Biz Has More Than 25 Combined Years Experience Inking Skin

When asked to nominate the best tattoo artists in the area through the annual Best of Lewis County contest put on by The Chronicle, readers settled on a single local establishment.

All three finalists were selected from the same shop, Lucky No. 3 Tattoo Company in Centralia.

Alexander Cook, Joshua Paulino and Tyler Blumenthal all made the cut, with Cook ultimately claiming the top prize.

“We will take your tattoo and piercing experience to new dimensions of quality and creativity and are setting a new standard by which other studios will be judged,” the business proclaims on its website. “Every tattoo/piercing station can be fully-enclosed for ultimate privacy. Our artists have more than 25 years combined experience, and our piercer is a pioneer in the body mod industry. We specialize in original, custom designs.”

Paulino, a co-owner in the business, recently sat down with The Weekender to talk about the business and what it takes to be a tattoo artist. You can watch the full interview online at www.lewiscountyweekender.com.

Weekender: How do you become a tattoo artist?

Joshua Paulino: “The way you want to attempt to become an actual professional tattooer is find somebody whose work you admire who has been a tattooist for a while and ask them if they’re looking for a an apprenticeship, and then go that route. … I went to art school (Northwest College of Art) and got a bachelor’s degree in fine art and graphic design and I had to do an internship for my degree. So I asked my school if a tattoo apprenticeship would qualify for an internship, and they said yeah.”

W: What was your first tattoo?

J: “It was a biohazard sign on my buddy Ronnie. It was horrible.”

W: What’s one of the more memorable tattoos you’ve done?

J: “A funny one that always comes to mind, I did the Olympia Beer logo on tap, right above this guy’s junk.”

W: What’s your favorite part of the business?

J: “As an artist I am constantly being challenged. All these ideas come to me you know, that the client brings, and I have to make it something they can be proud of the rest of their life, so it’s just constantly a challenge for an artist to come up with these amazing compositions that will last over time.”