Location: Toronto, but I tattoo in other locations as well
What attracted you to tattooing?
I'm not sure I could say. I was attracted to that community and the art at such a young age that I think I've become displaced with my original motivations. Now, I am attracted to it because it is the one thing I have had limitless curiosity for and commitment to, and as a career, has sustained me for 10 years. So at this point, it's like a spouse or a best friend: the attraction isn't something you could sum up in words.
How did you get into the industry?
I was working at a tattoo shop while concurrently working on a diploma for drawing and painting at art school. I feel very grateful to the people who gave me those chances and the staff I first worked with, as I think they did a good job in a very short time to prepare me for what a hard path it would be.
Was it hard to find an apprenticeship?
No, mine came to me with some ease and little prodding. I was extremely fortunate and I never forget that.
How many years have you been tattooing?
I would say that I'm about 10 years in. Hard to say, depends on how early I could call whatever I was doing "tattooing."
What inspires you?
My staff at Speakeasy, my clients, and my own experiences with the people who have tattooed me.
Who are your favourite tattoo artists?
Dave Cummings, Stewart Robson, Peter Lagergen amongst many others. Dave Cummings in Montreal has to be one of my favourite tattooers in the world. I hope I can be that good one day.
How would you describe your tattoo style?
I would say I tattoo in a clean, organized and open style, with heavy emphasis on longevity and sound design. I specialize in birds, women and women's faces, as well as fine lining. I would say I have a strong understanding of many schools of tattooing and I feel confident executing most requests. My style is very sensitive to a client's wants, and I think I'm extremely intuitive with requests that come through. I don't often miss my mark.
What have you learned in your years in the industry?
You can only count on you. Work hard and don't try to be popular. Good tattoos speak louder than coolness, and never meet your idols. Oh, and no matter what, every tattoo you do should be better than the last. The day that that stops being true, you need a vacation.
What advice do you have to people considering careers in tattooing?
Wait 10 years until the industry isn't so congested. And if you've already started, and you're shit, just put it down and walk away before it's too late. Ask the harshest critics what they think. Never ask your biggest fans.
What are some of the best things you have experienced as a result of your career?