Voluta Tattoo | The Edge: How Voluta leads the tattoo industry.

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The Edge

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Why Voluta?

Out of all the places in the world to get a tattoo, why Indy, why downtown, why through email only, why is there a waiting list?  

In lieu of real marketing, we put this section together to bring you confidence. Not so much to bash other shops but to point out some advantages of being tattooed at Voluta. These are not always apparent to new tattoo collectors up front, but they sure matter after just one terrible tattoo experience. We don’t like to talk about how amazing we are (our clients are great at that), but since you hit the link, we’ll highlight a few aspects of Voluta we are proud of. The portfolios speak to the beauty of tattoo done right. This addresses the practical side of a studio and your comfortable collectorship.


THE CONCEPT: Tattoos by Real Artists

Sounds crazy, but it’s a relatively new trend. Poke around in many tattoo shops, and you will find tattooers whose art skills topped out at around age 14. Any shortage of vision on the part of your “artist” comes off as condescension, where YOU just don’t know what you want or how to ask for it. 

Not at Voluta. Anybody here can bang out a dozen designs right before your eyes, but we’d rather gently develop a unique design for you.



Your tattoo comes from a hand that throws charcoal, oil, acrylic, wax, dye, graphite, watercolor and marker with a hot fury. Your artist lives and breathes art, so beholds you as living breathing art. 

THE CONCEPT: Accountability in Community

We are baffled when a client sheepishly pulls up a shirt sleeve, shows us a tattoo they regret and can’t recall the name of the tattooer. Or the shop. Or when a client says they went back to have the piece “fixed” but the tattooer--or shop!--was gone.

Maybe we take our client relations too seriously, but at Voluta we want to know you. We want you to know us. Better tattoos are born this way. You trust us, so you relax. We get to know you enough to help you choose personal indelible themes and designs. Everybody wins.

In this way we are accountable to you, to everybody we tattoo and by extension our community. Because we are leaders in the local tattoo industry, we feel it’s our job to raise the bar and to educate clients about a better way to be tattooed. So they can educate their friends. And again everybody wins. If this took off, Indy could be known not just for football but for gorgeously inked people.


Being solid is what leading is about. No floating “artists” at Voluta. Everybody who works here has a mortgage, kids or pets, family nearby and loves Indy. We aren’t going anywhere. We fully intend to tattoo your kids when their time comes. Or our kids will tattoo them. Your artist will be glad to see you out on the town because they know they did their best for you.
THE CONCEPT: Oneness with the global tattoo community

We cannot imagine how to bring the collective wisdom of the world to your tattoo without going out there, living it, learning it and bringing it back to you. Further, it is our responsibility to take our one-off ideas in art, skin and business practice back out to our global industry to uplift it. A better tattoo community through sharing. Conan and Michele have always done their part to share the knowledge they have authored and gathered over the years. By collaborating at the top they intend to carry on the vibe. To influence and to be influenced by. 

We have a collective 20 years of tattoo industry experience at Voluta. More conventions and tattoos than we can count, but all of them count toward elevating our art form. We study. We struggle. We put the time and expense into getting out there to share and to bring it home to you. We do so in a spirit of giving, never taking without leaving something valuable. Thus we move in a circle of like minds, artists and industry leaders, thinkers and powerful Doers. Watch Voluta move in this world, watch these artists and like-minded clients move through our studio. Only the world's best for your tattoo!


THE CONCEPT: Research & Development

Voluta was founded on old school technique and the kaizen philosophy of constant improvement. This means keeping the best of the past while summoning the future. Every old school tattoo trick we know is revered, as they are often the best. But we can’t resist innovating, exploring, dreaming. 

The mission for us is a faster, less painful, quicker healing tattoo with zero loss in quality. That’s a tricky statement if you analyze it. Faster often means a hard heal with loss of quality, a scar even. Less painful means an easy heal with very little ink to show for the session. Zero loss in quality means that time and pain are no issue, so many sessions are the way to perfection. These contradictory desires are maddening to us, so we pledge ourselves to Research and Development. 

Voluta spent more than $7k in 2010-11 trying everything we could think of to make tattoo hurt less, cost less and heal faster. Refusing to compromise tattoo quality, these were the only factors we could play with. We traveled to conventions, gleaned insight from other top artists in the industry, Frankensteined technology from other fields for our needs and designed wicked lean processes for maintaining it all. 

We can’t tell you what we did (under the rules of competitive advantage), but we can tell you that we made leaps and bounds.



You get the less painful, better healing, faster inlay of a top quality tattoo. You will have more fun in the chair, enjoy conversation with your artist and be back at your life the next day with much less discomfort than in the old days of tattoo. Your time between sessions is less so that you resolve larger pieces in a jiffy. And your ears and whole body won’t hurt for three days afterwards!



THE CONCEPT: Sterile Practice

An autoclave is used to sterilize recycled instruments. No autoclave is present at Voluta because everything is disposable. All supplies used for a tattoo session are single-use, and needles are disposed of in sharps containers. These are incinerated by an approved service. Voluta was a year ahead of Board of Health code in this regard. 



Voluta sterile practices are standardized, predictable and safer than traditional methods. 


THE CONCEPT: Tech and Service

The mere logistics of scheduling, client communication, payment and the passing of files and versions between clients and artists, artists and artists...wow. It's easy for a tattoo artist (key word: artist) to drop the administrative ball. By nature we don't think in boxes. But most of our clients are serious professionals used to handling hundreds of emails, calls and people each day. Naturally they expect us to keep up, although nothing could be more unnatural for a Right Brainer. But we do it. Along with all the R&D we touted above, you'll be glad to know we polished this aspect of service as well. (It still hurts our petty Left Brains though. Just saying.)

Voluta is powered by a whole bundle of software, file sharing protocols, email systems and quick fingers that are intended to give you better service than your favorite...well, any business. 

Every Voluta artist is proficient or amazing at Photoshop, myriad iPad design apps and photo organization and editing. A glance at our digital powerhouse would reveal a Power Mac (24GB Ram, 8TB hard drive, 2 Quad-Core Xeon Intel Processors), dual monitors, a Sony camera (16 MP, 30x zoom), the Adobe CS Suite, a printer called Vader (black, shiny, and evil), a 1970's model ThermalFax copier (cuz’ we old school) and more iPads and iPhones than we care to admit. The point? We invest in the right gear for the job of making you an incredible tattoo.


You get better comm with your artist, better design exchange, better feedback and a smoother scheduling experience than almost any business you deal with. 


You get designs unlimited by old school gear and old school tattooers still struggling with flip phones. You get complex and well planned designs, aided by the limitless potential of digital power in the hands of some well trained Mac nerds. This reduces design time and allows variations on your ideas in just a few clicks that would otherwise take hours with trace paper and colored pencils (which we are also great at). You win.



THE CONCEPT: Environment

Every inch of Voluta is handcrafted. We mean it. Seventy hours of paint was applied to the space before the first piece of furniture. Lights and lamps are placed for warmth and mood. Furniture was chosen or hand-built with the dual desire of beauty and function. The candle fragrances blend, and the Klipsch sound system moves smooth grooves to soothe. Privacy is maintained by golden curtains and a locked front door. Water and soft drinks are provided. You might encounter an adult beverage. Or sushi. You never know. 


Voluta will calm you, enrich you and give you sweet dreamy backdrops to your tattoo adventures.


THE CONCEPT: Moving designs from the head to your body.

Voluta artists are full fledged badasses in lots of ways, but this one blows people away. We invented the awesomely termed “Ink Trinity” for applying tattoo to your body. We utilize three serious techniques.



“Oh, that’s how you do it. You just trace it. It doesn’t seem that hard now.”

Using a fancy machine and a copier, your design can be applied like a sticker, then inked to life upon you. This is common in the industry and we often use it for technical pieces like engines, celtic knot work or portraiture.


“That’s a nice little art project you got going there, but are we ever going to tattoo?”

Using a spectrum of Sharpies and a keen eye, we can often draw your design directly onto your skin. This allows for perfect flow, fit and blending into or over existing tattoos. This one raises eyebrows because it takes tremendous artistry to turn a marker gesture into a masterpiece. We do it every day.


Free Handing

Client: “What are you going to do with that empty spot?”

Artist: “...I’m sure I’ll know when I get there. I’m thinking maybe something...cool.” 

Wielding needle and ink, a Voluta artist will often go to it on bare skin with no guide lines. This fearlessness is not recklessness. It is merely the comfort of knowing our ability. Whatever we put on a canvas we can put on a body. Tattooing experience, raw talent and a lifetime of fine art make Voluta artists daily legends for this sort of creation. Best part? These freehanded tattoos are the most commented upon in our portfolios.



Although it sounds like a tattoo razor ad, it really means your ink isn’t limited by the pattern. By a mole where you don’t want one. By a curve that you picked up over the holiday. By an asymmetry due to that once broken collar bone. Your Voluta artist will find a way to get the design on you and make the tattoo move with you, no matter what. (You can use our Ink Trinity spiel at the office. You will sound exotic and radical. And you might just be the only person who knows what she's talking about.)