How did you finally break in, and what trajectory did your tattoo career take in the early years?
I worked at several different shops in the Baltimore area before I decided to open my own studio in February of 2013. There are 7 artists at my studio and everyone has their own nitch. We’ve got a little bit of everything you could imagine. But in the beginning I did a year long apprenticeship under Eric Caves in Baltimore MD. The apprenticeship was rough, very rough. I made no money, cleaned floors, cars, tubes, needles, stations, for months with no pay or tip or even a thank you. I understood though, that all things that were worth having must be earned.
Haha. Yes! A good, old fashioned apprenticeship! That’s so rare anymore. So, looking back, how do you feel about all that hard work now?
I am so grateful for it because I feel as though the younger generation of people, not just tattooers, are ungrateful for most things. They want instant fame, instant gratification, instant recognition. I wish more people were getting the apprenticeship I had; I feel the craft would have more respect.
Yeah, this is so important, and it’s why so many… (should we use the term “Old-School”) tattooers are trying to encourage people to follow the traditional path of apprenticing, of developing patience and learning how to serve customers and their fellow tattooers, all of whom will provide them a livelihood… if they grow and learn to do things correctly. You only really get these lessons at a shop and in the apprenticeship model of learning a trade. It’s so important…
>> More great photos and the cont’d interview by clicking below <<
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