Someone who wants a tattoo but is not sure of what only has to step through the front door of Main Street Tattoo in Marble Falls for inspiration. The walls of tattooist Matt Cesario’s studio are adorned with original, colorful artwork designed to spark the imagination.
“Ninety-nine percent of the artwork is original,” Cesario said. “Some people call in and already know what they want. Some people just know they want a tattoo.”
People looking for ink-spiration are Cesario’s favorite customers.
“I love when they do that,” he said. “The goal is to have a cool tattoo. We usually figure out a way to make something cool happen.”
In many ways, becoming a tattoo artist gave Cesario some much-needed direction in his own life.
“In 2009, I had pretty much forsaken everything in my life,” he said. “I was broke and friendless. I was struggling to make (tattooing) work for the first three years or so. I taught myself, and it’s been needle to skin since day one.”
Cesario, who grew up in Georgia, moved to Marble Falls from Chicago in 2010. He immediately opened shop and has spent the past 11 years as a tattoo artist.
“It got me a relationship with my kids and parents, and life is good,” he said. “Before this, I was drinking a lot and playing music. I don’t drink anymore, and I don’t smoke. I tattoo. I try to have a good work ethic.”
Before COVID-19 temporarily closed his shop, Cesario had been working 70-80 hours a week. Now that business has returned, he has added an artist. Some of the artwork on the walls belongs to Morgan Raschke, who joined Main Street Tattoo in December. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Angelo State University with an emphasis on painting, drawing, and ceramics.
Cesario is self-taught. Once he made the decision to pursue tattooing as a career, he devoted himself to perfecting his skill.
“I drew all the time, but it was never as natural as other people,” he said.
His talent is obvious in his wall displays and the number of people who walk out with it on their skin.
When someone first comes into the studio, Cesario asks what kind of artwork they’re looking for and where they want it on their body. Consulting with a client about style, color, and size is an important part of the job. Cesario considers an individual’s physical appearance as he weighs design and placement requests.
“We try to address things at the beginning,” he said. “I want people to be happy with the tattoo but also be proud to display it and talk about it with others.”
After all, having your artwork on constant display is a great way to generate more business.
Main Street Tattoo is located at 908 Main St. in Marble Falls. The studio works mostly by appointment but can occasionally take walk-ins. Call 830-265-0932 for more information.