Marc Rainville’s career path took a few different turns before settling on tattoo artistry.

Rainville moved south from Buffalo, NY with his family 1982 when he was in high school. He spent four years in the military as a paratrooper in Panama before returning home and doing random jobs like bartending and taxidermy before he became an apprentice for his wife’s friend—tattoo artist Eric Boles.

He began tattooing in 2006 and opened his business Art Attack two years later on the Northwest side of Winston-Salem.

“I’m still in the skin business, it’s just this skin is a lot more pleasant to work with than the other skin,” he said.

Rainville said he has learned most of what he knows about tattoo art on the job and has a hard time envisioning himself doing anything else.

“I’m still fairly new in this industry,” he said. “There’s a lot of local artists who I really look up to. A lot of people who paved the way for me to do what I get to do.”

He says the store stays busy year round, with most people having discovered it through word of mouth or social media. Last Friday was the first day since Christmas no one had booked an appointment.

Rainville said when he got his first tattoo in 1984, it was only popular among service members and criminals, but over time the tattoo clientele has become more diverse and includes doctors, chiropractors, and soccer moms.

“With the popularity of tattoos now, everybody from all walks of life is getting tattoos,” he said. “There’s TV shows on every channel about it, so it’s in everybody’s living room now. It’s kind of in your face.”

Rainville is a self-proclaimed animal lover, and he and his wife stay involved in a variety of advocacy. !