Bright Ideas tattoos art, memories and stories

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  • The owners of Birght Ideas Tattoo & Body Piercing take pride in the quality of their work as well as being well in tune with client comfort level. (Photo submitted by Bright Ideas Tattoo & Body Piercing)

  • Co-owners of Bright Idea's Tattoos & Body Piercing say they not only provide artistic, professional tatoos, but the ensure the client has a great experience. (Photo submitted by Bright Idea's Tattoos & Body Piercing).

  • Bright Ideas Tattoo & Body Piercing says clients not only get a tattoo, they have a great experience, in a bright, sanitized especially comfortable atmosphere. (Photo by Ideas Tattoo & Body Piercings).

By Laurie Gordon

ANDOVER--Tattoos are permanent art and can be expressions of who someone is or what they stand for. They can be symbolic of hard times, beautiful moments, or memories. They can be simple or quite complicated. They can be timekeepers and yet evolve over time.

“Tattoos hold value and that's what being a tattoo artist is all about: giving people value in a special, life-lasting piece of art,” said Jim Doyle, co-owner of Bright Ideas Tattoo & Body Piercing.

The business opened six years ago in the Andover Plaza on Route 206, and since then, it's established itself as a, literal, work of art.

Doyle co-owns the business with John and Shelby Balmuski. He said that their choice of location was selected because, “Andover is located in an area where there are hard-working folks who happen to like tattoos. People around here appreciate high quality work at an affordable price. We're not here to overcharge: we're here to give people the worth that they deserve and superb tattoos.”

To this end, Bright Ideas is very discerning when it chooses its artists.

“Sometimes tattoo shops get a reputation of having people working in them who are tired and not really 'into it,'” Doyle said. “All of our artists are on the same page of doing expert work yet also in a timely fashion. Getting a tattoo can be somewhat painful (depending on where you get it), but our customers always leave with a smile on their face when they see their new tattoo.”

He said the most important aspects of being a tattoo artist are precision, patience and focus.

“Often people come in with their kids or with friends,” Doyle said. “No matter what's going on in the background, the artist has to stay extremely attentive to their work.”

The piercing end of the business echoes the quality of the tattoos. All piercings also come with high quality jewelry.

Doyle got his start in the business in the mid-2000s in the Spanish Harlem section of New York. He had tried college, but decided he'd be much happier not only working, but being his own boss. He's been in business for himself since he was 26.

“In Harlem, I learned from other artists,” he said of his beginnings in the field. “Art was always easy for me, but they taught me techniques. It wasn't a wealthy area, so we did mostly small tattoos which was a great way to learn.”

Since then, Doyle has done countless tattoos ranging the full gamut of being spiritual, a memory, a character, a verse or phrase and pretty much you-name-it.

There have been a couple of times when people weren't sure about getting a tattoo or the pain involved. A mother and her two daughters came in once to get matching tattoos: a three line verse, Doyle recalled.

“The one sister and the mom were fine, but when it came to the younger sister, she wasn't so sure and after one line, was pretty much done,” he said.

One of his specialties is sensing his client’s comfort level, and so he got her through the second line, and then the girl came back another day to get the tattoo finished.

“The business has been interesting over the years,” Doyle said. “It used to be just younger people getting tattoos but now people in their 50s, 60s and 70s are getting them.”

He said that some have getting a tattoo on their “bucket list,” and often it's women who get them later in life.

Of the shop, it's not what many would visualize as what used to be a “typical tattoo parlor.” Bright Ideas is, indeed, bright and is filled with samples of tattoo work and a jewelry case. The background music is inviting, and customers are made to feel at ease. The chairs in which they sit to get a tattoo or piercing are comfortable and adjustable so the process is a painless as possible.

“I love what I do,” Doyle said. “I get to meet some great people and create some great designs for them based on what they want. My biggest satisfaction is seeing our customers so pleased.”

He added, “I don't understand why some tattoo shops charge absurd amounts for a piece of art. The way I see it is if you want an art piece and it means a lot to you, we're not going to charge an arm and a leg.”

Doyle and the artists at Bright Ideas create pieces of body art that are unique representations of something or that bear a specific meaning. Many tattoos tell a story or symbolize people, places, things, or events that are arduous to express with words.

Bright Ideas Tattoo & Body Piercing is located at 521 US Highway 206 South in Andover. For further information, call 973-579-1184, or visit:, or

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