GREENVILLE — Janell Randall, of Greenville, said the career of tattooing is so much more than needles and ink.
She opened her Greenville tattoo business, Ink Well, in September.
“Sitting in an intimate setting with someone, for hours at a time and hearing their stories, allows me to really get to know them,” she said. “Being able to hand them something so important to them, is quite a unique connection. For them to be happy with their tattoo, and to carry it with them every day; what an honor to be able to make that happen. I am so grateful.”
Randall said her love for drawing started about the time when she cold hold crayons. When she was seven, she received some solid positive reinforcement from her late grandmother.
“While I was coloring at her table, she would stop and say, ‘You’re quite good at this’,” Randall said.
She is a 1989 Graduate of Greenville High School, and in 2006, received a degree in Commercial Art and Graphic Design from Edison Community College.
“I knew I wasn’t professionally content in my graphic design,” she said. “I needed to have a higher level of creativity, rather than turning out other peoples’ ideas.”
Finding other work in the art field proved difficult to obtain. As a result, Randall worked a lot of other jobs, including roofing houses for two years.
“I was working my fingers to the bone, and barley able to provide,” she said. “While there were good things about it, I was miserable in my work. I knew I had to be an artist, and it was bursting out of me.”
Randall started listening to an idea in her head of becoming a tattoo artist.
“I was a little timid about the idea, but it wouldn’t go away,” she said. “I grabbed up my portfolio from school and walked into Darke Wave Tattoo, on Chestnut Street. After showing owner David Cook my portfolio of drawings, he brought me on for an apprenticeship. For a seasoned tattoo artist to take a chance on a single mom with no tattoo experience; I will always be grateful for him for giving me that opportunity.”
Randall said she became familiar with the history and the different styles of tattooing. She worked for Cook about four years, she said.
“When he told me I was ready to tattoo on skin, I was so excited,” she said. “The first time I tattooed, it was exhilarating. I could feel the vibration going through the machine, through the skin and to my other hand. I knew that I would never do anything else professionally.”
Since 2013, Randall said her client base has increased every year, and continues to grow. One reason she thinks is because of her gender. Tattoo shops have a lot of stereotypes that can be intimidating, she said.
“I have had a lot of people who prefer a female, for different reasons,” she said. “Some prefer a lighter hand, or they may want a private body part tattooed. A lot of ladies feel more comfortable with a female. I am happy to have created an environment that caters to them. “
Rhonda Magoto, of Greenville has purchased three tattoos from Randall. Magoto said she recommends Randall’s artistry, 100 percent.
“She puts her heart into it, and she finds out what you want,” Magoto said. “She doesn’t tell you what you are going to get, and she tries her best to make sure you are happy when you leave there. She is very detail oriented, and she likes to bring it to life.”
Randall offers the following services: tattoo artistry, permanent cosmetics, henna tattoos, fine art, beaded skulls, portrait drawings and digital design. She eventually wants to expand her permanent cosmetics certification to include areola tattooing, to have the ability to help cancer survivors, she said.
Randall’s portfolio is very diverse in designs, from realism to fantasy. She sometimes gets design work that involves research, if it is unfamiliar territory.
“I love everything about my job; it doesn’t feel like work,” Randall said. “I can’t believe I have created a niche for myself that wasn’t here before. There has never been a female tattoo artist in Darke county, or one who owned her own shop. I feel like I’m getting away with something. Ultimately I have to create art, but my first and most important professional goal is to make sure everyone not only likes what they have, but I want them to love it.”
Ink Well is located at 111 East 3rd Street, Greenville. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/janell.millerrandall