black chair — and that’s the place proprietor Robin Lambert does his work.
“I went to high school for engineering,” Lambert stated.
However that’s not the form of work he does in that chair.
His profession path modified when he was round 20 years previous.
“I went out and acquired a tattoo and noticed principally how they had been doing it and what they had been doing,” Lambert stated. “I believed, ‘Effectively, that doesn’t look as exhausting,’ which I used to be very shocked that it was a lot tougher than it seems to be.”
When Lambert explains that he’s been drawing and carving since he was a younger baby, it’s straightforward to see how he would make up his thoughts to turn into a tattoo artist.
“I’ve been into drawing, carvings, ever since I used to be 4 or 5 years previous,” he stated.
One of many points of interest of tattooing is the connection between the artist and consumer, he stated.
“Tattooing, you study rapidly to regulate to your individual. Them speaking to you when you’re working, respiration; their physique’s transferring so then you definitely study to carry and transfer with them,” Lambert stated.
As he honed his craft, Lambert realized he cherished working in black and greys.
“I suppose as a result of I don’t have any formal artwork coaching and I’ve drawn in pencils since so long as I can bear in mind, I normally relate it to carving,” he defined. “I’ve achieved wooden and stone carving since I used to be 5 years previous and it’s nearly like sculpting the tattoo.”
As soon as he discovered his method, he additionally discovered individuals keen to journey to Cherokee from all around the world.
“This man, each 2 years he would are available. He lived in New Zealand, so he would fly over right here each 2 years and let me work on him for about 2 or 3 days in a row,” Lambert stated. “He was big man, in all probability 6’8 — gigantic again!”
Tattooing has led Robin to journey round as effectively, however there’s just one place he’s ever referred to as residence: Cherokee.
“Via the years, elevating my household — it’s straightforward to lift household the place there’s household,” he stated.
And that household grew to become further essential when he was recognized with most cancers a number of years again.
“It’s referred to as head and neck most cancers. It was in my throat,” Lambert stated.
Whereas that prognosis was exhausting, it’s additionally tough to miss what he acquired from that have: Natasha.
“I feel we had been courting a month after I discovered, possibly 2 months. She caught proper there with me, so she’s an exquisite individual,” Lambert stated.
He has been cancer-free for 3 years and the outlook is wanting good.
2020 hit Indian Ink Studio exhausting similar to most different small companies all around the nation, however Robin and Natasha have cast forward, understanding what they’re able to surviving collectively.
Simply earlier than the pandemic hit, they moved to a brand new location on Tsalagi Highway in Cherokee. They added the retail area, barber’s chair, salon and different providers to assist adapt to new challenges.
Lambert has designed artwork for Native American Brewing Co. in addition to taking to designing and even tattooing sneakers.
However within the again tattooing continues to be the soul of the store and Lambert is correct there able to seize his instruments and get to work.
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