In late February, armed with a tattoo gun and two-decade portfolio, one of the region’s most well-known tattoo artists debuted his aptly named shop in town: Mooresville Tattoo Company. Since then, the renowned Mark Evans has shared his artistry alongside two others on the prominent Hwy 150.
“It was just time,” said Evans about opening his own location. The former master tattoo artist at Anything’s Possible in downtown Mooresville said his 18 years of work there led many to believe the popular spot was his. From there, a desire for ownership in addition to artistry emerged.
“I do a lot more math,” he joked about the increase in responsibilities as a new shop owner. “It’s a lot more hours and a lot more satisfaction because it’s something I put together and have to take care of.”
Evans opened Mooresville Tattoo Company on Feb. 24 at 231 W. Plaza Drive, also known as N.C. Highway 150. Joining him at the business, tattoo artists Tara Long and Seth Little brought their own talents beginning in April. Both worked with Evans previously and said they eagerly wanted to do so again. Mooresville Tattoo Company provided that possibility.
Said Long, a former Evans apprentice, “I did it because of that man right there. It was a no-brainer for me.”
Leaving a famed Charlotte shop for Mooresville and Evans, Long added, “I’m just happy to be here. When it was Mark, it changed everything.”
Little, who worked with Evans in another shop, shared the same opinion, “I just wanted to work with Mark again. I worked for myself for eight years, but it’s better to feed off people.”
Added Evans, “I was trying to be picky [about the artists joining Mooresville Tattoo]. I put an ad up and I didn’t even have to use it. I’ve got two people who love to work and love the art and Mooresville really needs more of that.”
The trio bring a variety of artistic styles to the new, collaborative environment plus combined, award-winning experience exceeding 50 years. The three artists carried many former clients to their new Mooresville home in addition to welcoming fresh faces already – with more to come. Since opening, the steady shop has provided ink artistry from all three to adults in the form of gargoyles and Disney characters, patriotic flags and realism animals, first tattoos and full-arm sleeves. And there’s no slowing down from Monday through Friday.
“This is a lot more intimate,” said Evans. “We get to hang out and talk. We bounce off each other [for ideas] even though I’m a senior.”
The business’ shop manager, Pete Picariello – the fourth member of the well-rounded team and a childhood friend of Evans – called the artists “a nice balance.”
It was more than three decades ago when the accomplished Evans was told by a Mt. Holly science teacher that his skull doodles would get him nowhere – that he’d “never make a living” from his drawing skills. And although he continued to doodle, that wasn’t Evans’ projected path.
“I was going to be a rockstar,” he shared. “And you have to have tattoos to be a rockstar.”
At 18 years old, Evans was in a band and “ready to rock the world,” he said. But an encounter with a tattoo artist for his first permanent piece changed his future. The less-than-positive experience -- including a tattoo that was later covered up -- made him think he could do better work himself. By 19, Evans was a tattoo artist “and in the first two months, I had already won an award on the tattoo circuit.”
Evans said he never looked back, although he continues to rock the world alongside area bands.
Now, with almost 25 years of artistry under his tattoo machine, the new shop owner readies for more education and exciting opportunities alongside his fellow artists.
“I want to bring quality over quanity,” he noted. “I just want to produce the best I can in a friendly environment.”
Mooresville Tattoo Company is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments require a $100 deposit with a $100 minimum for any tattoo piece. No one under 18 is permitted at the shop. Walk-in appointments are available, although waiting times will vary. For more details, follow Mooresville Tattoo Company on Instagram at @mooresvilletattooco.