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Tattoo artist pledges clean, wholesome parlor

POSTED: April 10, 2009 1:48 p.m.
Photo by Alena Parker/

Terrance Newsome

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Liberty county will soon have its first tattoo parlor, but “it’s just not another tattoo shop,” according to owner Terrance Newsome.
A few weeks ago he asked the Midway City Council for approval of “New Body Tattoos.”
Mayor Don Emmons said the council had no qualms about it.
“We don’t look at it as anything derogatory,” Emmons said. “It’s like any other business. It’s nothing unusual.”  
City council looks at all the businesses that want to open and there was no ordinance that restrict tattoo parlors.
That has not always been the case, according to Mary Herring, administrative assistant of the county’s building permit office who was zoning administrator before the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission was organized in 2005.
Herring explained tattoo parlors were once considered adult entertainment services.
“This category included several things generally frowned upon and thought of as less than desirable,” Herring said. “The conditions placed on operating these types of businesses were fairly restrictive.”
Newsome acknowledged concerns with tattoo shops, but thought the apprehension comes from stereotypes.
“Artists are very misunderstood, as far as the way they think,” Newsome said. “People think that if a tattoo artist was to come in here … the bikers, the drinking, all of that would play a part … they don’t want negativity.”
Herring, a Hinesville native, thought the area’s first tattoo shop signals progress.
Emmons said no one has complained to him about the new business or its location.  
“In all reality, when you look around you see it all over TV, all over the street,” Emmons said. “Body art is just the thing to do.”
And Newsome wants to show tattoos do not have to be associated with negativity.
“As you can see, I’m not sleeved up,” the self-professed Christian said, referring to tattoos that cover an arm. “Everyone knows my morals… people see in me what they don’t see in the others that are sleeved up.”
While his beliefs influence the way he lives, Newsome said it was not the reason for the shop.
“I am a Christian, but I wouldn’t say it’s a Christian establishment,” Newsome said.
And he thinks his business venture does not conflict with others with the same faith.
“If they really read, they would’ve known that it’s not against their religion,” Newsome said.
“I want this business to be looked at more than permanent marks on skin.”
And “not everybody wants something really big,” according to Newsome.
“Some people just want something represented in a simple way.”
The self-taught artist has been involved in drawing since he was a child.
But he worked under tattoo artists in Richmond Hill and Savannah to learn tattooing.
Newsome bypassed any professional training because of cost and distance.
“But you can never really be a good artist unless you learn through trial and error,” he said. “So you’re better off trying to do it yourself.”
The shop is in Suite D-7 in the Midway Mall, next to the IGA and the Dollar Store. It’s set to open soon.
“What I’m trying to do is broaden people’s thinking,” he said. “It only takes one to make change.”
Emmons said tattoo parlors are big business.
“I would say it was up and coming,” the mayor said. “I think it’s a good idea because it’s obviously a service that’s needed.”
 

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