When and where did you start tattooing? How many years have you been tattooing?
I started tattooing 13 years ago in Des Moines, iowaaaaaa! Haha humble beginnings in a small conservative town in the Midwest! I did a lot of unprofessional garbage when I was a teenager, using hand built weapons of mass destruction on my friends and some self inflicted mistakes. Obviously coming a long way since then!
What was your first experience like as a tattoo artist?
I walked into my first tattoo shop right on my 18th birthday and got a terrible tribal tattoo (since covered) on my back! It was extremely painful and didn’t come out well. Lack of experience and knowledge of what to look for in a good shop and artist. It wasn’t a bad place, just didn’t end up with what I had envisioned.
What inspires you as an artist? Whew! That’s a tough one to answer!
I try to see inspiration in all life, sometimes it’s something as simple as the way a shadow falls across a face from a nose, or flowers hanging in the window to dry. I’ve had a few psychedelic experiences that I also try and draw energy from, but not keeping myself inside a box with only “visionary art.” I also use clients concepts for inspiration as well!
How would you describe your style – use of vibrant colors…?
Just that! Vibrant style, doesn’t matter what the image is, just that it has heavy saturation and great contrast! I’ll do it all!
What is your most memorable experience as a tattoo artist?
I’ve had so many wonderful experiences in this industry that it’s hard to pinpoint to one exact time. Connecting with clients and becoming friends. Seeing their deepest fears and knowing their biggest aspirations, that’s what’s memorable. Getting tattooed puts people into very vulnerable positions and it requires diligence and patience with them to get through the process sometimes!
How would you describe Portland’s Ink’dustry in comparison to other places you have lived/ visited?
I’m so new to the scene here, but it’s been great so far! No real shop rivalry exists from what I can tell. Everyone seems to get along pretty well!
What is it like working at No Hope No Fear on Southeast Division Street…? Absolutely amazing. I work with a strong team of highly skilled artists and I get to call them my friends as well. It feels like home. Somewhere to lay strong roots and flourish, I love my clients and they really let me have fun with all of our projects. There has been a ton of new construction going on and this summer is gonna be busy!
Do you have any advice to future artists entering the industry?
Advice to people getting new ink? Advice for new artists would be, work harder than you ever thought possible. Tattooing is heavily saturated all over the world and the talent grows exponentially every year, if you love tattooing, treat it with love and respect, bad you Shall be rewarded! To folks getting tattooed. Research your artist! If they are smart and competent trust they will give you great body art!