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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Etched in the flesh

    Etched in the flesh

    Sanctity Tattoo owner Jay Cavna gives this advice to those considering a career in the tattoo industry: “”Don’t.””

    He says this abruptly and with conviction, yet it’s apparent he doesn’t regret the path that took him from punk-rock origins through art school to tattooing. It’s past closing time, the music’s turned up, and Cavna is in the back room, working on intricate concept art for a painting he’s planning.

    “”All of the best tattooers in the world … they all focus on Japanese tattooing,”” Cavna said, gesturing at the line sketches of dragons in red and blue on the table.

    They offer a glimpse at the finished product to come, much like the work on the walls of the studio-like Sanctity space.

    The shop is located upstairs on “”The Deck”” above American Apparel on University Boulevard, offering just enough distance from the frenzy below to add an air of privacy.

    “”It’s off the street,”” Cavna said, “”so you don’t have to worry about having people pressing their faces on the window all day.

    “”It’s kind of exclusive, so it’s kinda like you don’t come up here unless you have a reason to come up here.””

    This atmosphere appeals to a clientele mostly made up of serious collectors. Cavna’s impressive reputation, earned by 12 years of experience and quality work in a New York studio, is compelling for those who take pride in their multi-layer (and multi-appendage) pieces.

    However, Sanctity still attracts its share of curious onlookers considering first-time tattoos. The latest trend is “”script on the ribs,”” which Cavna said became the “”new hot spot, after the lower back thing kinda went out.””

    While the end of that era is no disappointment, Cavna much prefers to have some freedom as opposed to complying with a trend.

    “”Any time I have the leeway to do what I want, to make it work, that’s the most fun,”” he said with a grin.

    He’s not hesitant to work with his customers to make their ideas successful, nor is he afraid to send someone elsewhere if he feels that they might be more satisfied with a different artist.

    For some, tattooing is just a job. Cavna’s attitude is refreshing. Standing outside on the balcony, he looks back at the studio’s name in lights and confides: “”It’s like a sacred thing to me.””

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