I Grew up in Los Angeles and started my tattoo career at 19 in Santa Cruz CA, since then I have also worked in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.
In my early life, comic books and animation were huge influences. I started tattooing at 19, Since then tattooing and tattooers have dominated my artistic influences. Outside of tattooing I draw my influences from a wide variety of disciplines, form tribal art to pop graphic design... and everything in between.
My mother was a graphic artist who had me painting and drawing since I could wiggle my fingers and I’ve been creating art since. I had a hesher neighbor when I was four and I would always ask him about the tattoos on his arms. I began drawing on myself with pens in the first grade and eventually graduated to a box of markers and then to drawing tattoos on friends all the way through high school. After a brief attempt at a college education, I decided to follow my instincts and try tattooing. At 19 years old I put my first line in the skin. It was true love. I’ve been tattooing for 23 years and haven’t looked back once.
San Francisco is what heavily informed in my mind what a tattoo should look like, namely the underlying values in a tattoo that make it a successful piece. There were/are so many prolific, influential tattooers creating such staggering tattoos it’s hard to not be inspired and shaped on some level by their work. I began tattooing in New York shortly after it became legal again after being outlawed for ~60 years. Being in such fertile creative environment such as Manhattan gave me the opportunity to explore and develop my voice in tattooing.
Originally by word of mouth while tattooing in San Francisco I heard about Spider Murphys. Theo’s work under the Spider Murphy’s monicker started to become published in Tattoo magazines and became a stylistic mainstay. I wanted to work at Spider Murphy’s mainly because of Theo’s style of tattooing. His imagery and palette have always been unique and powerful. I wanted to learn about how he creates tattoos, his intent and his process. I strive to apply those values to my own tattooing.