How would you define yourself as a tattoo artist? And as a person?
As a tattoo artist, I’m still hungry to learn. As a person, the same. I am striving to be the best husband and father I can be.
What first drew you in the tattoo world?
Being born and raised in San Francisco had everything to do with it. San Francisco is a mecca for tattooing. When I was a teenager, I was kicked out of legendary shops such as Goldfields, Lyle Tuttles, and Ed Hardys for being too young. There was nothing cooler then the tattoos coming out of those shops.
I can see you tattoo in different styles. Which are your favourite characteristics of every one of them (traditional, japanese, etc.)?
The best tattoos I have seen have always had a touch of tradition in them. No matter what I do with it, I hope it has that.
Tell me about your first tattoo..and your last one! What is the difference between your past and your present?
Experience is everything.
What do you think about modern tattoo society? And the new tattoo artists generation?
Like everything, there is good and bad. I always focus on the good. There is a lot of young talent out there. I hope to suck the talent from their young bodies…slurp. Little bastards!!
What advice would you give to the youngest tattoo collectors?
Don’t focus on trends. Get tattooed on a rad day when you’re having a lot of fun. Pick someone’s flash that doesn’t mean anything to you. Have fun with it!
Going back to some decades ago, who is the first tattoo artist that comes to your mind?
Greg Irons – with that being said, I could go on and on and on and on. He is always on my mind.
Who inspires you along your journey and how does it make you feel?
I have so many friends, co-workers, and family, that I could spend a night listing names. But my “Mt. Rushmore” would be Ed Hardy, Bob Roberts, Mike Malone, and Horiyoshi III. And personally, Jason Phillips, Luke Stewart, and Troy Denning.
In the past, you kinda had to earn your first tattoos. I am not only talking about the placement (neck, hands, knuckles), but also about the pure and simple fact of getting a tattoo. Now you just need money and -hopefully- good taste. I mean, you can do whatever you like with your body, and the whole society has fought for this. Now that everything is easier, don’t you feel that the essence of tattoo culture is getting a bit lost? Or is it just the normal evolution process?
I think I get you. I can see problems with the ease of online shopping. I know that sounds crazy. But with buying everything on a phone, there is no social commerce. I’m no longer intimidated to walk into a business. A tattoo shop isn’t different to a consumer than a shoe store. Except that Amazon can’t deliver tattoos yet. The mystic of being yelled at by a salty tattooer might be gone, but finding your tattoo spirit guide is as easy as Instragram. I’m sorry that a young generation will never know what it’s like to be yelled at by Henry Goldfield. We must all adapt, cause there is great tattoos on IG.
How would you define the concept of tattoo itself?
Have fun, that’s it.
Someone once told me: both beautiful and bad tattoos will be regretted one day, if done without awareness. Do you agree?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
What is the best part of your job and why?
Hours 12-7, I just love tattooing.