A brand new woman-owned tattoo studio opening quickly in Elgin hopes to attach folks to significant artwork, and never simply on their our bodies.
Amy Porter will open Alchemy Tattoo & Gallery at 107 E. Highland Ave. someday in late March or early April. The area options an artwork gallery and will probably be completely different from what you may count on in a stereotypical tattoo studio.
“I wished to create an area that was fairly and extra enticing to girls,” Porter mentioned. “I really feel like some studios is usually a little intimidating.”
Porter remains to be engaged on the studio, which can open on the second flooring of a 137-year-old constructing that additionally homes Pink Poppy Bistro.
Final week, Porter was portray a mural within the foyer that results in an uncovered brick stairwell. That takes shoppers to a reception space the place they’ll sip espresso or tea and browse the gallery, permitting them to calm down earlier than what is usually a prolonged tattoo session.
Alchemy can have 4 tattoo artists, together with Porter. Every artist can have a non-public room by which to work, in contrast to the open flooring plan that many tattoo studios make use of.
“I really feel like most studios I’ve stepped into, there’s not that sense of consolation,” Porter mentioned. “Individuals are, like, half-naked getting tattooed, and it is simply not very inviting.”
Porter mentioned having a non-public area for the shopper and artist will make the method extra comfy for each.
“Tattoos may be very private and really non-public,” she mentioned. “Generally getting tattooed could be very cathartic for them. Some folks getting memorial tattoos might cry, so it provides them privateness.
“That provides them a extra immersive expertise that actually permits for that therapeutic.”
Porter, 34, moved to Elgin in 2010 after rising up in Alsip.
“I all the time wished to do one thing with artwork, however discovering the path I need to go has all the time been troublesome,” she mentioned.
Porter studied graphic design at Elgin Group Faculty, in the end discovering it was not for her.
She moved to Elgin Artspace Lofts in 2014, which affords dwell/work flats for artists whereas pursuing her portray profession and moving into the Elgin artwork scene. She discovered Elgin to be very inviting.
“I did just a few reveals in Chicago, however I did not like the gang essentially,” she mentioned. “Out right here, everyone seems to be simply really easy to get together with and so supporting and inspiring. There is a true sense of group that I’ve all the time wished.”
Porter all the time had an curiosity in tattoos. She began doing a little dwell portray reveals at Funky Rooster Tattoo and Artwork Gallery in downtown Elgin, which led to an apprenticeship there in 2015.
After a few years there, Porter spent the subsequent few years working at different studios and doing a little tattoo conventions earlier than deciding she was able to open her personal studio. She opened a small, one-room studio in Arlington Heights in 2020.
Whereas she had some paintings on the wall, the brand new studio in Elgin permits her to “have an actual gallery and provides different artists alternatives like I used to be given.”
The plan initially is to have 4 gallery reveals a yr that includes native artists and to all the time have work on show for her shoppers to get pleasure from.
Porter mentioned the trail that led her from portray to tattooing has been emotionally rewarding.
“I did not know that I’d be capable to join with folks in such a method via my artwork,” she mentioned. “That is actually the perfect inventive expertise that I’ve ever had, as a result of after I promote a portray, I haven’t got these deep conversations about what the artwork means to them. After I do a tattoo for somebody, they arrive again and inform me how the tattoo has impacted them.”
“I actually do create a bond with these folks,” she mentioned, “and it is lovely.”