Localize It: Building community through ink

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It is no longer uncommon to shake someone’s hand and catch a glimpse of writing inked on their arm, or to spot a flower drawn in on their shoulder, peeking out from under a shirt. As time passes, tattoos are becoming more and more normalized, and people’s demand for them is going up. Tattoo shops are found frequently in Anchorage, filled with artists who are eager to tattoo anyone who walks in.

Evan Creasap, 28, is a tattoo artist currently working at Body Piercing Unlimited, a business in Anchorage with multiple locations that offers both tattoos and piercings. The downtown shop, located on West Fifth Avenue, hosts multiple different tattoo artists including Creasap. He has been working at the shop for nearly four years now, tattooing both regulars and people he hasn’t worked on before.

“I’ve been interested in being a tattoo artist since I was a teenager. The culture and the art always intrigued me. Once I found my knack for drawing and thought about how I could incorporate that into a certain style of tattoo work, I started thinking about the idea more seriously,” Creasap said.

Creasap began as a tattoo apprentice in 2009, starting at the midtown Body Piercing Unlimited location in Anchorage. He went through his apprenticeship, and after it was completed, worked at a few other shops before finding his more permanent home that he tattoos at now. Creasap tattooed at Body Piercing Unlimited locations in Palmer and Sitka for several years before he came back to Anchorage to tattoo.

“Before I even started my apprenticeship, I worked as a behind the counter guy at BPU, just helping customers and doing that side of it. After getting my foot in the door that way, I was able to start learning and begin my apprenticeship,” Creasap said.

Since he began tattooing, Creasap has focused on his style in American traditional work. This style of tattooing features bold black outlines with very bright colors, and is popular among many of his clients. American traditional is the style that Creasap feels most comfortable in, but he is willing to tattoo anything that people want outside of that style as well.

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“That’s probably my favorite part about being a tattoo artist, just being able to tattoo a little bit of everything, a little bit of everybody. Anchorage is a really awesome city to be able to do that in, I plan to work here so long as people keep walking through that door,” Creasap said.

Creasap plans to stay tattooing in Anchorage for as long as he has customers who want to be tattooed by him, and will continue to improve and expand his styles and techniques.