Jacksonville is bursting with arts and culture. Everywhere you walk, you can see colorful murals, graffiti and body art. Solid State Art Studio in Riverside features an art gallery and a tattoo studio.

The owners and talented tattoo artists of Solid State are Josh Oshier, James Ranieri and Justin Dale. Tattoos have been part of American culture for a long time, but recently, they have become more mainstream.

“It’s not just the bikers anymore. It’s stand-up people getting tattoos, and they are seeking out actual artists for their art … not just pointing to a wall and saying ‘I want that’,” Ranieri said.

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Unlike some other shops, Solid State sticks to original work and strays away from copying others. The artists described their process as customers bringing in ideas of what they want, so that the artist can draw up an original creation.

“If you are going to call yourself an artist, you need to be that, you need to work at it, and you need to do it — not just trace something someone brings in, and then get them in and get them out for their dollar. That’s not what its about,” Dale said.

Ranieri said he had an early start into the world of art and tattoos. “I started getting tattooed at a very young age, and it just kind of clicked, and I knew it was for me. I knew a typical 9 to 5 wasn’t for me, and I have always been into art, so it just seemed natural,” Ranieri said.

For people who may be new to the tattoo world, Dale wants you to know it is nothing like what you see on reality television. “People think that’s the experience they are going to get, and it’s not. That’s all fake. It’s supposed to be relaxing [with] good art and [just] having fun,” Dale said.

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Photo Credit: Justin Dale (@anarchyarts)

When Ranieri looks to the future of his industry, he hopes the artists get the credit they deserve and that people continue to seek out actual artists for their work. “I want it to be more artists, not tattoo mechanics. Seek out an artist [whose work] you admire and let him do his art on you instead of just a tattoo shop. I don’t want to be classified as, ‘You just do tattoos.’ No. I do art,” Ranieri said.

If you are interested in getting a quality tattoo at Solid State Art Studio, you should know that it is by appointment only. You can visit their Facebook page for more information, and if you are interested in one of the specific artists, visit their Instagram profiles for their personal phone numbers.

Photo: Solid State Art Studio Facebook