Art and Soul is the newest tattoo and piercing shop in Ellensburg



BY Patience Collier

News Editor


Art and Soul, the tattoo parlor on University Way, has a comfortable, friendly style: just the way Denver Monaghan, the artist and owner, prefers it.

Monaghan opened Art and Soul this past January, after moving back to Ellensburg with his family. He lived in town as a teenager, and said he and his fiance want to raise their son and daughter here.

“They’re what drive me to succeed,” Monaghan said. “I wanted to provide for my family, and I’m very blessed to be able to do artwork for a living.”

Although he will work in any style, Monaghan says he most enjoys working on abstract tattoos, and working on tattooing people for the first time, which he describes as a special bond.

“I enjoy every kind of tattoo, but I am especially proud of being able to tattoo first-timers,” Monaghan said. “It’s a bond that they’ll never forget.”

Monaghan has worked in Ellensburg before, with Clayton Merritt, owner of The Roost. He always knew he wanted to be an artist, but he was in his twenties before he started working seriously on a career as a tattoo artist.

“My grandfather was an artist, did portraits and things like that, my uncle is a really good artist as well, and my grandmother was a painter,” Monaghan said. “So it’s always kind of been there, I just didn’t know that tattooing is what I wanted to do until I was twenty-five.”

Since then, he’s been working hard at improving his skill with tattoos, attending conventions, expos and conventions all over the region. He still believes the most important thing about tattooing, though, is the bond between artist and client.

Monaghan takes pride in his skill with abstract tattoos, but he has not limited himself in style or medium.

“I’ve been piercing for a long time too, I take a lot of pride in the piercings that I do,” Monaghan said. “I can special order any type of jewelry; if you can think it, I can have it made.”

He will also do microdermal implants, Monaghan said. Most of the jewelry he uses at Art & Soul is made by a company in California. Monaghan prides himself on the quality of his jewelry, and that of his piercings. Custom-design body jewelry is one of Monaghan’s strong suits, Merritt said.

Merritt was enthusiastic about Monaghan’s new shop. He explained that often, the waiting list for a tattoo can get very long, because there are so few options in Ellensburg. The artists at the Roost would prefer not to have to defer their customers for so long; having the option of sending them to another artist in town if they prefer not to wait is important.

The opening of another tattoo parlor in Ellensburg has given students not only a shorter waiting list, but more choice in artists when they decide to get a tattoo.

Chanessa Knight, a freshman sociology major, recently got a compass tattoo in the style of a detailed line drawing, at Art & Soul. Monaghan had an existing design, Knight said, and was willing to work with her on the tattoo hours, despite her not having a prior appointment.

“I had the idea, I knew what I wanted,” Knight said. “He just happened to have it drawn up.”

Knight said she was very happy with her tattoo, and with the pricing of the tattoo, which she said was very reasonable. The shop was comfortable, but clean, she said, and she was happy with the professionalism.

“Some tattoo places will take as long as they can, so they can charge that. He didn’t do that at all, he was very fair with his pricing, and it was worth it,” Knight  said.