Garland Tattoo and Piercing: going above and beyond the competition


Owner Lazer Larry is originally from Los Angeles, California. Larry has been piercing for over 22 years and branding for the past 11 years. The shop opened six years ago | Sam Jackson for The Easterner

By Sam Jackson, Reporter

Garland Tattoo and Piercing specializes in not only custom tattoos and quality piercings, but is also the one shop in Spokane that does body modifications.

The owner, Lazer Larry, moved from Los Angeles 11 years ago and originally worked at The Missing Piece Tattoo in Spokane for five years and eventually opened up his own shop on Garland six years ago. He opened up the shop there because he believed that the spot would have a lot of potential within the Garland District.

Growing up in Los Angeles, Larry was consistently hanging out in the renowned piercering shop, Cliff Cadaver’s, where he discovered an interest in the industry. Though Larry has been piercing for over 22 years, his true passion is branding, which he’s been doing for the last 11 years.

“Branding is kind of my thing,” Larry said. “It’s not like strike branding like caddle and what not. I use an electric surgical scalpel, which basically dissolves the tissue when I go over it and I can create scars that are different designs.”

Larry is the only person in Spokane that does branding professionally.

“When it goes over it makes smoke and your skin just vanishes,” said Larry. “It’s one of the most painful things you will voluntarily do to yourself. It’s not much of a thing in Spokane. I get a lot of people that travel from Seattle and Boise and different places like that.”

As an experienced piercer, Larry chooses to follow the guidelines provided by the Association of Professional Piercers, APP, without being an official member.

“Basically everything we use is going to be implant grade for initial piercing,” said Larry. “Implant grade is ASTM F138 which is classification of steel and ASTM F136 is a classification of titanium. They are both standards put out by the APP … Although I follow the guidelines, the only reason this shop isn’t APP is just because I do the tattoo removal and the branding, and APP states that your piercing room has to be only piercing and I just don’t have the room for it.”

Ryan Chapman is the only tattoo artist at the shop and has been doing it professionally for 10 years. He used to skip school a lot when he was 15 years old and hang out in tattoo shops because he felt that the people there are more true to themselves and offer up a kind of societal freedom.

“It’s just a place where you modify your shit,” Chapman said. “We like putting pretty things on people. We are both artsy, I paint and he pokes holes in people. It’s a custom shop.”

Chapman’s process of creating tattoos starts with picking his clients’ brains and, putting it through the filter of his brain and then combining that and creating artwork onto their skin.

“I’m a custom-only artist, so most of why I like doing what I do is connecting with my client and kind of feeling their vibe and seeing what styles they like,” said Chapman. “I adapt my artwork to fit each client uniquely. As long as you have good themes, good ideas and there’s a message behind what you want to do then I’m going to enjoy doing it.”

The shop is located at 608 W. Garland Ave. and is open every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. except Tuesdays and Sunday