By Renée Gariffo
Abby Mac, a young and successful local artist from Kutztown, Pennsylvania, has been the center of attention at the tattoo shop Lucky 13 where she works. Her business at the shop has been booming, and she is planning on taking her talent across the states in the near future.
At just 21 years old, her talent, ambition and love for meeting new faces have given her a multitude of opportunities to further her career and expand on her creativity within the tattoo industry.
After learning the art of giving tattoos as a teenager in Kutztown, 21-year-old Abby Mac will be moving across the United States to Denver, Colorado in February.
She explains how her love of tattooing came to be from learning about the history of tattoos and what she had to do in order to pursue her career as a fulltime tattoo artist.
“By learning different styles of tattoos I became more and more intrigued with the art itself and the history behind them.”
Mac was born and raised in the Kutztown area and has been working nonstop at local tattoo businesses. Her dad assisted in her exposure to tattoos when she was 15 by landing her a position at a tattoo shop located on Main St. called Paradise Lost.
After working her way up from being a desk receptionist, she recalls how the next step in her tattooing career took place. “The apprenticeship kind of just fell into my lap. After doing my first tattoo, I began to love everything about it.”
She says she spent countless hours learning various techniques and crucial rules that went into being a professional tattoo artist. As she went along with her apprenticeship, it became obvious that this had become her passion.
Since Mac has been tattooing in a town that has a university within it, her clientele is predominantly college students, or individuals surrounding that age range.
She explains how wherever she goes somewhere public within the Kutztown area, people will either come up to her and compliment her on her own tattoos or recall that they’ve gotten tattoos done by her in the past.
“People will always recognize me because they have gotten tattooed by me at least once,” she said with a smile.
Conner Helsel is a KU student in his junior year. He explains how Abby’s talent has never disappointed him when he comes in to get tattooed.
“She does a great job at working with your tattoo ideas and has no problem reworking anything you want so it’s perfect and exactly how you want it.”
He also explains how her work ethic involves complete organization with her equipment and scheduling, along with excellent communication between herself and her clients.
“Lucky 13 in general is adamant about sterilization and the cleanliness of their shop,” Helsel said, adding that he believes that Abby is a huge advocate for proper tattooing with clean equipment and a clean environment.
Along with being diligent about a clean and sterile work environment, Abby is known to be extremely friendly and welcoming when her clients come in for an appointment, which makes their time at the shop a positive experience.
“Abby seems very passionate about her work and seems to enjoy what she does a lot,” Helsel said. He has other tattoos from multiple other artists, and he recalls that they were “twice Abby’s age,” and confesses that his favorite tattoos consist of her work.
Aside from tattooing, Abby creates other art and explains how the demographic in Pennsylvania isn’t nearly as appreciative of art compared to Denver.
“I had a piece of art I made up on my Instagram for sale, and the first and only person to buy it was someone I knew from Denver,” she said with a laugh. “It’s a lot harder to sell my kind of art in and around Kutztown, Pennsylvania, compared to more artistic states.”
Although her career in tattooing started in Kutztown, Abby doesn’t want to end it here without expanding on her talent as an artist.
“I plan to visit Pa. twice every few months and have shops that I can guest tattoo at while I’m here,” she said. “I’m really excited to start fresh where I don’t know as many people and where I can start pursuing other interests along with growing my career within the tattoo industry.”