For the past six months, Goons Ink has been up and running in Willits, providing North County residents an opportunity to get tattoos locally. The shop is owned by tattoo artist Allen Wright, who specializes in black and gray portraits and lettering.
On a warm spring day, Nevaeh Loya was getting her first large tattoo from Wright, and the process he explained would take two to three hours. Loya received her first small tattoo from Wright for her birthday, and had returned for more small tattoos before deciding to take the leap with a bigger one. She patiently sat as Wright got to work in the clean and spacious shop that displays some of his other artwork, paintings and graffiti, showcasing his artistic talent in multiple mediums.
Wright was inspired to open Goons Ink by a desire to bring something new to the community. He said he came to Willits and “fell in love with the area, and noticed there’s no shops in town.” He spent a couple of months remodeling the space before opening for business. Business has been steady so far and Wright usually tattoos daily.
He is a self taught artist, although he did receive tips from a fellow tattooing friend communicating through letters in the mail when he first started out at the age of 17 years. Wright stated, “The thing I enjoy most about being a tattoo artist is bringing joy to people through art.” He explained that he puts a lot of pride into his work, and it means a lot to him when people entrust him to tattoo them. Especially of note are his photo realism tattoos, which have an impressive amount of intricate detail.
Wright grew up in Stockton and moved to Willits from San Bernardino two years ago. Growing up, he used “Goon” as his graffiti tag. His mother and other family members encouraged him to do more with his art, so he felt it was only right to incorporate it into his new business. He said, “It’s kind of cool to see the transition from the graffiti world, getting in trouble, to cops coming in here and wanting work.”
Prior to the pandemic, Wright was traveling nationwide to attend tattoo conventions. He decided he didn’t want to travel during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, and instead opened a shop to focus on the community. While living down south, Wright donated his time and skills to p.ink, a program dedicated to embowering women to reclaim their bodies after mastectomies. Through the program, women are connected to talented tattoo artists to ensure that breast cancer never has to leave the last mark. The results are breathtaking.
Goons Ink is located at 80 South St. in Willits and is open by appointment Wednesday-Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm Contact Wright to schedule by phone at (951) 529-6067 or via email at [email protected] His portfolio is available for viewing online at goonsink.com or on Facebook and Instagram.