What do tattoos and tattooing mean to you?
Tattooing means a lot to me because I wanted it for so long. It means getting to be creative every day, having my own schedule, and meeting new people. I always will have an appreciation for this profession and take it very seriously for all that it has provided me. The tattoos I do are not as important as the people that get them, that is the best part. I will tattoo 20 infinity symbols as long as you are a dope person. It seems very Miami Ink to say, ya know since every tattoo was some sort of sob story and tragedy, but the rapport I have with my clients and clientele is what I hold closest.
Can you tell us a bit about your early days as an artist?
When I came up in the industry, it took me 6 years of being at the shop before I even got an apprenticeship. The early days were a lot of learning as you go, tattoo whatever walks in the door, draw constantly in your free time. None of this buying apprenticeship BS that seems to happen now. In my opinion, things earned mean more, you hold onto them more, and you respect them more. The shop I came up in was a typical street shop, everyday people getting whatever rad shit they could come up with.
How would you describe your signature style?
I like the traditional style of tattoos, the bold lines, and simplistic colors, but I don’t follow all the rules, I add my own touch. I have always been a walk-in, convention guy, so I tattoo all styles. What is important to me, is just pulling clean lines, that’s what makes a tattoo.
Has your signature style changed since you started tattooing? If yes, in what ways?
I would say my style is different just from working at different shops with various artists. You never stop learning in this industry, that is important; to not get to the point where you just think you know it all. I love to try new techniques and evolve the way I tattoo while sticking to my style.
Have you noticed any particular trends when it comes to tattoos?
The trend is just anything Pinterest or social media puts out there and labels are “trendy”. Blackwork is becoming more mainstream along with people wanting to get little face tattoos.
Do you foresee any specific trends gaining popularity in the future?
Unfortunately, I do not, if I did I would be a millionaire! Haha. The trends seem to always just come from social media or celebrities these days.
Do you feel there is a sense of community amongst people with tattoos?
I met Jim (InkAddict Co-Owner) at a convention in Chicago in 2010/2011 and first learned about the brand there. There was a tattooer I knew that had designed a shirt for the brand, so I emailed Jim about doing the same, and he has always been awesome to work with. I like that the brand uses real designs by actual tattooers.
Almost every one of my designs is one to two colors, simple, readable designs. I like my designs to be images that everyone would like, not just tattooers. I figure if I want to wear it other people will too.