For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to have tattoos. I remember seeing my uncle’s arm when I was like 5, and he just had the word “SEX” written on his arm in what looked like very badly drawn sharpie. But that was cool to me – that was my real-life introduction to tattoos. (Both Merv Heiner and the shop he works at come later.)
(TL;DR – scroll down for images)
From there, I always kind of played with the idea as I got older, eventually walking into a few parlors in Kansas City, MO as a teenager. I still liked the art, but I felt like I shouldn’t rush anything because – in my eyes – tattoos are permanent. It is like a marriage between your ink and skin. And even though you can get a “divorce” (tattoo-removal), I have no plans to break my union.
So – I got older – had a little more money – college came.
I knew what I wanted done, but I told myself that I would wait until I paid off all of my student loans before I spent ANY money on “extra things” like tattoos. I wasn’t procrastinating or flaking, but I think people around me definitely thought I was kidding. I didn’t pay off my loans until 2017(?) and then – almost immediately once I was done – I started researching tattoo shops online.
There, I came across an award-winning shop near me called Black Lotus Tattoo in Hanover, MD (a very cool place full of very cool people). The shop is owned (I think) by Season 4 Inkmaster competitor Halo Jankowski, and while Halo is dope – it was another artist there whose style caught my eye.
Enter “The Merv”
Merv Heiner had the style I was looking for!
Out of all of the artists’ portfolios I looked through, about 45 or so, I immediately knew that Merv was “it” when I landed on his shop portfolio page. The lines in his work looked fluid and came to life with a bit of improvisational flare that I was drawn to. The colors were vibrant & blended to perfection!
This was it. This was the art I wanted to marry my skin to (ewwwww).
Anyway, I hit him up – and the rest is history. What follows is a BUNCH of images of work that Merv has done that I dig from his Instagram feed (including the stuff he did for me a couple of years ago – we’ll start there).
The Art of Merv Heiner
Everything that follows is owned by Merv Heiner & lifted from his Instagram feed. There is waaaaay more there (1,300+ posts as of the time of this blog), so check it out if you’d like to see more.
And that’s it!
I plan to send a link to this post to Merv, so if you love his work – please give him a follow on Instagram (and tell him SoSoDOPE sent you) or let him know how much you dig things in the comment section below.
Even better – hit him up for a tattoo!
Signing off – and here’s a picture of Merv… Holding… What appears to be a plush Sheep Merv? Adorable. And perfectly Merv.
Peace, and thanks for reading.
The soundtrack for this post provided by…
– Cover Image & all Merv-related photos © Merv Heiner
– Body Image 1 & Johnnie Tattoo Photos © Johnnie Weathersby III