Q: Tell us, who is Parry Chotipradit?
A: I am 32 and am a proud father and husband. I have been tattooing for 11 years and own Lucky Bird Tattoo in Annapolis, MD.
Q: How did you get started in tattooing? A: I was working at a restaurant across the street from a local tattoo shop here in Maryland about 12 or 13 years ago. I was also getting tattooed there pretty regularly so I had created some friendships with some of the people working there at the time. At that age I always had two jobs and I caught myself without a night job for a bit so I started doing in and out jobs like cleaning the gutters and anything else that nobody else wanted to do. Then they asked me if I wanted a job as a "shop boy" to clean and help greet customers and help cater to the artist. I thought the job was awesome because I loved being in a tattoo shop, I just thought it was so cool at the time. After working there for a year or so, I started to have a real appreciation and respect for the artist there. One day one of the artist asked if I ever thought about trying to tattoo one day and up to that point it never even crossed my mind that would be something I could actually do. But once the thought was in my head, I just couldn't get it out! So I started drawing as much as I could and spent as much time in the shop trying to learn as much about the business as I could until I finally got the owner to notice that it might be worth it to give me a shot at an apprenticeship.... And the rest is history as they say.
Q: How did you get involved with InkAddict? Can you tell us how you got dubbed “The Captain”?
A: I first saw and met InkAddict at a convention years ago in Cincinnati. I thought they had some awesome clothes and seemed really friendly and we kept in touch via Facebook and developed a friendship and mutual respect for each other. Then they asked if I wanted to design a T-shirt for Ink Addict and of course I jumped on the opportunity to work with them on this process and had a blast doing so. I really enjoyed the attitude that Ink Addict had towards the quality of their products and for their love of the tattoo industry, so when we ended up discussing about being one of their first sponsored artist, I was flattered and more than excited to be involved with such a rad group of people.
As far as being dubbed "the captain".... Haha. That started because over the years I had become very good friends with the owners Jim and Nate and I'd like to think that they respected my opinions on things concerning the tattoo industry. So when they would ask my opinion or thoughts about things and I we always have a good back and forth until we figure out something cool. Then I would joke about any good ideas that Jim would bring to the table were really my ideas haha. Then it had turned into a joke about running everything by the Captain first. Again all in good fun but we've always had a real good mutual respect for each other and it's been awesome watching Ink Addict grow into such a big company now and I am beyond proud to be part of their team! I would do anything for them as I know they would for me.
Q: Can you talk a bit about your journey to your current style? What kind of stuff did you start out doing?
A: Well, I started off tattooing 11 years ago and was in a typical street shop just like most shops were at that time. Being in a walk in type shop I had to be able to work a little in every style. Which I actually enjoyed in the beginning because I liked the challenge and was just trying to soak up any knowledge that I could to try to get better at tattooing but after doing that for a while my desire to push my art and be more creative started to kick in more and more. During those years of doing a little but of everything, I realized how much fun I had every time that I got to do something more cartoonish, which to find out later people were calling "new school". Once I realized how much I enjoyed the creativeness and fun color pallets of this style, I pushed my hardest to take normal ideas and put my twist to it to make it into something in my style. After years of doing that I built a clientele that wanted my style of art which allowed me the opportunity to keep pushing it further and further. My style has constantly evolved over the years. I keep trying to push my art knowledge and understanding which has added a little more realistic value to my illustrations and try to approach every drawings a little different so that my art won't get stale and it can keep growing and if I can keep doing that, I will never get bored!
Q: If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
A: I would trade places with me son! Watching him grow up and seeing his excitement for life and being able to find fun in everything makes me miss being a kid.
A: Yes, over the years large scale illustrations seems to be where my art has taken me. At first it was just wanting to get something that big under my belt but after years of experimenting in my style on a large scale I have really fallen in love with the challenge and how much thought and planning needs to go into it. Working in a illustrated style with realistic values, I always try to capture that perfect moment in a scene. By attempting to do this I always want everything to make sense with the scenery, atmospheric perspective and characters being interactive so you really get that feel of a true illustration opposed to just filling up space just for the sake of filling up the area. The other big challenge that I enjoy is really trying to understand is the anatomy of the body while working on large scale to figure out the best solution for composition and perspective to get the most out of the area and to do my best of once wrapping around a leg or arm to strategically have certain focal points fall on certain plains of the body to grab your attention and all at the same time what will look the best and hold up the best simply as a tattoo. So again all of these challenges keep me pushing on every piece to make me a better artist after every piece that I do and at the end of the day as an artist that is what I am chasing!
Q: Who are your favorite artists, tattooists or not, and how did they influence you?
A: I find influences in so many different things and people. I get inspired from just looking outside and looking at the depth in the scenery and how lighting is in nature all the way to going to the movies with my son and watching animated movies. If you really pay attention you can learn from everything or looking at anything. As far as tattooers who have inspired me over the years, there are just way to many to name because I am a fan of every style of tattooing but I have to say working at Lucky Bird with all of the guys are my biggest inspiration these days. Whether it just seeing what they have come up with, throwing ideas around, learning a trick from them me teaching them something, that back and forth inspires the hell out of me. Also working with such great artist really keeps me on my toes to try to produce art and tattoos that are going to impress them. So thank you to Josh Ford, Rodd Diaz, Shana Hall, Tyler McKinney, Flick, Walt Walterson, Shannaon Taber and Adam Harrison for always keeping me on my toes at Lucky Bird and I hope I can help do the same for you guys! Q: Do you have an abiding philosophy about your work? A: my goal is to just try to capture the subject matter and vibe that my customer wants and make it into a story the most creative way that I can while bringing originality to it so when people look at it they are as excited about it as I am and know that it is a "Parry" tattoo. Q: What song best describes your work ethic? A: "Taking care of business".... Because I get shit done! Haha!!! OR "Endless love" for mine and Jim's love ethic :)
Q: Are you nostalgic about tattoo culture pre reality TV?
A: No disrespect to my friends who have been on them but I suppose I am a bit because I am not the biggest fan of the tattoo shows. Other than what I think is obvious of the fakeness of any "reality" show that the tv producers inject into the shows for the drama aspect to get good ratings from people that watch it more for that then the art being produced. I think it has made being "famous" the goal of many tattooers these days opposed to actually pushing their art first and then letting recognition come from their talent. I definitely seem to notice that it has changed the way conventions are and how the promoters of the show make it about who was on tv more then the talented artist where before I felt the shows were much more about the quality of the artist at the shows more than who was a house hold name. With that said I understand from a business point of view promoters trying to appeal to the public to get more people in the doors, it's just now you get more people coming to shows that aren't in love with the culture or art but to take a selfie with someone that was on tv so naturally it just changes the vibe of conventions a bit and we probably lost a little bit of the pureness that use to be there but I'm sure the generations of tattooers before me would say the same about my generation so that's just how it goes and the best thing to do is not get caught up in the negativity or animosity and to just stay true to the art by trying your hardest to be the best artist that you can be and when all of the reality show stuff passes by I believe like in anything the real and talented will be the ones still standing.
Q: Not only are you a tattoo artist but also a business owner. Can you tell us more about your vision and goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: My vision has been and always will be to have a full custom shop where we are always raising the bar for quality and creativity of our art and being very friendly to our customers to give them the best tattoos and experience that we can, just creating a fun yet professional atmosphere at the same time. In 10 years I hope to being doing even bigger and better things with our art and business. I will never give up on pushing for greatness and growth so I guess we will just have to see where this path takes me and the shop in the next 10 years. Q: You recently decided to expand your business and open a private studio. Tell us about this decision and the difference between your two spaces.
A: Well, with our high standard and hard work of all of the artist at the shop we have gotten Lucky Bird very busy, which I am so grateful for! So with this success, we had played with the idea for a couple of years to eventually take over another unit next to our shop for the artist like myself and a few others that have been in the area for a long time and we're able to do their own booking off of waiting lists. And recently a store front next to us was available so I decided to jump on the opportunity and do just that! The goal was to make an extension on Lucky Bird and add the private studio side onto it oppose to opening another shop in across town or something. Because I feel if it was a whole different location it would be tough to hold my high standard at both places and the last thing I'd want to do lessen the name of the shop that we've all worked so hard to develop. So I feel by doing this we were able to keep the same vibe of the shop because it is still one shop but just with a private side attached. The same high standard is there, if anything this was just a way to just try to step it up yet again and to be able to bring in more awesome artist to have available for Lucky Bird's clients. The biggest difference in the private studio is just the atmosphere is even more laid back because to get in you have to be buzzed in at the door which means only the artist and our appointments come into the shop. There is also no phone so there is absolutely no distractions of business going on while we are tattooing.
Q: You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? A: Extra Black.... Because it's never black enough haha!
Q: What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone?
A: Well, my work and business is a huge part of my life and I just love hanging out with my son and being a family man. I guess to anyone that doesn't know me personally might find it interesting that I am half Thai and go back and forth to Thailand to visit family and that Thai culture plays a pretty big role in my life. But other than that I pretty much work and spend time with my family and I enjoy my life very much.
Q: What can we expect or hope to see in the future from Parry Chotipradit?
A: I hope to keep pushing to make any art you see from me in the future make any of my current work look like it sucks :)
Stay on top of what’s going on with InkAddict Sponsored Artist Parry Chotipradit by following him on Instagram @parrychotipradit, on Twitter @Chotipradit, and you can find him on Facebook under “Parry Chotipradit Tattoos”.
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