I guess we can start from the most common question I get, "Have you always been an artist?". The short answer is yes.
From the time I was able to hold a crayon to draw, and not eat it, I loved to create. Whether it was ruining my bedroom walls as a child or drawing endlessly during class. So naturally I started taking all art classes I could. All the way till the end of high school. Now this is where my curiosity with tattooing comes in. In high school my best friend and brother, Kurt Bishop, who has since passed, convinced me it would be a great idea to build a home made tattoo machine and tattoo each other because I could "draw good!". Needless to say, I wasn't very good at the age of 14. I fooled around with it a little more tattooing some friends and just really making our parents mad so my tattoo dream was put on hold.
After high school I attended a local community college to learn how to paint cars , something I love doing but just didn't have passion for a career. From there I transferred to The Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia to study Graphic & Advertising Design. Although SCAD is an awesome school, it's very expensive so I decided to transfer to The Art Institute of Atlanta to finish and who was a little cheaper on tuition at the time.
While in college and living in Atlanta I decided to give tattooing a go again for the fun of it and to make a little extra cash in college. The dorm room became my tattoo studio. That didn't last long though because of "excessive traffic" in and out of the building. I then went about seeking out an apprenticeship and after getting rejected by numerous shops I finally got a chance! Sacred Heart Tattoo is where I started my professional career tattooing with Tony Olivas and Joe Reyes as my mentors. After apprenticing for a year I graduated and went on to work at different shops all over Georgia.
While doing all this I somehow managed to some how get offered a job with Monster Energy doing Marketing & Promotions under one of the most awesome people I have ever had the pleasure of working for and had the honor of calling a friend, Scott Attea. Now at the time I was working for a motorcycle shop in Duluth, GA called Speed Demons, doing their marketing and promo. As well as basically being shop bitch. Needless to say I had a lot going on and it was amazing. I am forever grateful for all the opportunities I took part in and the connections and friends I made while working for Monster.
Living in Atlanta and all over Georgia throughout my 20's was life changing. The culture I experienced and the friends I made forever changed me and who I am as a person. I will always love Atlanta and the people in it but I missed the small town feel of home. So I moved back to Rome to be closer to my family and start fresh. I now work at A SAILORS GRAVE TATTOO in Calhoun, GA, about 20 minutes from Rome and the other surrounding cities. That's pretty much all I can think of to type right now so thanks for reading!
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