Supernova Tattoo: A Studio Rooted in Art

Supernova Tattoo: A Studio Rooted in Art
Staff Photo Ashleigh Price The “tat cave,” as the owners have nicknamed Supernova, is a locally owned underground tattoo studio on Block Street.

Staff Photo Ashleigh Price
The “tat cave,” as the owners have nicknamed Supernova, is a locally owned underground tattoo studio on Block Street.

Black and white tiled flooring and deep-red, art covered walls set the backdrop for passionate artists and humming tattoo guns.

The “tat cave,” as the owners have nicknamed it, is a locally owned underground tattoo studio on Block Street.

In 2012 owners and artists Travis Hulshizer, who has been tattooing 18 years, and Sarah Anderson renovated and transformed the 4,500-square-foot historic bank into Supernova Tattoo Studio and Gallery.

“It was a lot of work,” said Anderson of the remodel, “but it has really been a dream to be able to build something out of nothing with my best friend.”

Supernova added to the wide array of already established tattoo studios in Northwest Arkansas.

Fayetteville alone has nine tattoo shops, but both Anderson and Hulshizer aspire to stand out, to be something more than just a walk-in “street-shop.”

Hulshizer said they pride themselves in being an appointment only shop, “where every design is drawn by hand to suit the specific client, with a focus on originality and creativity.”

“We are focused on custom art and tattoos. I just want our shop to be producing beautiful artwork,” adds Anderson.

Both owners emphasized the importance of creating beautiful and unique artwork that their customers could be proud of.

“Our focus above anything else is art,” said Hulshizer. “Prior to tattooing we all worked in other artistic fields including painting, screen printing, printmaking, and graffiti.”

After initial consultation with their client, they design a one-of-a-kind, custom piece that will never be tattooed on anyone else.

The tattooing duo both knew at a very young age that they were artists.

“I not only wanted to create, I needed to create,” said Anderson. “It lives inside of me. I live and breathe art.”

Hulshizer said that both he and Anderson have a dedicated art space in their home where they do the majority of their brainstorming and drawing for clients.

“If we aren’t tattooing, we’re drawing,” said Anderson. “Tattooing takes over your life…but it’s not work. We love what we do and are both extremely grateful that we get to practice our craft as much as we do.”

“As artists our involvement in the world of art really never stops,” said Hulshizer. “We strive to constantly improve our craft, as well as continuing to educate ourselves as to what is happening in the world of art and tattooing.”

For tattoo artists, staying educated or “in the loop” can happen in a variety of ways. For Anderson, she is especially informed and inspired via social media.

“It’s humbling to know the amount of talent in the tattoo world. Through social media you can really see what is happening and it is insane. There’s so much talent and it really pushes me to work harder and to set my goals so high,” said Anderson.

Anderson’s path as an artist inspired her to secure a tattooing license in May 2014. She first learned the trade as an apprentice to her co-owner, Hulshizer, whom she practiced tattooing for initial experience.

“Tattooing is such a privilege,” said Anderson. “I have so much gratitude that I’ve had the opportunity to learn this craft, but to learn this craft from Travis is just mind blowing at times. He really is so talented and I have learned so much from him.”

For Anderson, above other art mediums, tattooing has been both the most challenging but most rewarding. “I have this burning drive to learn this craft and to get really good at it,” she said.

As for Supernova’s future, they hope to aid in the continuing growth of Northwest Arkansas’ creative community.

They have plans to bring guest tattoo artists into their shop and to expand their shop to include a gallery for local artists to show their works.

For those interested in checking out Supernova Tattoo Studio and Gallery, it is located at 30 N. Block Ave. To see a photo-portfolio of both Anderson and Hulshizer’s works, visit their website at

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