I was born in San Francisco but grew up in San Rafael from about the age of three on. I’ve been back and forth between SF and San Rafael ever since. I think being raised around tattooing was the main reason I was so interested in it. I was going to shops with my parents from a pretty early age, like maybe six or seven years old, and watching them get tattoos. I think that really left a lasting impression and it was something I’ve always wanted to do since then.
Spider Murphy’s opened in 96’ and my Mom started getting tattooed there the following year. So really it’s because of her I became aware of it. I ended up getting my first tattoo on my eighteenth birthday from Theo after years of waiting to finally be old enough. I had one job at a shop in Oakland as a shop assistant for a brief time before, but Spider Murphy’s was the shop I really learned everything. Apprenticing under Theo Mindell, and also being able to learn from everyone in the shop was a pretty amazing thing. It was tough, but good.
Growing up in the Bay Area and skateboarding had a huge influence on me and helped shape me art wise. Board graphics from the eighties and nineties are fantastic. Older circus art and Victorian stuff would later become a pretty big influence as well. There are so many things I think I draw from artistically, but I think those are some of the biggest. San Francisco has a pretty amazing art history, not to mention being a hot spot for tattooing. I was fortunate to study at the San Francisco Art Institute, where I graduated with a bachelor's degree in painting. That experience was pretty eye opening. I learned a lot about more formal art, which I think was a nice juxtaposition to working in tattoo shops. Two completely different worlds.
I think as far as tattooers, Ed Hardy was always someone I have looked up to. His tattooing and paintings are incredible. Aside from that everyone who works at Spider Murphy’s influence me every day, probably more than anything else really. I’m fortunate to be able to work with some of my favorite artists at the shop on a daily basis. I’ve always been in love with the shop from the work that has been coming out of it since day one, to the overall aesthetic of the shop, it is truly is one of my most favorite places in the world.