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Ink Slinging With a Twist

Twisted Anchor Tattoo and Fine Art Gallery does more than just sling ink!

Or even showcase gallery quality artwork, for that matter.

The boutique-style décor and sleek sitting area suggest more of a day spa than an average tattoo parlor.

Hand-poured candles, unique jewelry lines, and Twisted Anchor apparel are dotted among tattooing chairs and original paintings and prints by owner Matt Stebly and other local artists.

“It’s the first of its kind,” Stebly said. “I knew what I wanted to do, and I knew I wanted to do it downtown because I love Ocean Springs. I’ve been all over the world, and I haven’t found a better place to live and own a business. There’s always something going on in downtown Ocean Springs.”

Stebly hails from an Ocean Springs artistic dynasty. Walter Anderson was his great-grandfather and his uncle is Chris Stebly. A creative his entire life, tattooing became Stebly’s true calling at age 21, as well as a way for him to bridge the gap between fine art and body ink.

“Tattooing is a way I could step out of my family’s shadow and have my own path,” Stebly said.

Tattoos have soared in popularity in recent decades, mostly due to a trend in celebrity culture. Reality television shows such as Ink Master, in which Stebly was featured, and on magazine covers, where body art is no longer erased by a photography retoucher’s hand.

“It’s amazing where it’s going,” Stebly said. “I’m glad I can watch the changes and be part of it.”

Stebly aims to change the perception that getting marked was reserved only for biker gangs, Navy shipmates, and people with a criminal element.

“It’s just not that way anymore,” Stebly said.

It’s a concept he’s replaced by offering beautiful and enticing tattooing as a meaningful, personal body asset. His downtown Ocean Springs business features a friendly staff in a welcoming, judgment-free space.

“I have seven to nine tattoo artists on any given day and we are always busy,” Stebly said.

Stebly recently returned from the Space City Tattoo Expo in Huntsville, Ala. which featured over 80 of the world’s top tattoo artists. Stebly and other artists mentored tattoo apprentices at the conference.

“It was the first time I’d ever done anything like that,” Stebly said. “I’m looking forward to doing it again.”

Stebly continues to create traditional art but in a non-traditional way.

“I paint with tattooing ink,” Stebly said. “I was already used to the colors of the ink so it just made sense. It was kind of an easy decision.”

Prints of Stebly’s artwork are for sale at Twisted Anchor and if you are interested in tattoos, artwork or any other items expect a line of customers when you get to Twist Anchor.

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