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T-N-T Tattooing & Body Piercing looks to ink a positive and safe portrait of its art form to the Tyrone community

Getting some ink Shown is Will Myers, owner and artist at Tyrone’s new T-N-T Tattooing & Body Piercing studio located at 5 W. 10th Street in the downtown area. Myers is working on a tattoo for Angel Nagy of Tyrone. The T-N-T studio has been received well by the community and other businesses, and Myers hopes to remain a fixture in Tyrone. (The Daily Herald/Kris Yaniello)

William “Will” Myers, 30, is the owner and artist of T-N-T Tattooing & Body Piercing, located at 5 W. 10th Street in downtown Tyrone. Originally from Cumberland, MD, Myers has been tattooing professionally for 12 years.
Myers moved to Tyrone in January with his fiancee Amy Yost and their son, Zayne. Friends of his pushed him to come to the area and open a studio in Altoona. He realized there wasn’t any tattoo and body piercing studios from Altoona to State College, so he grasped the opportunity to come to Tyrone.
But, Myers’ art form has taken him all over the east coast. Tyrone hasn’t been his first stop.
He started getting involved in tattooing at the ripe age of 14, when he gave himself a tattoo. He became more serious with tattooing when an old high school friend started teaching him the art form. He left Cumberland, MD at age 18 and moved to Manhattan in New York City.
Once in Manhattan, Myers began checking out the numerous tattoo studios in the city to see where he could attain an apprenticeship to start his own career. He walked into Golden Dragon Tattooing & Body Piercing in the city, and it was his lucky day.
“I just happened to walk into the right one on the right day and the guy asked me if I could draw,” said Myers. “I said ‘yes,’ and he asked me to draw something, so I did – and he took me in.”
The apprenticeship cost Myers $4,900, and it lasted for two and a half years. There wasn’t any pay involved, so he worked as a bartender and played in a band at night, while tattooing during the day. Once his apprenticeship was over in 1997, he started tattooing on his own and made a name for himself in Manhattan.
He then moved to Baltimore, MD and opened up his own studio called “Sinz of the Skin.” That studio was received so well that he opened up “Sinz of Skin II” in a neighboring town. After about three years, he had enough income to move back to his hometown of Cumberland, MD and establish a studio there. But, his ambitions hit a crossroads when some of the older people in Cumberland decided a tattoo and body piercing studio wasn’t to their ideals in Cumberland’s historic district.
“The stipulations were so heavy in Cumberland, that I just got sick of fighting it,” noted Myers. “I had it open for three months and the city threw a fit because I was in ‘historic’ Cumberland, and the city didn’t agree with my studio. They said I was bringing in riff-raffs.”
Myers explained that a tattoo studio naturally is a place where people come and spend a good amount of time. Tattooing is a timely and precise art form, and the people of Cumberland had their own opinion of what a tattoo studio was, so he eventually closed up shop and went back to school at Allegheny College of Maryland.
There, he gained an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts, but the pay in that field wasn’t agreeable to him, when he was used to making $100 an hour tattooing. That led him to coming to Tyrone and opening up a studio here.
“Tattooing is so much more accepted now then it’s ever been,” said Myers. “Now-a-days the technology has expanded so much that it is an absolute art form.”
Myers’ T-N-T Tattooing & Body Piercing offers a safe and clean environment, with a small community touch. Not only does he use all disposable materials, he uses “autoclave sterilization,” which is a hospital sterilizer that is fairly expensive and required to open up a tattoo studio.
“There’s a mountain of stuff like Hepatitis A through C, HIV and AIDS that you can get from non-sterilized equipment,” added Myers. “My business is absolutely clean and sterile, and I can’t stress that enough.”
T-N-T has been open for two weeks and Myers said the feedback from the community and other local businesses has been “absolutely wonderful.” He stated that he has been fixing a lot of tattoos for people, who have had less than par work done in the past.
“Everybody’s been so receptive to the studio, from the bank, to the local boutiques and the church beside me,” said Myers. “It’s not what I expected, but I think people respect a new business coming in and the fact that I’m good at what I do.”
He added that sanitation was a big issue while he was trying to open up his shop in the borough, but he said Code Enforcement Officer James Metzgar has been wonderful and put him under the microscope to get opened up, but he’s passed all requirements and codes and the town’s been real supportive.
“I want to be able to give the community affordable and quality work,” said Myers. “If I can make it affordable and let them be able to afford the real stuff and not scratch art, so they are not regretting their art work – then I’m helping people out.”
Myers is inspired by art in general and world-renowned artist, Paul Booth, who owns and operated Underworld Tattooing in Manhattan. Booth excels in black and shade art and realistic art.
“I want my stuff to come out of here perfect, which it does,” stated Myers. “You’re not messing around with a piece of paper or canvas, it has to be precise – you have to be dead on, and I do that.”
He added, “I love this town, although it has a bad reputation for tattooing because of previous studios here, but I want to change that. I want people to realize what a tattoo shop should be, opposed to what it has been.”
T-N-T Tattooing & Body Piercing is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday’s by appointment. Myers can be reached at 814-327-8789 or email: xaydetyrone@live.com.