In the intricate world of tattooing and elaborate artistry, Kings Avenue Tattoo reigns supreme. Mike Rubendall had been tattooing for 10 years when he came up with the idea to eliminate the “poor practice,” reputation of tattoo shops and build a business that was inviting and welcoming. In 2005, the first Kings Avenue Tattoo was established in Long Island, New York and has since expanded to additional locations in New York. The studio’s goal is not only to create tattoos, but to design and tailor each tattoo around every individual client who walks through the door. Their artists and studio have been featured in national publications like HuffingtonPost, Thrillist, USA Today and Spike TV’s Ink Master show.
All in the Family
“We create out of love for what we do. We believe in it,” is a mantra that shapes the artistry of the tattooists in the shop. In 2011, Kings Avenue opened its second location on the historic Bowery street which has opened the door for dozens of artists to make their mark in the Manhattan neighborhood. Mike and his artists go hand in hand to develop good chemistry and a working environment that is community-oriented.
Resident artists and a rotation of international guests like Tim Hendricks, Valerie Vargas, Horitomo, and Henning Jorgensen have assisted to make Kings Avenue a top tier tattoo studio. Kings Avenue’s commitment to excellence is reflected in the 15 artists who specialize in various tattoo techniques and style like American traditional, Japanese, and realism. The traditional Japanese tattooing style called “Irezumi,” is widely used throughout the shop and focuses on realistic and mythological people with animals or flowers.
The Art of Tattooing
Kings Avenue doesn’t create images, they create art on the canvas of every individual person they work with. The artistry and professionalism that Kings brings the tattoo industry is revered by visitors worldwide who have to make appointments with a tattooist months in advance. Customers start with a consultation where they discuss their vision and collaborate with an artist about their tattoo before the tattooing begins. The style, design, and each tattoo artist will bring a clients design to life with their own unique style that can range from shading to decorative, illustrative or flash images. The diversity and meticulous technique of each artist is profiled on the website and in the “In The Studio,” videos on the company’s YouTube page.
Moving the Needle
When Mike first created Kings Avenue Tattoo, he was marketing and promoting the business through word of mouth and a website. He saw the value in using the internet to garner interest in his business and worked with a web developer to launch their website. The rich content of the Kings Avenue website is showcased in the dynamic layout that features the artists and tattoos. The site exudes creativity and edge of the artists who can tattoo anywhere from 10-25 tattoos in a day on hundreds of clients. They’ve recently expanded their website to include their “Merch,” page which features limited edition books and print designs on various clothing items for clients to purchase.
Mike Rubendall has continued to transform the tattoo industry by creating a business that honors the long-standing history of tattoos with a modern twist. Kings Avenue continues to challenge the stigma of “intimidating,” tattoo shops by taking people behind the curtain and inviting audiences into their community through media, video series, and blogs. Whether you’re going for a subtle or bold tattoo, Kings Avenue will provide the service and experience that a customer will remember for years to come.