By that time, Iacono was already deeply involved in the local tattoo industry.
He had received many tattoos himself and worked part-time helping manage a local tattoo shop. Eventually, he decided to try his hand at tattooing and found he picked it up quickly.
“I didn’t undergo a traditional apprenticeship because I had been around tattoos so long already,” Iacono said. “I basically just worked my way through it based on what I knew from all the artists that I was always around.”
After several years at other shops and a brief detour into professional fighting, he began working at Freedom Machine Tattoo in 2011.
Four years ago, Iacono purchased Freedom Machine when the previous owner decided to retire.
Today, Freedom Machine has three artists, including Iacono. Each specializes in a different style. Iacono said that variety allows Freedom Machine to pair clients with the artist who will best be able to handle the tattoo they want.
“I think what sets us apart is that we are willing to give each other work and pass it on to each other based on the style of the design,” Iacono said. “If we feel like a tattoo’s not going to work or it’s not going to make a good idea, we definitely won’t take it on.”
Iacono said the most important thing artists at Freedom Machine do is communicate with their clients about how to make a tattoo work.
“I know if I went to a tattooer and I wasn’t a tattoo artist, I’d want someone to be honest with me and tell me, ‘Hey, that’s not going to make a good idea,’” Iacono said.
Freedom Machine Tattoo
117 E. Main St., Pfugerville
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sun. noon-5 p.m. (appointment only)