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Love of ink runs deep for Dipple

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Among the variety of antique shops and artistic havens in downtown Pomona, University of La Verne alumnus Terry Dipple proved it is never too late to follow your passion with the opening of Ink’d Chronicles, a tattoo studio and art gallery.

The former politician and San Dimas city council member has left politics to return to his roots as an artist.

“I always loved art and had a passion for art but got sidetracked by politics,” Dipple said.

Dipple started going to college at Mt. San Antonio College as an art major but soon found himself running unsuccessfully for San Dimas city council at age 19. After the initial set back, Dipple began studying political science at the University of La Verne and graduated in 1977. He ran for city council again and won in 1976.

Also deterring Dipple from his artistic capabilities was his real estate development dealings. It was through his real estate business, however, that Dipple came across the vacant space in downtown Pomona.

“I never thought that my dad would open a tattoo shop,” Tess Dipple, Terry Dipple’s daughter, said.

Tess Dipple, moved into the living quarters behind the tattoo studio with her father about nine months ago. She works with her father in the studio and will soon learn how to do body piercings.

Although it is now a growing business, Dipple had to convince the city to open the shop in the Pomona art colony.

The city felt that a tattoo parlor would not fit in with the rest of the merchants. Dipple explained to them how it has worked for other cities. In order to fully sell the idea of having Ink’d Chronicles in Pomona, Dipple decided to have a gallery as part of the studio.

The studio takes part in the second Saturday Pomona Art Walk activities by openings its doors, displaying artwork and having receptions.

Currently, the gallery portion of the studio is displaying artwork from the Golden Treasures Antiques.

Keeping in tune with the artistic theme, more than 50 tattoo artists were interviewed, trying to find the right team to fit with the atmosphere.

“We are all about the art first of all, all about the what the customer wants,” Dipple said. “I want to be the Nordstrom of tattoo studios from customer service.”

The search brought forth a team of three artists, including husband and wife team Sal and Cindy Gomez.

“We get a lot of freedom. He let’s us experiment artwork without any bars. We are off on our own,” Gomez said.

A majority of tattoos produced by the artists are custom jobs, taking the ideas of the customers and adding personal touches. A customer rarely chooses a common tattoo, which is why visitors will not find common tattoo ideas posted on the walls.

Dipple plans on expanding his new business by opening two other studios and launching a T-shirt line while at the same time learning how to be a tattoo artist himself.

“Sal is going to apprentice me. I’m not interested in doing tattoos on a full-time basis, but it doesn’t hurt to learn,” Dipple said.

“I like that the owner is interested in being an artist,” Sal Gomez said. “He is taking a step beyond in being an artist.”

Andres Rivera can be reached at

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