Tayler tell us a bit about your journey into the world of Tattooing & your passion for Illustration.
I ran a screen printing shop with my father as a young boy. He printed… I did all artwork. Illustration was always my part of the business. Draw draw draw. Pretty much since I could hold a pencil. Around age 16 a tattoo shop opened up in the town of Hemet, CA. where I went to high school (1995-6). Naturally my dad sent me down there to get business and see if they needed shirts. I had a Yellow Mohawk at the time so clearly he thought id be the guy for the job. Haha. The shop owner at that time, Mike Ferguson asked me to sketch something he was thinking of… I did so in a matter of minutes. He raised an eyebrow… “How old are you?” & asked if I’d be interested in an apprenticeship. I had no idea what that entailed… But I did it anyway. Over the next two years I learned from a guy, who to this day is still a very close and dear friend of mine. Moved around to a couple shops with him, then decided to branch off and see what else I could do with my art skills. I left tattooing in the 90’s right out oft apprenticeship. I wasn’t ready to commit. I was in bands all throughout my teens and twenties so time wasn’t something I was willing to give up.
I move out of Southern California at around 23 years old…. Took a job in Reno Nevada. Lasted a couple years… Then snagged a wife and moved to Seattle, Washington, where I pursued an education in animation… Worked a lot of odd jobs in Seattle while going to school… Then I met a fella by the name of Chris (lucky) Barnard. He came into an adult store where I was working part time. We became pals. He was in the process of opening a shop on capital hill, a very “happinin'” part of town. I …, after being a thorn in his ass, became his apprentice. After ten plus years away from tattooing, I thought it would be quite irresponsible of me to pick up a machine and just go back at it. I had quite a head start with what I had learned from ferguson so I wasn’t to much I the dark. Except when I first showed up to work.. I asked…” Where do we make our needles?” Haha. Evidently things had changed a bit. But no big deal. In the meantime I was always getting tattooed over the years. Friends always asking if I’d ever tried tattooing… Blah blah. I never really gave a straight answer. Just sorta brushed it off. I tattooed in Seattle after for around two years. Give or take. Then due to other circumstances involving my beautiful son… I found myself packing yet another uhaul headed for Reno.
What attracts you most to your illustrative style?
Capturing something “else” visually. Anyone can point a camera and shoot. But creating something else is the challenge and when done right..?. No better feeling.
If you could be any cartoon character who would you choose and why?
Roger rabbit. I mean… Have you seen Jessica rabbit?????
What forms of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
Tattooing in Reno is a different animal in itself. Reno is a neat place. Not quite home to me… But neat to say the least. It’s a town full of art and expression… But you don’t wanna turn your back to it… It’s like a sleeping pit bull. Quite a few talents here. A couple of my favorite tattooers reside here. Seattle and southern cal are very different from Reno. You’d have to give yourself to this town, even just a little, to truly understand what I mean.
What is it like tattooing in Reno verses the west coast, Seattle?
Where do you pull most of your inspiration from?
I pull inspiration from sci-fi flicks, comics, Powell peralta decks, greeting cards, convenient stores, movie theaters …. You name it.
What is your process from concept to a completed sketch? What makes your style unique from others…
Coffee. Lots of hub coffee and a red or blue pencil. Scribbling shapes and movements. Lots of curse words and crumbling paper. More shapes and scribbles until it clicks and I see what it is I’m trying to capture. Sometimes a fallacy hahah. But most times not. Redrawing and redrawing. Sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. Tattooing is a hard hard thing to do well. Just the prep alone. Some people think we have it easy. It is not always what it seems. (hardly ever)
I forgot to mention my son. My son has the musician and art bug. I can see it. He only 4 so toys and playgrounds hold his attention now.. It’s strong with him for sure. My parents are both artists… My dad was a working folk musician through the 70s and my two older brothers are artists as well. One was an animator for quite a while and the other can paint like you wouldn’t believe.