A modern form of art
New tattoo shop set to open this June in Jackson

By Brianna Stubler

May 3, 2019

Event Horizon Tattoos is set to open in Jackson during June. Shop owner Rich Mooney said he enjoys meeting people and that’s why he got into the field.  
Submitted promotional material

JACKSON — Fun is the foundation of a new tattoo shop coming to Jackson, by village native and industry professional Rich Mooney. Many of the county’s current artists apprenticed under him, and these experiences, coupled with an artistic passion, led him to pursue opening his own shop.

“The tattoo industry is growing and becoming more professional and studio-ish, which is a great thing, but I do believe some of the fun has been lost,” Mooney said. “People have told me that’s the difference between me and working at some of these shops and having my own; we have a lot of fun, and that radiates.”

Event Horizon Tattoos is set to open in June, with Mooney joined by Brandi Stam and shop manager Scott Roth.

“When you get me and Brandi together it’s a fun time,” Mooney said.

He and Stam worked at Northern Lights and began planning this new shop, which is already underway. The shop will be next to Sonya’s Rose Creative Florals & Gifts, facing the Jackson Police Department.

“When you’re working under someone, sometimes they try to put their two cents in too much and it stops that creativity,” Mooney said. “Since I’ve owned before, I thought now is the time to do it again.”

At a recent Village Board meeting, the conditional use permit for Event Horizon was approved, and this week, Mooney and Roth went to the village leadership to talk about the next step, possibly an establishment license.

There are artists in Slinger and Grafton, but along Highway 60, Mooney said there is a niche to be filled in Jackson.

“But competition isn’t a bad thing. It can be good, because it encourages you to get better and options are good for customers,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years so I have a lot of clients waiting for the doors to open, and I’m definitely hoping for some new clients who come through Highway 60.”

He described his style as versatile, and willing to cater to the client’s request, but he does enjoy infusing his own creativity into designs.

“I like freehand, which is what the industry is severely lacking right now,” Mooney said. “People are just getting traced artwork nowadays; it’s very common. But I’ve been known to just grab a pen and draw on someone and go from there, as per their wishes.”

This passion almost led him to a different career in the graphics industry, but after encouragement from a mentor, he seriously considered becoming a tattoo artist.

“I love people, which is part of the reason I tattoo,” Mooney said. “I was going to go into graphic design and illustration, but this way I get to deal with more people one on one.”

Times have changed since he gave, and got, his first tattoo more than two decades ago.

“About 25 years ago, tattoos weren’t popular yet but my shop manager was pushing me to apprentice, and I did, but I never thought tattooing was going to blow up into such a wide, mainstream type of thing,” Mooney said. “But people definitely value that dimension of self-expression.”

This is generational, he said, and has slowly changed.

“When I started, if your aunt had a tattoo the rest of the family didn’t know about it,” Mooney said. “As a matter of fact, the first tattoo I got, I hid from my parents for about a year.”

It was a crown of thorns on his right arm. He has since gotten more and the stigma around getting a tattoo has faded. Now, it is more of a conversation piece and has led to Mooney doing graphic work for various businesses in addition to his tattoos. He said he loves anything related to art and plans to offer tattoos and create designs for local businesses upon opening in June.