After tattooing for more than 20 years, Ignatious Vans finally decided to open a shop of his own near the gritty 16th and Mission street corner. Vans, a Mission resident, says he feels quite at home at his new digs.

Follow Us

Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

Join the Conversation


Please keep your comments short and civil. Do not leave multiple comments under multiple names on one article. We will zap comments that fail to adhere to these short and very easy-to-follow rules.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I have known Iggy for almost 10 years, and have been getting tattooed by him for about 8 off and on. He is an awesome guy, he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, but San Francisco is at war right now. It is the new folks to whom money is no problem, coming into a lower to middle class neighborhood and just buying it, straight out. Landlords letting places sit empty, so the area looks run down, when I moved to the Mission 22 years ago it was a vibrant, colorful mix of all things coming together with a Central American flair! Cheap burritos, $2.90 and loads of secondhand and cheap spots to shop and eat. Now the entire area is like the new Marina, so excuse a brand new business owner to proudly say he wants to uphold the tradition of the Mission, and not become some New York trendy shop, he plans to keep it real, on one of the realest blocks of the city.

  2. First off thanks for being that guy who makes a snap judgement about someone from less than 2 minutes of dialog. Iggy is the exact opposite of your personal attack. Most people know him as a loving father, a husband, son and to me a step brother. He is also a fantastic artist. He maybe uncouth in the video with his colorful language but if you actually listen to what he says you might take something more from his dialog. How about a first time owner of a business which he fought really hard to gain. A business that he hopes to support his family with, a business that he hopes will sustain even though the area is struggling with violence; Hoping to bring a change in the area with revenue and the vitality of the art industry. How about the fact that his community supports him, with his next door neighbors already patronizing his business. I don’t think there is a bigger endorsement than that.. Or we could choose to look at things well your way.
    I could go on about how smart he is or that how highly educated his wife is or talk about personal struggles he has had but it really doesn’t matter to you. You already have labeled him. I am so glad that there are people out there who will look beyond what you saw and actually get to know him and get to own a piece of his art.

  3. I didn’t think he was arrogant at all, just a person expressing his opinion as many do here. I’m not really into tattoos, but I think it’s great that he had the guts to branch out and start his own business. Brings diversity to the neighborhood and keeps people employed. No real down side here.

    1. Maybe. I’m all for small businesses. I just don’t need a political lecture from the guy who is inking a butterfly on my ass cheek.

      Same reason i don’t go to Rainbow. Decent store but fuck that sanctimonious attitude.

  4. Irony of the day.

    An arrogant prick calling someone else that based on snippets of a video interview.

    Why? Because an entrepreneur business owner who expresses opposition to the techoisie colonization rubs real estate boosters the wrong way.

    Iggy is a little nervous and a little rough around the edges, which I find endearing. Seems like his personality fits perfectly with his tattoo shop’s location.

    The pro-business commenters beat us over our heads with their bootstrapping, self-improvement, everyone can succeed mantras. Then when someone who is doing just that isn’t clean enough for their clean up the plaza zealot friends, they attack him.

    What a dreadful, boring life they would have us live if we followed their dictates. Fake libertarian authoritarian haters.

    Good luck, Iggy.

    1. ML used the term “attitude” to make being an arrogant prick look somehow interesting and desirable.

      1. You guys should own this, did you expect doves to move into 1M condos, 4K$ 1 brs and equally crazy commercial rents? Meet your New Mission: angry or greedy or both …

        1. I worry a lot more about the SRO denizens than about the average guy who can afford a million dollar condo.

    2. “Arrogant” is just about the last word I would use to describe Iggy. He’s just uncomfortable with a camera in his face, as most of us would be.

    3. I’m shocked that anyone would think that Iggy is an arrogant prick, angry, or greedy. I’ve known him for over 25 years and he is nothing of the sort. Watching him in this, I get the feeling he may be a bit self-conscious about being recorded. He’s not the sort of person who would try to present a carefully crafted persona in order to sell himself or his business.
      I’m sure if you stop by to meet him you’ll probably end up seeing what I mean.