“Tattoo Artist creates a sense of calm” by Beata Juodvalkyte

Shavon Zurasky is unlike any other tattoo artist. Growing up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania she’s always had a passion for art. In her twenties she moved to Japan with only one hundred dollars in her pocket to discover herself. There she modeled, got tattooed by many famous monks, and found her passion for tattooing. She got a reading done while in Asia, and one of the monks told her that her color is purple, and her flower is lotus. She opened up her first tattoo shop right there in Japan in 1990. Shavon moved back to Columbia to be closer to her family and was instrumental in bringing about the legislation that legalized tattooing in the state. She was the first woman tattoo artist to be licensed in South Carolina. Here she opened Shavon’s Purple Lotus Tattoo.

Shavon takes her customers seriously. She takes time to get to know them, find out what they want, and customize their tattoo art however the customers desire. The cozy atmosphere makes everyone feel relaxed. Being at Shavon’s place feels like you’re drinking tea with an old friend. Before they leave every customer receives a long and sincere hug from Shavon.

Shavon says, “…Tattooing is the most spiritual art in the world. It is the only thing you can take with you in the “afterlife”. Every tattoo is like a photo album. They mark what you are doing and where you have been. It is beautiful magic that lasts forever.”

At Shavon’s Purple Lotus Tattoo in Columbia, the master’s artistry is inspired by her travels around the world. Shavon shows off the hand-poked tattoos she had done while living in Asia in her early years where she found her passion for tattooing.

Zurasky helps a customer, Nicola Brown, pick out a spot for her new tattoo.

Shavon works on a client, Cody Wilde.

Shavon jokes with her client, Cody Wilde, while tattooing his arm. Shavon’s outgoing personality makes connecting with clients seem easy as they swap stories during the tattooing process.

Zurasky’s precision work, including this addition to a Harry Potter sleeve, makes her a sought-after artist with frequent repeat clients.

Heather Reyes gets her second tattoo done in 20 years while her daughter holds her hand for support.

Shavon gives a warm, sincere hug before a client departs. It’s not uncommon to have former clients drop by just to reconnect.

Happy customers Cody Wilde and Victoria Jones leave Shavon’s Purple Lotus Tattoo after Cody gets a ship in a bottle on his forearm.

After she finishes her work, Shavon reflects on the first client she had when opening her first tattoo shop 20 years ago.

After a long day at work, Zurasky closes the Purple Lotus Body Art Boutique.