Ink Injection, owned by Mohegan Lake resident Fred Lounsbury, has been in operation for 14 years in Mohegan Lake providing tattoos and body piercings for its customers from a three-county area.
Benson, who goes by one name, has been the manager for 18 months and has been an employee for three-and-a-half years overall. Benson and Lounsbury also create tattoos in addition to their administrative duties.
Lounsbury said he chose the East Main Street because he lives close by. “I grew up a quarter of a mile from here,” he said last week.
Lounsbury began working in the tattoo industry when he was hired to work at Brad’s Tattooing in Mohegan Lake in 1982 at the age of 16. “I always liked artwork. It just sprung from there,” he said.
Benson said he has been interested in art from an early age. His tattooing career began in an untypical way. He received a tattooing kit from his wife as a joke gift. “I just ran with it,” Benson. “Now I can’t stop. This is me. If I’m not getting ink, I’m giving ink.”
Benson said tattooing is an art form that has “progressed over the years.” In the 1960’s the cliché was sailors coming back from their military service with a tattoo, he said. Today, tattooing is an art which is intensive and currently changing with new inks, technologies and new ways to deal with skin, he noted.
Lounsbury said he likes the new inks, many of which are organic. Many of the inks used for tattooing in the past contained lead, he said.
Tattooing has become a part of mainstream society and “big business,” Benson said. “You see everyone with tattoos.” Lounsbury agreed. “Now we’re tattooing firemen, police officers, doctors, lawyers and so on,” Lounsbury said.
Tattoos are often created for people who want to remember a loved one who has passed away, Lounsbury said. “It’s like therapy sometimes,” Benson said.
Tattoos are also used for cosmetic purposes to cover such things as scars and birth defects, Lounsbury said.
Under New York State law, a person must be 18 to get a tattoo, Lounsbury noted. Tattoo needles are only used once and are discarded as hazardous waste, Lounsbury said. “Now there’s a more sterile environment” at tattoo businesses, he said.
Lounsbury said most of his customers come from northern Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties and Yonkers.
Benson said people easily become hooked on getting tattoos. “Once you have it the first time it is the most addictive things you’ll ever do,” he said.
Ink Injection is located at 1870 E. Main St. (Route 6) in Mohegan Lake. For more information, call 914328-8287.