Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Winona Martin, owner of two San Diego tattoo parlors, gets heat in Arkansas

Tattooland & Primal Art in Midway area and the Tattoo Gallery and Piercing Studio in Gaslamp Quarter

You'd think that after three decades of Bill and Hillary Clinton, the people of Arkansas would be pretty tuckered in the outrage department. But Winona Martin, the owner of two San Diego tattoo parlors, recently learned that even scandal-weary Arkansans can still get worked up about the damnedest things. Martin, the owner of Tattooland & Primal Art in the Midway area and the Tattoo Gallery and Piercing Studio in the Gaslamp Quarter, found herself at the center of an old-fashioned Bible Belt throwdown after she erected a billboard in Harrison, Arkansas, to advertise her ink parlor in nearby Branson, Missouri. The ad for Aloha Nonie Lani's tattoo parlor featured a recumbent "Miss Anna," the same model shown in the Yellow Pages ad for Martin's two San Diego shops, proudly showing off the Hawaiian-influenced shark-tooth tattoo that runs along the left side of her body, from ankle to armpit. "The picture was originally the centerfold for Tattoo Magazine's 1998 calendar," says Miss Anna, a former hula dancer who now tattoos for a living and is headed to San Diego this month for a four-month stint at Martin's two local shops. "In the original picture I was actually naked. But the people who did the billboard, they're really good with computers and whatnot, and they computer-generated me a pair of panties and wrapped a ribbon around me so I look like a big box of See's candy." Unfortunately, the computer-generated effort to render the X-rated Miss Anna PG didn't play well with the locals. The people of Boone County, Arkansas -- 35 of them anyway -- signed a petition asking the local district attorney to remove the offending billboards, claiming they violated an Arkansas law that bans "obscene materials...that depict or describe in a patently offensive manner sadomasochistic abuse, sexual misconduct or hard-core sexual conduct...(which) taken as a whole appeal to the prurient interest of the average person...(and) lack serious literary, artistic...or scientific value."

The Starr Report might flunk that test, but Aloha Nonie Lani's ad was A-OK. That was the opinion, anyway, of the district attorney, Gordon Webb. He told the concerned citizens, most of them members of two Baptist churches, that while they could boycott Aloha Nonie Lani's if they were offended by its ad, "there's not going to be a state prosecution."

The reason, according to Webb, was that "no sadomasochistic abuse, sexual misconduct, or hard-core sexual conduct is depicted in the billboard." That's what he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, anyway. Miss Anna has her own theory. "I think the prosecutor kind of likes the ad," she says.

If so, he wouldn't be alone. According to a Harrison Daily Timesstory, even the woman who lives across the street from the billboard has come to like it. "It's just a work of art," the woman says. "Her privates are quite covered.... Besides, when I give people directions to my house, they never have trouble finding it."

Martin insists the ad wasn't a PR stunt, designed to rile the sleepy Arkansans and get the parlor's name on the news wire. Still, she admits, "You can't buy the kind of publicity we got."

"We didn't mean to offend anybody," Miss Anna says. "We were basically just trying to show people that tattooing isn't what everybody stereotypes. And we were just trying to show a different, softer, classier version of it. You know, we're female owned and we wanted to promote that femininity."

The fight isn't over. Rita Lancaster, the church secretary who organized the petition drive, told the Democrat-Gazette that she "plans to pursue the matter further." For starters, she told the paper, "We [won't] get tattoos for a while."

But the tattoo ladies have a new plan of their own. "I'll tell you a little secret that we haven't told too many people," Miss Anna says. "We're planning on putting up a rebuttal billboard." What would such a promotional riposte feature? "Well, me," says Miss Anna. "Just a little different picture. Still something a little risqué but different. And maybe I'd be holding a sign that says, 'Happy Now?' "

While the battle brews back in Arkansas, Miss Anna is headed to San Diego, where she will work out of Martin's two local parlors through July. "I've never been to San Diego," the 25-year-old says. "This is going to be my first trip down."

Raised in Florida, Miss Anna says she moved to Hawaii when she was 17, just days after graduating from high school. She eventually wound up in Martin's Waikiki parlor, where the proprietress, who says she's "a scout for talent in this business," immediately recognized the young woman's ability -- and marketing potential -- and put her to work.

"My mom used to always tell me, 'Oh, Annie. You've got to do something with your art. You draw so good,' " Miss Anna remembers. "And I can't think of a better way to express myself than permanently. It's the ultimate form of self-expression.

"It's amazing. People come in and they have a little small idea and you can shape it and form it and -- ta da! -- there you go, you have a permanent art piece. It's the only thing you can buy that is guaranteed to outlive you.

"I really like to do pin-up girls, kind of like the girls that used to be on the front of the bombers during World War II. I love doing those. They're just the greatest. I'm not talking about little roses or skulls. I really prefer to do big custom work."

Martin, who has owned San Diego's Tattooland for 13 years, got her start in the tattoo business in Alaska more than 20 years ago. But she says she was "influenced by the legendary Doc Webb," who operated a tattoo shop for decades near the Balboa Theater on Fourth Avenue in downtown. She now owns five parlors: one each in Waikiki, Hawaii; Yuba City, California; and Hollister, Missouri; and two here in San Diego.

The publicity the Miss Anna billboard generated in Arkansas has Martin thinking of erecting it in other towns where she operates parlors. "Would I use the Anna billboard in San Diego? You bet," she says. "It rocked their world in the Bible Belt. San Diego could use a little bit of that, too. They need somebody like Anna who enjoys what she does and has fun. It's still too much like Reagan's Ranch down there..."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Dennis Caco's Mission Valley missing Midori

Max Boost creator finds car near Sweetwater Road

You'd think that after three decades of Bill and Hillary Clinton, the people of Arkansas would be pretty tuckered in the outrage department. But Winona Martin, the owner of two San Diego tattoo parlors, recently learned that even scandal-weary Arkansans can still get worked up about the damnedest things. Martin, the owner of Tattooland & Primal Art in the Midway area and the Tattoo Gallery and Piercing Studio in the Gaslamp Quarter, found herself at the center of an old-fashioned Bible Belt throwdown after she erected a billboard in Harrison, Arkansas, to advertise her ink parlor in nearby Branson, Missouri. The ad for Aloha Nonie Lani's tattoo parlor featured a recumbent "Miss Anna," the same model shown in the Yellow Pages ad for Martin's two San Diego shops, proudly showing off the Hawaiian-influenced shark-tooth tattoo that runs along the left side of her body, from ankle to armpit. "The picture was originally the centerfold for Tattoo Magazine's 1998 calendar," says Miss Anna, a former hula dancer who now tattoos for a living and is headed to San Diego this month for a four-month stint at Martin's two local shops. "In the original picture I was actually naked. But the people who did the billboard, they're really good with computers and whatnot, and they computer-generated me a pair of panties and wrapped a ribbon around me so I look like a big box of See's candy." Unfortunately, the computer-generated effort to render the X-rated Miss Anna PG didn't play well with the locals. The people of Boone County, Arkansas -- 35 of them anyway -- signed a petition asking the local district attorney to remove the offending billboards, claiming they violated an Arkansas law that bans "obscene materials...that depict or describe in a patently offensive manner sadomasochistic abuse, sexual misconduct or hard-core sexual conduct...(which) taken as a whole appeal to the prurient interest of the average person...(and) lack serious literary, artistic...or scientific value."

The Starr Report might flunk that test, but Aloha Nonie Lani's ad was A-OK. That was the opinion, anyway, of the district attorney, Gordon Webb. He told the concerned citizens, most of them members of two Baptist churches, that while they could boycott Aloha Nonie Lani's if they were offended by its ad, "there's not going to be a state prosecution."

The reason, according to Webb, was that "no sadomasochistic abuse, sexual misconduct, or hard-core sexual conduct is depicted in the billboard." That's what he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, anyway. Miss Anna has her own theory. "I think the prosecutor kind of likes the ad," she says.

If so, he wouldn't be alone. According to a Harrison Daily Timesstory, even the woman who lives across the street from the billboard has come to like it. "It's just a work of art," the woman says. "Her privates are quite covered.... Besides, when I give people directions to my house, they never have trouble finding it."

Martin insists the ad wasn't a PR stunt, designed to rile the sleepy Arkansans and get the parlor's name on the news wire. Still, she admits, "You can't buy the kind of publicity we got."

"We didn't mean to offend anybody," Miss Anna says. "We were basically just trying to show people that tattooing isn't what everybody stereotypes. And we were just trying to show a different, softer, classier version of it. You know, we're female owned and we wanted to promote that femininity."

The fight isn't over. Rita Lancaster, the church secretary who organized the petition drive, told the Democrat-Gazette that she "plans to pursue the matter further." For starters, she told the paper, "We [won't] get tattoos for a while."

But the tattoo ladies have a new plan of their own. "I'll tell you a little secret that we haven't told too many people," Miss Anna says. "We're planning on putting up a rebuttal billboard." What would such a promotional riposte feature? "Well, me," says Miss Anna. "Just a little different picture. Still something a little risqué but different. And maybe I'd be holding a sign that says, 'Happy Now?' "

While the battle brews back in Arkansas, Miss Anna is headed to San Diego, where she will work out of Martin's two local parlors through July. "I've never been to San Diego," the 25-year-old says. "This is going to be my first trip down."

Raised in Florida, Miss Anna says she moved to Hawaii when she was 17, just days after graduating from high school. She eventually wound up in Martin's Waikiki parlor, where the proprietress, who says she's "a scout for talent in this business," immediately recognized the young woman's ability -- and marketing potential -- and put her to work.

"My mom used to always tell me, 'Oh, Annie. You've got to do something with your art. You draw so good,' " Miss Anna remembers. "And I can't think of a better way to express myself than permanently. It's the ultimate form of self-expression.

"It's amazing. People come in and they have a little small idea and you can shape it and form it and -- ta da! -- there you go, you have a permanent art piece. It's the only thing you can buy that is guaranteed to outlive you.

"I really like to do pin-up girls, kind of like the girls that used to be on the front of the bombers during World War II. I love doing those. They're just the greatest. I'm not talking about little roses or skulls. I really prefer to do big custom work."

Martin, who has owned San Diego's Tattooland for 13 years, got her start in the tattoo business in Alaska more than 20 years ago. But she says she was "influenced by the legendary Doc Webb," who operated a tattoo shop for decades near the Balboa Theater on Fourth Avenue in downtown. She now owns five parlors: one each in Waikiki, Hawaii; Yuba City, California; and Hollister, Missouri; and two here in San Diego.

The publicity the Miss Anna billboard generated in Arkansas has Martin thinking of erecting it in other towns where she operates parlors. "Would I use the Anna billboard in San Diego? You bet," she says. "It rocked their world in the Bible Belt. San Diego could use a little bit of that, too. They need somebody like Anna who enjoys what she does and has fun. It's still too much like Reagan's Ranch down there..."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

What a teachers union has done to Gompers

29 teachers laid off in June, re-hired in July
Next Article

Thai Joints rule in the Heights

Pick up or delivery, Thai fans have it good on Adams Avenue
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close