John Minka.

Ask The Tattoo Artist

John Minka – Bewitched Tattoo

John Minka, owner of Bewitched Tattoo Studio, has been a local to southern Delaware and a renowned tattoo artist for over 25 years. His Studio at Midway Shopping Center touts Delaware’s first Salon Style tattooing and has been a Route 1 staple for the past decade. “I never want to let a client down. I’m the first person they think about when they get out of the shower,” he says with a laugh. “Reason being, there is always a mirror in the bathroom, and my work is on their body—so it’s really important to me that they love it.”

John’s studio uses vegan, organic ink; no acrylics, no enamels, no plastics and only medical-grade, surgical, stainless-steel equipment. “One of our strongest attributes [at Bewitched Tattoo] is that we generally care about design in a safe environment. Safe to be yourself and your choices.”

John requires all Bewitched artists to be an illustrator first. “It helps to understand conceptual design, shading, composition, and depth.”  Every year, John and his artists must pass the Bloodborne Pathogens Test to understand disease transmission and control—John’s personal studio rules. “It’s how we keep safety first.”

Hailing from southeastern Pennsylvania, he started his journey in art as an illustrator. After graduating from Dantonio Art School and then college for Illustration, he created backdrop scenery for Disney on Ice, Mattel, and Warner Bros. He completed Police Academy training and worked as an armed personal security officer in Philadelphia. However, John always had a calling to draw and create. After his daughter was born, he relocated to the Delaware Beaches and started tattooing full time. “It was a challenge to change mediums from paper to skin. But, a piece of paper is cold, while there is a heartfelt connection to tattooing people, an immediate response—hugs, tears, laughter.” 

Unlike many tattoo artists, John does not do a “pre-draw” in advance. He encourages a “meet and greet” design session to discuss ideas but prefers to “design that day—in the moment.” Design is very important, and he explains how tattoos have to fit to a moving canvas. “You want a design to add to the body rather than take away.”  He asserts that he likes it when clients come with screenshots of ideas so they can collaborate. “I want to do what you’re excited about getting. Then I’m excited, and we can feed off that excitement.”

John is in such high demand that, while he accepts walk-in clients when he can, his waitlist is 6 months long. He stresses how important it is for people to meet and vibe with the artist. “A person is stuck with a tattoo artist for hours and stuck with their tattoo for life. So, they have to make sure they’re on the same page.”

John explains that all of his clients come in to celebrate or commemorate something. “I help them create a permanent celebration of life; a child, career, religion, or passion.” Conversely, if it’s not a celebration, John doesn’t take the client on. “We’re a no-hate, no-harm studio—I won’t even do piercings that put undo wear and tear on the body, and I hold that line.”

In addition to his tattooing, John is an inspirational illustrator for the bodybuilding and powerlifting industry; designing for “Evil Genius Sports Performance.” John’s art, specifically, Erotic Illustration, has been displayed at the Talleyville Gallery in Wilmington DE, and he has even published erotic coloring books, “Uncle John’s Adult Coloring Book.”

After meeting John it’s easy to understand why his waitlist is so long. The studio is clean and inviting. He is easy-going, kind, and extremely talented; – clearly a person who loves his career and is living his passion. It makes you want to celebrate… maybe even with some ink!

Contact John at Bewitched Tattoo: (302) 703-2289: 18585 Coastal Hwy, Rehoboth Beach bewitchedtattoo.com

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