Behind the ink

Seth Frost-Singletary

Photo By PHOTO BY trish roche

Seth Frost-Singletary is one of the few people who can say he knew what he wanted to do since he was a kid—and is now doing it. He started tattooing alongside his father, Dave Singletary, when he was only 15, and now the 22-year-old works at his dad’s business, Sacred Art, in Chico (101 Salem St., suite 150, next to Celestino’s). Even though the skilled tattoo artist is only in his early 20s, he already has an impressive seven years of experience under his belt. With tattoos still a growing cultural phenomenon—at least in Chico, where a new shop seems to pop up every time you blink—Frost-Singletary offers a fresh perspective on the meaning (or, sometimes, lack thereof) behind getting a tattoo.

What was your first tattoo?

My first tattoo was a shamrock that I got when I was 15 on St. Patrick’s Day and my dad did it. It was the end of the night after we’d done like 80 shamrocks or so. He did one on me and then I did one on him.

What made you decide to become a tattoo artist?

I wanted to be a tattooer because my dad’s a tattooer. I’ve never had a different job, it’s all I’ve ever done.

Do any of your tattoos have a special meaning?

I can’t answer that—none of my tattoos have any meaning.

What is your favorite style of tattoo?

The style of tattooing that I like to do is just traditional American style, which is like, you know, the old sailor and old military stuff like everything people were getting in like the ’40s and ’50s. That’s what I like to do a lot of—it doesn’t have too much meaning to it, but still good images.

What do you like to do when you’re not tattooing?

In my spare time I paint and draw a lot, and ride my bike.

What motivates people to get tattoos?

I think tattoos are really just a representation of time and place; they don’t have to have a certain meaning to each tattoo.

What is it like working with your dad?

Working with my dad is very interesting. Having a parent as a boss can be difficult. Other than that it’s pretty cool.