Street Ink - Chicky's tattoos are a hit

June 11, 2018
Tattoo artist Clayton 'Chicky' McKenzie adds a paw design to this customer's leg.
Clayton 'Chicky' McKenzie makes adjustments to his needle.

A tarpaulin draped around a small area serves as his tattoo and piercing parlour on Luke Lane in downtown Kingston.

Flocked on each side of Clayton 'Chicky' McKenzie's tattoo shop are some of the latest dancehall-appropriate fashions.

The former Yallahs High School student is more than welcoming to The STAR team as he prepares to work on a client who opted to get a series of paws on her left thigh.

"Me a do tattoo from me a go school still, but then me branch off and start build furniture, then do barbering; but when the money get slow on that, me just go back to my first love ... tattoo and piercing," he said.

While other persons in the field may turn up their nose at the location of his booth, Chicky, who has been in the same location for over three years said his clientele continues to rise.

"More time me no have hands for clients enuh, me just no do teenagers unless them parents give consent. Right here so whe me deh is a good spot, because more time people just hear the needle a buzz and just stop for a tattoo same time," he said.

A peek inside the self-taught artist's space revealed that it is equipped with different pieces of equipment for work.

The creativity of his work is also highlighted on his arms as he shows off several designs.

"A me do all a dem here. Me practise on myself a lot and most a them come out good. Me easily make all $100,000 a month and not a soul no bother me. Me get people from all walks a life. There is something exciting about just taking in the scenery while getting inked," he said.

Although he has the option of relocating to a more accommodating space, Chicky has no intention of leaving his spot.

"The vibe deh right here so. All me continue to do is to do more research on my trade and me use up the Internet and read books every chance me get," he said.

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