Being an award winning tattoo artist, how did it all start?
One of my best friends had talked me into tattooing a “G” on him. That was 26 years ago.
Who and what inspires you?
I’m an artist. Everything inspires me. You know all those “Betchya can’t” people? They inspire me. The more challenging the better.
Besides tattoo what other arts are in your wheelhouse?
I used to oil paint when I was a kid, but when I found tattooing, I strayed from other mediums until I became extremely comfortable with tattooing itself. Now, I’ve been working mainly with mixing my mediums, mainly liquid acrylics, colored pencils, ink, and illustration markers, all on one piece! I’ve found a passion for mixed media.
If you gave it up what would you do?
I’d go completely insane!
Since we’re friends, you’ve confessed quite a bit of adversity in your life. What got you through it?
I was raised by my grandfather, a WWII hero who fought under Patton and the Big Red One. Give up or quit was never a thought!
What challenges have you set for yourself concerning your art?
I’m a Scorpio, spontaneity breeds creativity so there’s not much need for challenges. In tattooing, those moments create themselves which is probably the reason for such a huge love of the medium.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Never put a tool down and never pick a drug up. The best addictions come from success, not a party.
Finally, what advice would you give to others who are interested in becoming an artist?
My definition of an artist is anyone who follows their passion in whatever it is they do. Follow your passion, it is simply the hardest way to fail!
Check out more work by Inkjunkys
Written by Michael Franks
Photography by Epiphany Media Photo