“Hey! What do you do?”
“I’m an artist.”
“You are? That’s so nice. What style of art?”
“Hey? How’s it going?”
“I’m good. How are you?”
“I’m chill. It’s been a minute since I saw you.”
“Yeah, I’m a tattoo apprentice right now so…”
“OHHH! WHAAA??? That’s SO cooool! What’s your style?!”
Los Angeles. 2018. Urban city. Cosmopolitan even. No matter where you go in the City of Angels you’ll notice something. Everybody has a pulse on style. Well, at least everyone tries to.
Since I started my apprenticeship at Speakeasy Tattoo, I noticed that people far and wide want to talk with me about tattooing. It comes up in conversation A LOT. Which is great, because I love talking about it. I deeply enjoy discussing things that people do on an everyday basis because those are the things that impact their lives the most so when people do the same with me it makes me feel honored. They’re paying attention and that means a lot.
The most surprising thing to me is that people I never expected would be interested in the art form check in with me about it the most. They’re curious. It’s so far outside of their realm of knowledge that they are trying to get a grasp on what it is and how to relate to it because now they have a direct path to learning about it. Now they have a link through me. Typically, I find these conversations to be the most fulfilling because they go deep. They present a multitude of pin-pointed questions that force me to consider my response and more meaningfully comprehend my knowledge.
People want to know what happens behind the mysterious shop doors. What activities take place. What the process is like. Inevitably, in my initial conversation, the above dialogue is what emerges. It’s fascinating that of all the things a person can ask, style is the subject that comes up first and the most.
Why? What is it about the outward expression of an artist’s inner flow that people want so immediately to understand? Is it because they’re trying to figure out if what you produce will be attractive to them? Is it because putting a descriptor on the visual will help them to define where you fit in? Is it so that they can have a more correlated conversation with you. Or maybe it’s because we’re a society that’s consumed with personal style and the tattoo artist is an adorner. The art of one tattooer can be like an understated, delicate bracelet while another is like a strong, powerful breastplate. It’s vast. My conclusion is that the reason is very complex and not as superficial as one might think. It differs from person to person because each person’s life experiences and end goal are rarely the same.
The nuance in understanding where this curiosity comes from leads to a great opportunity. It’s an opportunity to connect. An opportunity to have a conversation that results in a fusion, and from that bond two people that don’t come from the same place or speak the same language can begin to go on a mutual journey together because now they have a common stepping stone for the dialogue to emerge.
Little Guy multiplied!!! If you read my last post, you know that we have a lizard that visits the shop that I named “Little Guy.” Well, I was watering the plants the other day and saw there’s another one! Lizard two is smaller and sleeker. I haven’t named this new visitor yet because I’m not sure if he/she is just a passer-by, so I’ll decide if I want to name him/her later.
I’m about to start painting number two for the art show that’s coming up next month. I can’t believe October is almost here! Any chance I get to sit in front of my canvas and paint I do. It’s not as often as I would like because there’s an incredible amount of things going on, but I’m doing my best. Here’s a snapshot of the underlayer for one of my pieces. Please keep in mind that it was very early on in the process. My friend and wonderful producer/actress Katherine Castro is the model.
Now for the newest section of the blog I’d like to call…
MEMOIRS OF A CARETAKER
Special thanks to Adrian who came in from Texas I believe, to get a wolf tattoo. Without your innocent remark calling me Scott’s caretaker and your sweet curiosity, this section would never have been possible.
September twenty first, two thousand and eighteen. The day was like all others in Los Angeles. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the little lizards crossed my path. As I passed the threshold and entered the shop for the day I noticed…
Juuuust kidding! There’s probably not going to be a new section to the blog, called MEMOIRS OF A CARETAKER even though…
And I have been noticing quite a bit of throat clearing and old-man grumbling lately, but bitch don’t have tiiiime to write a whole new section to the blog dedicated to taking care of Scott! I got shit. to. do. And on that note, my loves, I bid you adieu. I hope you’ve enjoyed this all over the place post as much as I did writing it. Until next time!
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