conversations with my tattoo artist.

/ tattoo shop décor / Image by: dear_introvert
/ tattoo shop décor /
Image by: dear_introvert

Tattoo sessions are hours spent between artist & client.

Between the moments of silence, drown out only by the buzz of the machine, conversations happen.

I’ve found my perfect tattoo artist. His presence is minimal. It reminds me of a calm before the storm. His voice is soft and his manner is professional. These aren’t just tattoos. This isn’t just work. He’s creating art. It just so happens the canvas is my skin. He’s serious and dedicated. I like that shit.

For my first sitting, we spoke a total of 20 minutes. He worked for five hours. Not once did I feel awkward in the shared silence nestled amongst the hum of his needlework. As he inked, a small lamp glowed from atop his forehead, illuminating my inner leg. His canvas. I spent my time peering up at the ceiling, picking animal figures out of the plywood board nailed there. I soaked in his selected artwork displayed on the walls of this alternative office cubicle.

The second sitting I longed for the spark of conversation. I found my comfort zone, ever small but present, so I sought after chasing my curiosity.

A confirmation of  life perspective occurred in those moments.

The specific words exchanged are for me to keep.

I just want to share the perspective.

What motive drives you when the choice is made for your college education? For your career path? If it is money, you’re wrong. You need to choose with your heart, be led by your passion, and the money will follow.

If you do what you love, there is money to be made. Just as much as if you wake up every morning in complete dread, knowing you are on your way to a job you loathe.

What are you willing to exchange for the price?

You love what you do, it is passion. You hate what you do, it is work. It will always and forever be work. There is a way to do what you love and make money at the same time. Realize that sooner than later.

Driven by the almighty dollar, $100,000 in loan debt, and only now do I see the light.

It’s too late to go back. I had to accumulate more debt to get where I truly want to be. A means to an end. If I found a job in my undergraduate field, I don’t think I’d be happy trekking down that forsaken career path.

As a self-proclaimed introvert, why in the hell would I get my MA in Communication Arts you ask? Like I said, a means to an end. A degree in higher education puts flare on my resume. I worked hard to learn everything I could in the world of communication with the time I have to complete this degree.

Do I need to communicate all the time and whip myself into a fake frenzy inside extrovert façade land for the communication professionals folk? No.

I love to write. I love photography. I have an imagination.

I have a passion for the creative side of anything and everything. I love to work and I work hard. If I love what I do, I work harder.

If I can cultivate a career from that, it will be a happy one.

There is an artist. He is passionate about art. He is really, really good at what he does in every medium. Job prospects were bleak, a degree in fine art weighed lightly, choices needed to be made. Give up and chase this almighty dollar through factory production lines? Give in to all the voices condemning an artist’s life to struggle and poverty?


He found a way.

You find a way.

If you dream it, if you wish it, if you love it, it will come.

Opportunity knocked. And here you sit with your head lamp and a tattoo gun, needling forever ink into my skin canvas with a delicacy only a true artist can acquire. We talk about life. How similar your views are to mine, a confirmation of perspective. You are rich by your own standards. You wake up every day and do what you love.

I only hope to find the same.

2 Comments on “conversations with my tattoo artist.

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