DeKalb features variety of tattoo shops


Madelaine Vikse

Out on a Whim Tattoo, 127 East Lincoln Highway, is one of the tattoo shops located in DeKalb (Madelaine Vikse | Northern Star)

By Grace Barone, Lifestyle writer

Moving away for college in DeKalb, a town full of young people trying to figure out how to be an adult, can be an exciting time for many. For some, this might be the first taste of independence and freedom they’ve had. So, what’s the best way to prove your independence and maturity? Getting a tattoo, of course! 

Jokes aside, getting a tattoo is a permanent decision, so making sure you’re going to a shop with an artist you’re happy and comfortable with is important. If you’re looking to get some ink or maybe a piercing, here is some information about the tattoo shops in DeKalb.   

DeKalb Tattoo Company 

DeKalb Tattoo Company, 817 West Lincoln Highway Suite G, has been in business since 2013. The shop is currently by appointment only and has three tattoo artists. DeKalb Tattoo Company has a large separate piercing area, with a huge variety of quality jewelry to choose from. DeKalb Tattoo Company’s shop minimum is $100. After that, the artists charge by the hour. The hourly rate varies depending on the artist and tattoo. 

Piercings start at $80 and go up based on jewelry and type of piercing, said Claudia Balli, the shop manager. The shop also has an art gallery and a rewards program.

For more information and to book an appointment, you can call the shop at 815-901-0024. 

“I’ve gone to DeKalb Tattoo (Company) for almost all of my tattoos and piercings, especially under the newer management,” said Mikala Busch, a 23-year-old DeKalb resident. “They’re super professional and their work is very high quality.”   


Mindful Tattoo Collective 

Mindful Tattoo Collective, 625 East Lincoln Highway, has been in business for three years in DeKalb. The shop will accept a walk-in if the tattoo is small and can be finished in a short amount of time. You will need to set up an appointment for larger pieces. 

This shop has three tattoo artists and does not offer piercings. Their shop minimum is $50. The artist’s hourly rates differ, but you can expect $120 an hour at minimum. To book an appointment or for more information, you can call them at 815-517-1371.

Proton Tattoo

Proton Tattoo, 120 South 4th Street, has five artists and one piercer. Partial owner and tattoo artist Chris May competed on the hit show Ink Master. Offering tattoos and piercings, this shop accepts walk-ins and has a shop minimum of $80 and piercings start at $60. 

“I’ve been to Proton to get pierced, the guy knew his stuff, the space was super clean. I have sensitive skin that usually bubbles as it heals and this one doesn’t have any keloids or anything,” Rachel Jaco, a recent NIU graduate, said. 

The shop does charge by the hour, but every tattoo is different, May said. 

“I could look at a tattoo and tell them $300, even though it could take four hours, so, it really depends,” May said. 

For more information call them at 815-756-1800

Out on a Whim Tattoo

Out on a Whim Tattoo, 127 East Lincoln Highway, currently has four artists and one piercer and has been in business since 2000. Their shop minimum is $100 and the minimum hourly rate is also $100. Piercings start at $40 and go up based on jewelry and type of piercing. 

This shop sometimes has promotions or deals and events on days like Friday the 13th. Follow the shop’s Facebook page for updates and information on deals and events. For more information or to book an appointment, call the shop at 815-754-4300. 

Tattoos can be a great form of self expression and appreciation for art. Make sure you’re confident with your decision about getting one and are at a clean shop with certified artists. Doing your own research is always important.