River City Tattoo Company distances itself from changing industry


River City Tattoo Company focuses on the art and not the money. The shop has been around for only 10 months | Sam Jackson for The Easterner

By Sam Jackson, Reporter

River City Tattoo Company is conquering the corner with authentic artists that earned their spot to be in their tattoo chairs.

The shop has been around for the last 10 months with three permanent artists; Shane Roman, with 14 years of professional experience, Miles Robinson, 18 years of experience, and Jake Lovato, seven years of experience. The shop stands out with custom spray paint art of large roses, done by their close friend and renowned Spokane spray paint artist, Daniel Lopez. The vibe of the shop is a classic, street style set up.

The artist’s met through tattooing and when the opportunity arised they just simply got together and made it happen.

“It’s a friendly, comfortable environment with clean, solid work,” said Roman. “That’s it. Nobody is trying to be pompous or fancy, it just is what it is. We all take responsibility for this place, but without all of us it isn’t going to work. We sit here and make this place our own, whatever we want it to be.”

All of the artists grew up around tattooing and it fell into place for them after that. They tattoo with the focus being on the art, not the money.

“There’s more than just a pretty picture with tattooing,” said Robinson. “A lot of people just use it to make money. After those tattoo shows came on it kind of corrupted the industry, I guess. Everyone wants to be a star like they think tattoo artists are stars.  Everybody wants to famous, popular and to make money. I would tattoo for free if I was rich. I’m not in it for the money, I mean I wanted tattoos since I was 6 years old.”

There is a $50 minimum, but after that prices are determined by the piece. The artists try to work with people as much as they can by offering discounts and putting on special events.

“Christmas time we did gift cards, so give me a $100 I’ll give you $200,” said Roman. “Friday the 13th we tattooed over 300 people here. Every Friday the 13th we do that … and it’s $20 out the door. $13 plus a $7 tip and boom. We had people in line for like two blocks out there. We’re willing to work with people, so nobody feels like they’re getting ripped off here. Nobody is charging $1,500 for two flowers here.”

The shop encourages customers to come in, shake their hand and have a conversation about what piece they want. The shop is open everyday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and located at 1528 W Northwest Blvd. in Spokane.