Black Eagle co-owner Kevin Adams has been in the industry for most of his adult life. The award winning tattooist is highly skilled in all styles, but has a particular fondness for the bold, bright, graphic look. “Anything that looks like a cartoon, comic, or a sticker. I love American Traditional because it’s a very bold tattoo. I love New School-- same reason--it’s very cartoony, it stands out, you can tell what it is immediately.”
The veteran artist is also a popular choice for clients wanting cover-up work, a skill he honed under mentor, Reno Price. Adams has earned several awards for his tattoos and flash designs and has been featured for his work in several magazines.
Tattoo artist Jamie Taaffe apprenticed under Guru Tattoo before coming to work for Nick and Kevin at Black Eagle. The St. Albans native has been in the industry since 2009. He enjoys creating most tattoo styles (especially American Traditional and Neo Traditional works) and has a knack for custom lettering. He is especially drawn to color. “A lot of softer blends, more of the bright, poppier tattoos.”
Growing up, Spradling spent a lot time in the music scene. He was fascinated with the tattoos he saw there and knew it was just a matter of time until he had his own. Always good at art, he briefly studied graphic design after high school, but missed creating with his hands. That’s when he approached Nick Quinn and asked to be trained as a tattoo artist. Spradling knew he had found the perfect fit. “I’m lucky enough to do something that actually makes me happy.”
A tattoo artist since 2012, Zac Walker’s favorite styles are Illustrative and New School, though he does a little bit of everything, finding inspiration everywhere. “Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m going to draw until I start drawing it.” The craft of tattooing is a family affair for Zac; the Charleston native apprenticed under his older brother, local tattoo artist Tra Walker. Tattooing was a natural choice for the gifted younger Walker, who has always loved art and excelled at it. “If it’s artsy, I try it.”
Apprenticing under fellow Black Eagle employee Christopher George, Zach has been piercing since 2011. Freeman’s number one priority is his clients’ comfort. Using proper piercing techniques is important to him, so his customers receive a piercing that holds over time. Ensuring they have the right information to deal with irritation or swelling is also important. Their peace of mind is also a high priority to Freeman. “I want my clients to be comfortable, knowing they are getting pierced in a clean shop.”
Max Wetzel is a new face to some at Black Eagle, but he is no novice. Professionally tattooing since 2000, Wetzel has spent years studying and perfecting his craft. “Whatever I’m paying attention to has some connection to tattooing. Studying iconography, anthropology, history—all these pull into it. Not to sound one dimensional or anything, but it’s an all-consuming kind of gig. It requires your whole effort if you want to do it right.” His preference leans toward traditional Japanese or American style tattooing. “I like big, bold, traditional-based tattoos that are easy to read from across the room. “
In the industry since 2013, Hannah Scoggins enjoys creating all styles of tattoos (especially Traditional), with the exception of New School. A recent transplant to West Virginia from California, the extremely driven Scoggins had a goal: to become part of the highly respected Black Eagle team. “The people I work with inspire me. When I moved here, I wanted to get into this shop, because I knew the talent that was here.” Working hard to perfect her craft, Hannah realized her dream in October 2015 when she was invited to join Black Eagle’s staff. Always artistic and drawing, Scoggins’ interest in tattooing was sparked by her grandfather—“an old sailor” covered in tattoos”—whom Scoggins admired.