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Freebird Tattoo Parlor opens for business

Posted: Thursday, Aug 15th, 2013

Jake Kraker

LUSK - Famed author Jack London once declared, “Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting past.”

And, one could also compellingly argue that a man who draws tattoos can boast an equally interesting past. Such is the case with Jake Kraker, who recently opened Freebird Tattoo Parlor in Lusk. According to Kraker, his affinity for body art was engendered during his formative years.

“Really, I fell into it,” Kraker said. “I always liked them (tattoos and piercings) and was always around them while I was growing up. The people I was raised around had them. So, they became part of my identity.”

The seasoned body artist is a nomad of sorts. He lived in Lusk nine years ago, but eventually moved to Casper. There, he did an apprenticeship in piercing at the Ink Spot. Kraker practiced this art for six years, honing his skills along the sinewy canvas where he would soon use ink. Before he became a member of the Ink Spot team, Kraker was one of the business’s devoted customers. With the encouragement of Ink Spot’s manager, he eventually went from being a client to a tattooist.

“I had been tattooed at the Ink Spot a couple times,” Kraker said. “The last time I was in there, I had gotten pierced and, as I was leaving, the manager stopped me on my way out and asked me if I would ever be interested in piercing for a living. I was like, ‘Sure.’ I think I was 18 at the time. It is really neat to fall into that career when you’re so young.”

Yet, his early start didn’t make Kraker’s journey to becoming a professional body artist any easier. The experienced tattooist and body piercer had to go through extensive training, which involved continuous drawing and cleaning instruments.

For the complete article see the 08-14-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-14-2013 paper.

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