“MAYBE THAT'S WHAT I NEED. ANOTHER TATTOO. SOME PAIN ON THE OUTSIDE TO EASE THE PAIN ON THE INSIDE.”
The Best Ink in Belleville
A HISTORY OF INTEGRITY
By Michelle Roberts @lefthandedredhead
Integrity Tattoos was established in November 2001 in a historic downtown storefront that housed Belleville’s general store from the late 1800s through World War II.
Since then, this unassuming brick three-story at the corner of North Illinois and East D streets has been a fixture in the city’s gritty history, home to Belleville’s Triumph motorcycle dealership, and later, an illegal gambling establishment. It also endured a stint as a smoky biker bar.
When the bar closed after one-too-many fistfights, a member of Peoria’s Untamed Brotherhood biker gang started a tattoo shop here. “Mingo” didn’t care much about the rules: He kept his Harley in his living room and went to prison for threatening to blow up the mayor of Cahokia (but that’s another story). Mingo hired a teen-aged Micah to clean up around shop and later trained him to be a body piercer. Because of that, Jason likes to joke that Micah “came with the building.”
In a dramatic turn of events that transpired when Mingo ran seriously behind on the rent, Jason and Micah took over the shop and have worked together ever since. Jason fondly recalls ripping down the Untamed Artworx marquis and renaming the business Integrity Tattoos. He has been the owner and manager for the past 17 years, transforming the shop’s seedy past into one of Belleville’s most trusted artistic institutions.
Today, Integrity Tattoos is known for its professional atmosphere that adheres to the highest industry standards. Integrity's showroom is a constantly evolving gallery, displaying Jason’s passion for Buddhism, psychedelic and transcendental art, hot rod culture and vintage tattoo flash.