MYSTIC OWL TATTOO Marietta, Georgia

This month Skin&lnktraveled down south to the “land of peaches and pecans” in North Georgia to visit Tara and Vince Villavazo’s Mystic Owl Tattoo in Marietta, Georgia. Just northeast of Atlanta, Marietta sits in the cool shade of historic Kennesaw Mountain and is famous for KFC’s “big chicken” which (incidentally) is right around the corner from the big-league tattoo artists assembled at Mystic Owl Tattoo.

The spacious and open studio is relatively new to the area, but it is making big waves.

“Vince has always aspired to open his own studio. He wanted to provide a creative environment for himself and like-minded artists where we could create tattoos and art of various media. Our goal was to open a studio where we could provide local, national, and international clients with high quality tattoos and piercings in a clean and relaxed environment,” said piercer and co-owner Tara Villavazo.

Mystic Owl is getting ready to celebrate its third anniversary of doing just that. Along with tattoo artists Jace Masula, Mike Bugenhagen, Ryan Willingham, and Taylor Anne, Tara and Vince Villavazo have been meeting the local demand for art-minded tattoo work.

“We are a full custom studio that provides a wide array of art styles; this is rather unique in the Atlanta scene of flash and trendy traditional studios,” said Tara. “We are open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Our daily life is rather relaxed; we are a drama-free studio. Everyone stays very busy. They are either tattooing or working on other art in between appointments.”

The Eternal Ink-sponsored shop stays dedicated to serving its local clientele as well as out-of-town clientele and hosting a full schedule of top-notch guest artists.

“Travel is very important; we do many conventions year round and routinely have some of the nation’s top artists do guest spots at MOT. We participate in various art shows throughout the United States. Typically the art shows are hosted by friends and various charities.”

As the Mystic Owl Tattoo team racks up awards and recognition, the key to their success comes from within. Longtime friend Jace Masula was on board before the shop doors were opened. Mike Bugenhagen and Ryan Willingham joined later, in 2012. The first Mystic Owl apprentice, Taylor Anne, just graduated to a full-time tattoo artist in January 2013. The group stays together and plays together, with regular bowling nights and by frequently bouncing ideas off each other.

“We are constantly pushing each other and feeding off the creative energy of one another. I feel it is apparent in a lot of the artist progression at the studio. We have also done collaborative tattoos together,” said Vince Villavazo. “I like that we have a great sense of unity. Whether we are tattooing, drawing, or cleaning up around the studio, there is a great sense of teamwork; we truly have a family.”

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