BAW: What made you want to
become a Tattoo Artist?
Artist: Initially, I actually
didn't; it was a reluctant reaction to overwhelming insistence. I felt
uncomfortable w/the idea of such intimate familiarity at first.
Seeing some of what had been done, as compared to what could
be done, was a determining factor. Even the seemingly 'trite' piece
carries heavy medicine and is a lifelong (however brief) time-marker. I
should've seen it coming, I was the one imposed upon in grade school to
decorate my classmates w/the marker.
BAW: Who are your influences?
Artist: Tattooing; Kari
Barba, Jack Rudy, Greg Irons, Ed Hardy..Artswise; Rick Griffin, Romaine
Brooks, Max Ernst, Maxfield Parrish, Imogene Cunningham, Claude
Monet. Philosophically; Warhol, Waters, Solanis, Holzer, Thompson,
Cayce, Vivien, Barney, Cookie Mueller, Robin Morgan, Nina Hagen. Again,
BAW: What is your favorite
style of work?
Artist: Anything I can make
ART out of.
BAW: Tell us about your first
Artist: I was 17, out of
state w/a lover. The ol' guy was getting ready to close shop, asked if I
was over 18, to which I replied "I'm 19!" It was very
casual, but that was a different day & age. HIV wouldn't come into
being for years, and Hepatitis was relatively rare. NO one had
tattoos, and that made it special. Very special.
BAW: What is your favorite
piece you own?
Artist: I have particular
attachments to most all of them. People "don't get"
the skulls, and that's just perfect.
BAW: What is your most
memorable Tattoo given and why?
Artist: There are so very
many, and for as many reasons. One Honors the confidences they are entrusted
BAW: Is there a part of the
body you won't Tattoo and why?
Artist: Isn't it obvious?
BAW: Do you support supply
co. that sells to the public?
Artist: Absolutely not. This
isn't 1980. Would you support 'Teen Home-Phlebotomy' Kits?
BAW: Do you feel there now
should be mandatory schooling for soon to be tattoo artists?
Artist: I think there should
be mandatory schooling for EVERYONE, and that goes double for the
BAW: Do you feel Tattooing
has changed over the years, and if so why?
Artist: Even in my short
time, yes. It has to do w/our increasingly dehumanizing society,
overemphasis of fashion & conformity ( is THAT perverse or
what?), and the loss of being able to articulate dissent: sort of a
surface/visual affront. Rebellion always occurs on some level.
BAW: Do you think it is
important to do as many conventions and shows as possible?
Artist: Having been to only
one thus far, I'm not really up to speed on that, but I'll try. What
happens at conventions, by virtue of them being conventions, is not
something I can say I'd particularly enjoy at this point. The nature of
the event, place, theme & people involved makes or breaks it. I
prefer to work in a controlled environment. Distractions have no place
BAW: What advise can you give
to someone who is starting or
looking to get into the
Artist: Professionalism is
about a lot more than getting paid. If you have no art ability, quit now. You
had better respect blood borne pathogens, or you'll be damned sorry. And
even then, what will keep you from getting lost in the crowd?
BAW: What could you say to
someone who has had a bad first tattoo experience?
Artist: I hope you learned
BAW: Please share any other
comments or views or questions to the public you might have.
Artist: This is not a hobby,
this is not something that will make you 'cool'. Opening someone's skin
is a sacred ritual and must be treated accordingly. A patron is a gift,
not a slab of flesh. Respect your medium and your craft if you desire
respect. There is such a thing as doing things for the right reason
Q1. Where did you get your
first tattoo and do you know by who?
A. New Jersey, a gent in his
50's named Dave. New Brunswick, I believe.
Q2. What was going through
your mind when you got your first tattoo?
A. That's too personal.
Q3. Is there a meaning behind
your first tattoo and what is it if you care to share?
A. It's astrological in
nature and still holds great meaning for me, it's something I
Q4. What is your favorite
tattoo, where is it and why?
A. Probably my next; when or
where, I couldn't tell you. It wouldn't be so much a separate entity, as
a continuation at this point.
Q5. What advice can you give
people who are looking to get tattooed for the first time?
A.Be wise, this is heavy.
If things aren't CLEAN, it's not right. If something
doesn't feel right, it's not. Also, if you don't see (at
very least) hands being washed, RUN!
Q6. Any Additional Comments
A. Tattooing is so old I'm
certain the first act of prostitution occurred so that the prostitute
could afford another tattoo!