Kreative Ink – Victoria, BC
I did my tattoo apprenticeship under Whitey James in 2008 at Skins and Sins in Rocky Mountain House, AB. From there I moved to a shop in Red Deer called The Swollen Goat to work for Mark Lavey. I learned a lot in that shop, and still to this day I say Mark had the nicest running coil machines out there! I learned almost everything I know about tuning coils from him. After Red Deer I moved to Vancouver to work in a shop called Black Heart, which is in Maple Ridge. The shop itself was so small, I actually believe it was an old storage closet in the mall; it was tiny! I left Vancouver and moved to Victoria where I established roots working under Sparky at Urge Tattoos. This move was hugely pivotal in my career; I owe a lot of my success and growth to Sparky. He taught me how to be a professional, how to deal with all types of customers, how to build my network, and even how to pay taxes!
Getting into tattooing at a young age introduced me to a crazy world and from the very beginning I was hooked! I didn’t always know where I was going, or how I would get there, but I believed in what I was doing and I learned to just trust the process. I can’t imagine my life without tattooing, it really has given me everything I have today. Tattooing has been ingrained in every facet of my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has taken me further than I could have ever imagined. It’s a lot of hard work but it’s so worth it! I always joke, it’s not a 9 to 5, it’s a 24/7!
What other mediums of art do you do?
I like to make art in any way I can. I like to do a little bit of everything, from pencil sketching, to airbrushing, and even building motorcycles. It’s all just another way to stay creative in my opinion. I approach each new project with an open mind, and a respect for its unique process. I have been very lucky to work with, hang out with, and get to know, a lot of truly amazing artists who specialize in the broad spectrum of artistry; I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from all of them. Outside of tattooing, I think building choppers is my greatest passion. I have always liked to build things, but there’s something truly special about building a machine with your own hands, and then riding it around once it’s complete. It’s a true extension of one’s self and style.
If you could share some wisdom to other aspiring artists, what would you advise?
Strive for perfection. Tattooing can humble you, if you let it; there’s always more to learn so be open to ideas and suggestions from others. If I had any advice to give it would be: don’t get wrapped up with what other people are doing, focus on the task in front of you. Don’t worry about coming up short in the eyes of others, strive for personal satisfaction. Just tattoo for the sake of tattooing.