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Kicking It With Ikonic Ink, State College’s Newest Tattoo Parlor


If you are thinking about sinking the ink anytime soon, you should check out the new contender in State College’s tattoo and piercing scene, Ikonic Ink. Located in between Saint’s Cafe and Green Bowl and owned by local Dave Faussette, you can find the new boutique-like parlor at 127 W. Beaver Ave where artists Adam Zimmer and Shawn Elliot are doing what they love.


Outside of the shop you might find yourself staring at the window where two bad ass drawings of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and a girl in a gas mask are displayed. When I went inside to introduce myself, I found out that I am one of many who had to do a double take at the storefront since their grand opening on April 13.

Inside I met Shawn Elliot, an artist who specializes in all things brutal when it comes to his style as an artist, and whose girlfriend is responsible for the eye-catching portraits outside. When I say “all things brutal,” I mean pretty damn brutal. (See below)


However, as an artist, he says he is versatile as it comes. Shawn was originally with SteamPunk Ink before making the switch over to Ikonic with fellow Ikonic Ink artist Adam Zimmer. While I didn’t get to meet Adam, it is my understanding that his passion lies in a very new school style of tattoos, where vibrant color and specific details come together to make it pop.


I also had the pleasure of meeting Mary Guthoff who works at the desk, taking calls and inquiries while also helping people sketch out their ideas herself. If you plan on booking a session, you’ll be pleased to find that she is a complete sweetheart and will make sure you are taken care of. Mary also gets a kick out of the way people seem to open up during their sessions with the artists, and with a degree in human development, she can enjoy all the subtleties of their outrageous confessions.

"Yes of course we do forehead tattoos, hold please"
“Yes of course we do forehead tattoos, hold please.”

When I asked Mary about the trends she sees in tattoo requests, she smiled and said “the infinity symbol is really in right now.” That, and the huge trend of bringing in images from Pinterest where young ladies find lots of inspiration from other people’s concepts to bring to the shop.

Notice the hand-built coffin ink shelves Adam built
Notice the hand-built coffin ink shelves Adam built.

Since they just opened this month, the biggest part about the whole process is getting the word out. While Shawn and Adam do have a dedicated following from their time at SteamPunk and their years in the business, not many people know about the new location yet so they are putting pamphlets around town. This is a great month to stop in because Ikonic Ink will be donating ten dollars from every tattoo toward Autism Speaks, a charity the artists take very seriously.


As for what Shawn and Adam are trying to accomplish with their new spot, Shawn stressed that it was important that people felt comfortable with their tattoo and piercing experience, and he’s confident that he now works at the best spot in town. For Shawn, he’s just focused on “making history, one tattoo at a time.”


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