What year did you start tattooing?
I want to say I started tattooing around 2005-2006 just messing around here and there but I didn’t really start taking it seriously until about the year 2007.
What led to you opening High Class Tattoo shop?
I worked for this guy for about a year-and-a-half, almost 2 years. He was a real prick, real self absorbed and arrogant. He didn’t give a damn about anyone but himself. I mean he really didn’t care about his clients and he definitely didn’t care about the ones who tattooed for him. I was unhappy with the situation so a buddy of mine from the shop and I decided that we were going to leave and we opened up High Class Tattoo as partners in 2009. We traveled together and made a name not only for ourselves as individuals but as a shop. We did that for about four years together. We grew as artists, and our lives went in different directions eventually leading to us parting on good terms. I became sole proprietor and owner of High Class Tattoo and I’m proud to say that High Class Tattoo started its 7th year in February this year.
A lot of your tattoos are of iconic movie characters, why is that?
I’ve always wanted to be a comic book artist but that kind of fell through, so now that I get to tattoo, and I’ve been doing it long enough to where people notice the kind of things that I like, it’s become one of my specialties. It’s like I’m a pop culture artist. I get to reflect that in tattoos of the most iconic and coolest characters that I always loved as a child and my clients get their childhood put on them forever and feel comfortable knowing that who’s doing it is just as passionate as they are without feeling dumb or silly or being ridiculed for putting a cartoon or 80s movie character on them forever.
Realism seems to be your specialty, what other styles do you enjoy?
I really enjoy doing biomech, for me it’s such a different medium. It really gets my brain going on depth, ratio and light source, which helps me a lot in other aspects of tattooing. I dig the Japanese style as well, as long as I get to take my approach on it. If you want traditional Japanese then you go to someone that does strictly traditional Japanese, but I really enjoy that as well as black and grey from time to time.
What inspires you as an artist?
I get a lot of inspiration from a lot of different things. I love many different styles of art and so many artists from tattooing to digital media and my first passion, comic books and the artists that took the time to put their art on paper for so many to enjoy. Traveling really gets me going, just meeting new people and being able to leave my mark wherever I go, and the joy that I get when someone is so pumped on their new tattoo. One of my biggest inspirations are my kids. I just want them to be proud of what I do, and I know they are, but I just want to leave behind some kind of legacy so that they are proud of knowing that I made people happy with my art and respected by others while doing it so that one day they can say my dad was a bad ass tattooer.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
I get excited for a tattoo when the client wants me to create a full theme for a sleeve, leg or back. When I can create a custom piece based on their design or when they want to do a full sleeve based on a favorite movie or characters because then I get to take elements from that particular movie or book and create a world for the tattoo instead of just a floating head.
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
I’ve got so many ideas that I’m just itching to do! I want to do more 80s pop culture influenced tattoos whether it be movies or cartoon characters based on original art concepts. I really want to do some dinosaur tattoos like full sleeves, chest or back. I don’t know why but I would love to tattoo some dinosaurs if that falls in to my lap I would be smiling from ear to ear!