Call today! Hammond: (219) 844-4343 or Merrillville/Hobart: (219) 940-9128

 

Other Media

Best of the Region

"THE TIMES AND SHORE MAGAZINE: BEST OF THE REGION"

Bugaboo Tattoo was voted as Best Tattoo Artist in the "16th Annual Best of the Region" by The Times and Shore Magazine.


Ink and Ice

"INK AND ICE" from TATTOO MAGAZINE by Paul Garson

This article had to be first. Don Frey, owner and artiste extraordinaire at Bugaboo Tattoo located in Hammond, Indiana, was speaking to us while immersed in a hot tub basically perched high atop a snow capped mountain. "I'm on a five day snowmobile trip. Once a year me and six of my buddies backpack through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and stay at different lodges. It's my one time getaway from work."

Don is no stranger to work. Out of high school he enrolled in the American Academy of Art for a degree in graphic design illustration. Then he earned his keep for several years as a freelance illustrator drawing for a wide variety of clients from New York children's magazines to AT&T and US Steel before entering the tattoo profession. "I was an airbrush illustrator and would also do a bunch of cars and motorcycles. After hooking up with a traditional biker shop in scary Gary, Indiana, I did a lot of custom airbrush for their customers who had Harley's. They all liked my artwork and said I should start tattooing and I like hanging around with and interacting with the people. Meanwhile, illustrating was getting a little boring. While it was cool seeing your stuff in print, you never met the customers buying your art. I started working with Roy Boy, apprenticing with him and tattooing there for about three years. I tried the city in Chicago for awhile working at Tattoo Tattoo, then opened up a shop of my own back in Indiana."

..."I'll do realistic black and gray, and like doing portrait work but everyday you learn something new. You look at the magazines and see everything is always evolving."

..."I went through my Thesaurus one day and found the word (Bugaboo) which means something that causes a false sense of fear or anxiety. I though that was the perfect name for a tattoo shop. People are afraid of getting tattoos, maybe afraid of people with tattoos. But there's no reason for that, its art. Its something special and not something that should be labeled as intimidating. And that's the whole feeling of our shop. I want people to have a good feeling about coming in and getting something they've always wanted."

In 1997, Bugaboo Tattoo became Hammond, Indiana’s first tattoo studio. They operated on Calumet Avenue for four years before moving to their current and permanent location on Kennedy Avenue in Hammond. With dedication, education, and commitment to the art, Bugaboo Tattoo has quickly become recognized as one of the premier studios in Northwest Indiana, and the Chicagoland area, producing many award-winning tattoos year after year.

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service

"Diverse group of artists INK superior customer service"

In 1997, Bugaboo Tattoo became Hammond, Indiana’s first tattoo studio. They operated on Calumet Avenue for four years before moving to their current and permanent location on Kennedy Avenue in Hammond. With dedication, education, and commitment to the art, Bugaboo Tattoo has quickly become recognized as one of the premier studios in Northwest Indiana, and the Chicagoland area, producing many award-winning tattoos year after year.

Don Frey, owner of Bugaboo Tattoo, has been tattooing since 1991. He graduated from the Academy of Art and says it is this background, one he shares with his fellow artists at Bugaboo Tattoo that sets the business apart. “The thing that makes our shop different is these are professional artists, not just tattooists. Customers who come into our shop get a tattoo that our artists design just for them. We’re not an off-the-wall shop,” says Frey. “We really try to strive for customer service, being prepared, and being on time. This business is all about service,” he says.

Other artists at Bugaboo Tattoo include Aaron Peters who is a native of Griffith, also a graduate of the American Academy of Art; Jimmy Choss, a ten-year-tattooist who started with Frey in 1997 before working at Sunset Strip Tattoo in California and South Carolina, when he returned home for Frey’s shop two years ago; Kate Carillo who studied art and has been with Frey as a piercing artist for four years, moving up to tattoo artist; and Becky Lawrence, full-time piercer.

Frey says he prides himself on running a super clean, very professional establishment. “We don’t tolerate a rock-star attitude. This isn’t a party shop, it’s a business,” he says. So Frey insists for the comfort and health of Bugaboo Tattoo’s artists and patrons, no smoking or alcohol is permitted on the premises. The studio features three private tattoo rooms and a piercing studio. The atmosphere is relaxed yet professional with a staff that is always available to help clients with their questions and needs. Because of the graphic nature of their work, no one under 16 is permitted on the premises.

Bugaboo Tattoo’s artists each have their own specialty, and Frey says he has purposely assembled a group with diverse talents to meet every client’s need. “We all bring something different. Aaron Peters and I specialize in portraits and realistic art, Jimmy Choss works best with fantasy and color, and Kate is great with design-heavy tattoos, like florals and scroll work,” Frey says.

Bugaboo Tattoo has an established reputation for outstanding art in Northwest Indiana and the region. They have won best tattoo at tattoo conventions in Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis, so let them work for you.

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Bugaboo Tattoo Location

We now have 2 locations...

7014 Kennedy Ave., Hammond, IN 46323

4357 E. Lincoln Hwy. (Rt.30), Hobart, IN 46404

Bugaboo Defined

Bug • a • boo

An object that causes a false sense of fear.