Tattoos. People love them or they hate them. They think they are beautiful works of art or unsightly ways that detract from a person’s “real beauty”. For those of us who have them, it’s a personal choice. Many people who get them do so and aren’t really sure why. Others, like myself, get tattoos that have meaning. Every tattoo I have represents something, either a person or event that has helped mold me into the unique, chaotic, creative being I am. They are not part of me, they are me. The staff at The Brass Quill Gallery understand the reasons behind why people get tattoos. They make sure that the people who enter their front door get the very best of both artwork and workmanship with every piece they complete exactly for those reasons.
The Brass Quill Gallery
The Brass Quill Gallery opened in 2011 and within three years was able to move to its downtown location at 136 N Ashley Street in downtown Valdosta. Since 2014, Ben and Kelly Stubbs, twin siblings, have enjoyed working downtown. Ben said, “Being downtown is the best. Everybody seems to enjoy us being down here.” Kelly added, “We’re also part of the new art district now so we fit right in.” She was quick to remind me that the artistry downtown is very diverse. She said, “It’s more than just paintings and pottery. It’s living art.” The staff at the shop are adding color outside their shop as well by revamping the little fairy garden they have outside the front door.
Ben Stubbs is the man at the center of the Brass Quill circle of artists. Over time, he eventually had drawn in his twin sister, Kelly, and the others creating the rock solid crew that makes up the Quill’s staff. He started tattooing professionally in 2008. “I always knew I would be covered in tattoos. I got an internship at Ink Addiction and started from there,” he said. When it comes to the others, he stated, “We were all artists in high school”. It seemed natural that once Ben got his start, the others quickly followed suit.
Kelly Stubbs apprenticed under her brother and quickly realized it was her passion. Her love of new challenges spurred her on to try watercolor style art which is now one of her favorites. She also specializes in color-illustrative and neo-traditional style tattoos. In her bio she says, “Tattooing is a gift I’m lucky enough to get to open every day.” When you walk in the door of the shop, her cheery smile is always ready to greet you.
Cody Welch, also known as Yody, is the newest member of the staff joining in 2012. He specializes in black work, semi-traditional Japanese and neo-traditional style art. For Cody, his work is extremely personal. Every piece he creates must have a purpose. “In his bio, he says, “Grace has brought me here and this is a serious business for me.”
Jacob Walsh joined the team in 2010. He was also brought into the fold by Ben who recognized his talent and encouraged him to follow his heart. Although Jacob claims to have been raised by Velociraptors many eons ago, his skill at tattooing is exceptional. So much so that he has a client who lives in France and will visit once a year (sometimes more), just to get a tattoo from this talented artist. He specializes in illustrative realism, pop culture, animals, and of course, dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes.
The staff at The Brass Quill Gallery rarely advertise. They don’t need to. Every client they tattoo turns into a walking billboard that is guaranteed to capture people’s attention. Ben said, “We do a lot of bigger pieces and most will come back to you on their own.” Kelly added, “Then they will bring their friends!” The artists understand that their artwork is for a lifetime and many people are often asked about the tattoos they have. This means that even years down the road, those who show off their artwork can point back to the artists at the Brass Quill. They also get to know their clients. Ben said, “When you’re close to someone for 4 or 5 hours tattooing them, you learn a lot about them.”
Standards and Values
One of the things you will quickly notice about The Brass Quill Gallery is that there are only four artists. While they could easily accommodate more, there is a reason for keeping their circle small. The artists at the Brass Quill have a very high set of standards for themselves. They don’t believe in disrupting sessions with smoke breaks and you will never see any of the artists when they are not fully committed to the client sitting in front of them. The shop is spotless and intended to offer a welcoming environment for their clients. Their work ethic and value system are above reproach when it comes to running their business and they intend to keep it that way.
Commitment to Excellence
The group also has an incredibly strong commitment to excellence. Most of the time they work by appointment only. The reason for this is that once an appointment is made, it allows the artist enough time to create the exact piece the client will be proud to have on their body. Kelly said, “We are not a ‘one and done type of shop’. We want to be able to draw up the client’s piece, something that’s just for them. We want to exceed their expectations.”
Visit the Shop
If you are interested in learning more about The Brass Quill Gallery and the talented team of artists, visit the shop at 136 N Ashley Street in Valdosta. They are open from 10 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Saturday. The shop is closed on Sunday and Monday to allow the artists time with their families. If you want to schedule an appointment, call 229-469-4517.
“It is our hope that everyone who visits our shop feels welcome. Tattooing is our passion and we are both proud and humbled to tattoo people of all types. We, at TBQG believe that a diverse clientele makes us stronger and better tattoo artists. The quality of our work extends to all and we look forward to seeing you soon!”
Quote taken from TBQG website.