MARINETTE — A new tattoo shop has officially opened in Marinette; However, the owner said it’s so much more than just a place to get a new tattoo.

The Cardinal Club LLC officially opened May 10 and is now booking clients for business. Owner Ryan McClelland said the shop was decorated specifically to feel inviting to the community and to bring inspiration to him as an artist.

There is artwork displayed throughout the shop and there are plants inside and outside of it.

“I do a lot of rose tattoos, so I can use my own roses as inspiration,” McClelland said. Not only does he take pictures of plants, but he will often take pictures of anything he feels may inspire him artistically. Being able to take pictures of the world around him helps McClelland ensure his tattoos are truly original. No one else in the world has the same references that he will be using.

“I’m really big on color schemes, so if I’m at the store and there’s a woman’s shirt with a cool color scheme, I will take a picture of it. That way, I will have that pattern to look at later,” he said.

Before owning this business, McClelland has worked at several other tattoo shops and at one point owned an art gallery in Manitowoc, Wis.

“There’s not a lot of tattoo shops in this area so you have to get good at everything and try a little bit of each style,” he said. “That’s who I am as an artist as well. I take hints from everything I see out there. I’m one of those people who notices everything. I look at everything and analyze it, so I can try to figure out how I would do it better.”

He said tattooing involves a different process than traditional art because of the collaboration it involves.

“Working with people’s skin is always a treat, it’s more of a collaboration. With painting, that’s me. I can decide what to do. No on is telling me what to do and I can do it however I want. With tattooing, I have to work with somebody. That’s a challenge in itself,” McClelland said.

“You have to be more communicative. You need to voice what you think will look good and be willing to explain why you think something will work or why it won’t work,” he said. “My art background before I got into tattooing, I would just sit in a room and paint for 20 hours straight, not talking to anyone and just focusing on painting. Now, I always have someone sitting here with me, watching my every move.”

McClelland said tattooing involves many more steps than traditional art because his finished product is permanent.

“If I paint a cardinal and I don’t like it, I can crumple it up and no one will ever see it. I can’t do that with tattoos. I need to figure everything out before I even get to that stage,” he said.

Although the shop has only been opened for a week, McClelland already has plans for its future. He hopes to expand the shop and eventually have an art gallery where more art can be displayed. He also hopes to offer art classes to the community. 

“I want to offer something that more people would be interested in, not just the tattoos,” he said. McClelland hopes the Cardinal Card will feel like a place a person can hang out to talk and take in the art. “I tried to make the shop feel different than other tattoo shops I’ve been in, and I’ve been a lot of them.”

Currently, McClelland is the only person working at the shop but he has several people already hired and he has plans to have guest tattoo artists come in the future.

Cardinal Club LLC is located at 1539 Main Street, Marinette. Anyone interested in learning more or making an appointment may call 715-701-1108.