Special report: Addicted to ink - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Special report: Addicted to ink

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Jason Robarts, owner of Trademark Body Art Jason Robarts, owner of Trademark Body Art
Mike Muse Mike Muse

"I first said I was going to stop on this arm," said Mike Muse.  It might appear Mike Muse is addicted to ink.  "This was my first tattoo that Jason did," explained Muse.

He went to Trademark Body Art in Leesburg a year ago with plans to get just one tattoo.  "It would be something you would call building from the ground up, or from the shoulder down in this case," said Muse.

That one tattoo turned into a whole sleeve.  "I was already thinking about what I wanted on my other arm while I was still in the chair."  Now he's finishing up a sleeve on his other arm.

Jason Robarts, the owner of Trademark Body Art, has been in the industry for seven years.  

While he wouldn't call it an actual addiction, he sees plenty of people, like Muse, who come back to the chair for more ink.

"I think it's like anything else, once you start doing it, if you're kind of attracted to that situation it's nonstop," said Robarts.

Muse had two tattoos on his legs that he got more than 20 years ago.  "I have a tiger on my right leg and just kind of a cover up band, I had something I didn't like," said Muse.

But this father of five, never imagined he would end up with this many.  "I never thought I'd have this many tattoos.  No, not being out in the business world."

Because he is also a business owner he is cautious about showing his body art.  "It's better to go ahead and cover them up and if I let one slip, they'll go oh that's a cool tattoo and then I'll pull it up and show the rest of them.  There are still a lot of people out there that are very judgmental about them."

While some people stare, it doesn't stop him from expanding his masterpiece.  "Then we added Gabriel which is on the other side," said Muse.   

For him, it's a way to show off his religious side.  "It's kind of my expression of my faith."

But can turning your body into a canvas become an addiction?  "I guess you could say it's addictive.  After I got my first one from Jason he talked to me about doing the next one and the next one and I just kept coming back."

Muse says he considers it more of a hobby than anything else.  "I know there are people that are addicted to it.  But this is, this is more of a hobby and it's fun to collaborate with Jason.  I can afford to do it.  I tried playing golf and I can't do that."

As for his next one...  "We'll just keep adding to this one until it's finished.  And then I'm going to try to stop.  I'll probably add to my legs."

And adding to his masterpiece, whether you consider it a hobby, a work of art or an addiction.



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