After 26 years of serving the Calumet City community, tattoo artist and Homewood-Flossmoor High School Class of 1991 graduate Bob Garrity is making a heartfelt return to his hometown. Garrity’s tattoo parlor, Ink-N-Um Tattoos & Body Piercing, is relocating to Homewood’s Southgate Shopping Center. This move has been a long-awaited dream for Garrity, and it became possible due to recent changes in zoning codes allowing for tattoo parlors in Southgate with a particular use permit.
Garrity’s passion for art has always been the driving force in his life. While tattoo art might not have been his initial dream, the seeds of artistic expression were sown in his heart during his teenage years. A former skateboard enthusiast, he found himself engrossed in drawing on skateboards. It was during this time that he discovered his artistic calling. As his friends began to get tattoos, he recognized the allure of using his creative skills to create permanent body art.
“I always wanted to do something in the arts,” Garrity recalls. “Tattooing was something I was interested in.”
His journey into tattoo art began shortly after his high school graduation. Initially, he honed his craft at tattoo shops in Gary, Indiana, and Calumet City. Over the years, Garrity has built a loyal clientele, including repeat customers who travel significant distances to have him create their tattoos. This, he believes, is a testament not only to his artistic talent but also to the personal connection that forms during the tattooing process.
“People travel for tattoos if they like your art and if they like you personally,” Garrity explains. “It’s not just about the tattoo; it’s about the experience. You spend much time with the artist, and that connection matters.”
At present, Bob Garrity is the sole tattoo artist at Ink-N-Um. However, he has plans to expand his team by taking on a tattoo apprentice and recruiting other tattoo artists with established clientele.
Ink-N-Um is more than just a tattoo parlor. It also offers body piercing services. The shop provides H2Ocean Aftercare Spray, designed to prevent adverse reactions during the crucial post-piercing healing period.
Garrity’s return to Homewood is not just a professional milestone; it’s a homecoming. The Southgate Shopping Center will soon be home to Ink-N-Um Tattoos & Body Piercing, marking Garrity’s triumphant return to the town where his artistic journey began.
As Garrity prepares to set up shop in Homewood, he joins the growing local tattoo community, following in the footsteps of Big Brothers Tattoo, which opened its doors in April. The re-emergence of tattoo art in Homewood is a testament to the thriving artistic and creative spirit within the community.
Bob Garrity’s story is not just one of professional success; it’s a celebration of following one’s passion and returning to one’s roots. As he relocates his tattoo parlor to Homewood, he carries the artistic dreams and aspirations that have been a driving force in his life. With open doors, welcoming arms, and a rich tapestry of creative expression, Homewood eagerly awaits the return of a talented native son.