By Cameron Sires
Eclectic is perhaps the first word that comes to mind when entering Traditional Ink, the new tattoo shop at 477 Peace Portal Drive. A shiny green motorcycle stands in front of the window, artwork coats the walls, pristine action figures are showcased, a colorful mural fills the back wall, and a shoji screen divides the back room.
Traditional Ink’s eclectic environment reflects co-owner Dev Saucedo’s 16-year history as a professional tattoo artist. Dev grew up in Globe, Arizona, a small town outside of Phoenix, where he met his wife and Traditional Ink co-owner, Brittany Saucedo. Dev’s career took him to North Platte, Nebraska; around the Phoenix area and now Blaine.
Dev’s tattoo style ranges from portraits, new school, old school, hyperrealism, traditional Americana to traditional Japanese work. He also drills everything from basics to body modifications. “Pretty much anything and everything honestly,” Dev said.
Prices for Dev tattoos vary based on size and detail. He charges $200 an hour for tattoos, and basic piercings are $60.
Although Dev has owned tattoo shops for 10 years, he never wanted to own a business when he was younger.
“For a really long time, I just wanted to work under someone and learn and gain as much knowledge as possible,” Dev said. “So when the real world came for me, I was ready.”
Dev worked under his mentor for six years and periodically ran the North Platte boutique before working in Chandler, Arizona. Two months after Dev started working at the Chandler store, the owner suddenly left for Europe. The store fell into Dev’s hands and he didn’t hear from the owner for over six months.
“He was the one trying to see if I was ready,” Dev said. “The financial support has always been there.”
Dev said the transition from artist to owner was a love-hate relationship. Once he committed to having a store, Dev enrolled in a business school and went on to earn an engineering degree in audio technology.
After graduating, Dev and his mother started a dual business in Phoenix – one side was his mother’s 40-year-old salon and the other was her tattoo shop. But when Dev’s mother died, he felt like moving again.
“We wanted to rethink what we wanted to do with the business, so we decided to go this route because it’s nice, slow and steady,” Dev said.
Dev said he enjoys meeting people from different walks of life and listening to their stories. He said it was about what he could do for his community; the work isn’t just about tattoos, it’s more personal.
“I’ve spent my life in the industry and I love it. Year after year, it’s always something different,” he said. “We love coming to work every day. Always a new project every day.
To schedule an appointment, call 360/393-0725 or visit Dev’s Instagram at @Dev_inked. Walk-ins are welcome.