Rushville gets a taste of ink

Temple Garman works on a drawing in her new tattoo and piercing shop in Rushville. Temple Garman works on a drawing in her new tattoo and piercing shop in Rushville. Photo by Jordan Huether

By Jordan Huether

There’s some fresh ink in town, and it’s not newsprint. Temple Garman Tattoo, Piercing and Design has opened up shop in Rushville under the command of owner/artist Temple Garman. Garman has spent the last eight years tattooing out of her shop in Chadron, The Ink Temple, but recently moved back to her hometown, where she set up shop at 902 West 2nd Street, next door to her sister, Jama Bolek, at the Copy Shoppe.

While she’s only been tattooing for eight years, Garman has been an artist for the last thirty. She started out in the screen printing business, went into decorative painting, which lead to writing decorative painting instructional books. From there, she started doing art licensing, but really wanted to learn to tattoo. “I’m self taught,” she said. “Which I really wouldn’t recommend to somebody else, unless they have a really strong art background and a bunch of friends who are really brave.”

Teaching yourself to tattoo is no easy task. Garman started with artificial skin, and watched many DVDs on the subject by renowned artists. 

“The major artists all put out DVDs of themselves tattooing, and you just spend a lot of time micro-watching everything they do,” she explained.

Garman’s inspiration for becoming a tattoo artist came in the form of her ex-husband. “My husband had a million of them and we spent a fortune,” she exclaimed. “I would always go with him when he was getting a tattoo, and I always wanted to know how to do that. Really, it’s the hardest thing artistically I’ve ever taught myself to do. There’s just so many variables that you’re working with, but the sanitation end of things has to be first and foremost.”

There has already been a lot of interest in Garman’s new shop, with a lot of future work being planned, including a few chest pieces and a lot of sleeve work.

While she will tattoo just about anything, Garmans loves a good challenge. “I like things fairly intricate and challenging,” she said. “I’m more into detail, fine line and shading. I really don’t like to do the really big black tribal band tattoos. If you want tribal and you want it in a stone texture, I’d love to do it, but just pounding solid black ink in for hours on end is not my thing.”

Garman also does a lot of cover-ups, adding that “there’s a lot of really bad tattoos out there.”

Her favorite tattoo is on her ex-husband’s calf, “which is a tragedy,” she said. “It’s a pinup girl bartender, and it turned out very well.”

If you bring something in that Garman doesn’t feel qualified to tackle, she will happily refer you to the artist who’s going to give you the best job. One thing she won’t tattoo is portraits. “Portraits are something I won’t get into. If you want a portrait on paper, I’d be glad to paint it for you, but I don’t want to tackle somebody’s grandma on skin because, if it doesn’t look like them, you don’t get a second chance at it.”

One thing that sets Garman apart as an artist is that she prefers to tattoo in two sessions, believing that all tattoos can be made better by a second session, which she doesn’t charge for. She uses the second session to look over the piece and correct any flaws. “For me, it’s really important. Everybody walking around is little representations of me.”

While tattooing is her primary source of income, Garman still takes the time to work in many forms of art, and even continues to try new things. “There’s a lot of things I really love to do. I love to tattoo. I’m getting ready to start carving cow skulls with a Dremel tool. I think that’s going to be a really good time. It’s going to be really difficult to get them to come out. There’s just really more that I’d like to do than I have time to do in a day. Tattooing’s the best way to pay your bills, and then you do the other stuff on the side for fun. I think that’s kind of what all tattoo artists do.”

Garman also does most types of piercing, although she won’t do anything below the belly button, split tongues or gauge ears, “because that’s just stupid. I’m not really into piercings. It’s something I do, but not something like tattooing that I’m really into. And yes, it hurts!” she added.

It’s all about the artwork for Garman. She can do everything from portraits to photo re-touching, even graphic design. If it’s art related, she’s happy to tackle it. Her passion for art carries over into her tattooing. “I tattoo for the artwork. It’s not about slapping something on somebody just to make money. It’s about providing them with the best art I possibly can.”

Garman is open by appointment in downtown Rushville and is happy to discuss your ideas and questions with you. Give her a call at (308) 430-4666 or check her out on facebook to see what she can do for you.

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