My journey to actually tattooing was a winding road.
Having studied anthropology, with a focus on rites of passage and body modification as a form of tribal commitment, I had travelled and learned different forms of tattooing…but only for research purposes, for personal knowledge and to grow as a person…not as a profession…My interests in theatre as ritual, set design, illustration and music took me to NYC where I studied and worked in everything from anthropology to theatre to illustration and action figure prototype design. Working with Matty Jankowski of the Body Modification Art Museum in NYC I found myself working in the museum’s permanent installation at the Sacred Body Emporium. There, an artist that was on an ascending career arc, trailblazing new bold colourful Japanese/Asian inspired modern work, Sean Vasquez, insisted that with my anthropological knowledge, fine art training and comic illustration background I should really learn to tattoo…and offered me an apprenticeship. Going on 17 years and many adventures later, together and apart, here we are…tattooing together once again…this time, married and partners.
I have never exclusively tattooed, having dedicated myself also to my other pursuits, mainly travelling, writing, anthropology, teaching, social activism, being a parent and a few years ago going part time, healing a hand, impaired from years of tattooing and drawing. New technology and advances in our industry meant that, with the introduction of the Cheyenne Hawk, I have recovered my fulltime tattooing hand back…no vibrations (less noise!), and less weight…means my (tattooist cover your ears now!) carpal tunnel syndrome (the curse of the tattooist) is no longer an issue, and I am back to doing long sessions and big pieces….which is a blessing. I specialise in unique tattoos…no one style necessarily over another…no size over another…for me it is vibrational…I enjoy what I enjoy but I cannot say necessarily what that is ahead of time…I see someone’s idea and I get a vibe…I specialise in art…I guess that is what I would say…paintings, watercolours, photography, poster work, advertising…I enjoy a challenge…I take on other people’s artwork so I often work with other artists and that collaboration is what nourishes me. I also specialise in what I call heritage tattoos…that many may call tribal…because ALL humans have “tribal art” no matter where you are from…what your ancestry…so I like to call it heritage tattoos…and they are based on someone’s physical, spiritual and philosophical ancestry, homeland, beliefs, profession….I consider the shamanistic side of tattooing and see myself as a medium…for energy and for the art…I consider any tattoo to be a rite of passage for the person receiving it and enjoy making that a special experience…My fieldwork on tattooing has taught me that the meaning is often not in the symbol itself but the actual act of getting (and making) a tattoo. It is a performance of meaning, the meaning IS the performance, the going through the rite and out the other side…coming out of it a new and changed person, not just physically but also on a deeper level.
And this is what I c ontribute to the field…offering a sacred but very real transformative experience if not spiritually at least physically. Marking people for life is an honour that I hope to do for many more years….
I especially am interested in art nouveau, art deco, advertising art from Victorian through 50’s atomic age and 60’s pop, movie poster art, fairground art, architecture and authentic tribal from around the world. I especially have a love for monster movies and comic books, especially pre-world war 2 ones, unusual portraits and technical drawings of organic flora and sea creatures of the turn of the century. I enjoy fine-line and broad painterly stroke art alike, grey/black work and colour, realistic, comic style and abstract. One of my favourite parts of tattooing is the preparation, the research and design and the collaboration between artist and client so please, feel free to email me/call/come by and set up a no obligation consultation….as you never know what is possible!
I am in the process of editing my portfolio, adding new things, taking away old, chasing down clients for pictures and after some experiences of internet theft, watermarking images for internet security!
If you want to see my work in the time being please do come in and see me personally! Thanks for your patience and understanding!