When did tattooing start catching momentum for you?
Tattooing started picking up momentum with shows like Inked(2005-2006) and LA ink (2007-2011). I think that because I started tattooing before all these reality shows and the huge predominant movement of tattooing I was able to get a head start. And having five artist(names?) here at one point, we apexd out and were booked out. I mean, I never get booked crazy like big artists like years in advance. But we were booked solid, solid for like six months, everybody. (Now they all have their own tattoo shops?) And since then I been riding this wave.
How do you see the evaluation of tattooing today?
Right now there's so many tattoo parlors and so many tattoo artist. There's like multiple things happening right now, one a-lot of saturation happening but there's also a lot of really good work happening. To where I’m like wow, there's some pretty goo amazing artists that are out there. However this huge saturation had lead cliental to start spread out and slowly tapering off. When I first started tattooing there where only a few amazing artist moving the industry along, always stepping up what can be done but since all the reality shows, since all the shops, since all the artists and since all the good work, things started going down, down, down.
What some difference between you and other tattoo artist today?
When I first opened Adambomb Gallery, I was tattooing and kind of in that grove of the tattoo artists but now there are some really good tattoo artist around, and I ain't shit compared to them and they're in the same city. Where as before, it would be this one amazing in Chicago or in Minneapolis. I want to be as good as them. But here in this city and now, there's tattoo artist that would smoke me and they're just right next door.
Hows your tattoo shop doing overall today?
I’m somewhat in a holding pattern, flying in a circle. Waiting to see what life presents but also watching. At one point I put this building up for sale because I thought I had to and it didn't sell. So I made a choice and then I waited and then it didn't sell. And so I was like Ok and took it off the table. I’m going to step back and observe because there's probably something that I'm not doing first or something that needs to happen first before I do that. So I been pay attention to that. And that's a dance too. Are you are you being complacent or are you observing? How much interjection do I have to put in to make it not complacent?
Would you want to move somewhere else?
Yes, if I could sell my building (Adambomb Gallery) and open a really super low key shop in Madison which is not to far from where I live and work only a few days a week. We’ll see.
How do you deal with failures or (set backs) when things aren't working out your way?
In the face of failure, it just kept going. I remember in grade school, there was a time I would try and do something so hard. I’d get so frustrated and I would start crying. But I still persisted, even though I get so upset. I still kept going. Same thing with tattooing. Although right now I feel like I would benefit from refocusing on my strengths and developing those.
Have you been apart of any community events recently?
Just recently, I did the Feed Your Soul at Flux Design where they had live artists working on painting, drawing and then tattooing with me. For the first time I tried a completely different tattoo process. I've never done a tattoo without stencil or at least drew on somebody and then went from there. I didn't know what I was going to do. The person that was getting the tattoo didn't know what I was going to do. I just literally started scribbling on the person's lower, just scribbles. And it came out pretty amazing, It was a gold, squid, octopus thing.
Did Feed Your Soul inspired you?
Yes, Feed your Soul inspired me to start doing more stuff like that with tattooing and then having a progressive, sit down, scribble something out. It would be cool if I started one piece where nobody knew what was happening and get very excited and have an outline started and then have them come back and do the same process when it comes to shading or coloring. Just start scribbling, if I want to emphasize that I could or just leave it open. The drawing would talk to me as much as I would talk to it, a harmonious thing.
Any big projects coming up?
Right now, I have the opportunity to do an entire back piece on this woman, of two phoenix and maybe I could introduce my style of anthropomorphic creatures and ambient background. But It's so weird I got to try and get it to fit into two phoenix. So that's where it's strange, I could and probably should push that envelope and see.
Where are you right now with your art?
Right now I want to get back into making art for me. As a tattoo artist you're just focused on this one little area. No matter how large the tattoo is, your still just focused on this one little area. I’d like to get back into making my own pieces of art. If I could do that and find myself within that. I would love to just start doing art shows.
Where are you right now with your tattooing?
Im trying to get back into having more possession for tattooing and art. I felt like I lost it and now I want to get back and redefine that energy. Tattooing is hard, I’ve said this before it’s one of the hardest artistic medium any artist can embark on because there's no consistency or solid consistency from person to person.
Dose your clientele give you the freedom to apply your style into their ideas?
Right now I post everything whether it's a name or something crazy. So I think streamlining, my brand if you will, into more of stuff I want to do would perpetuate that. I would get cliental that wouldn’t want that type of work.
Do you think you work better independently or as a collective?
I mean it's good having other artists. I'm all about having other artists around and when I do have other artist here and we actually have interactions. It's a good thing. There’s a lot of idea bouncing and not just about tattooing necessary but other things too. It's this nice verbal interaction that you can take into consideration of someone else's ideas. I'm all about that.
Are you looking for new artist to work with?
I've tried Ive put it out there and nothing. I put it on Instagram like, hey, this is how much I charge a months, which is the extremely low amount every month and nobody, OK, I'm going to just fly around in circles for awhile. And see let's. Again I put it out there. At least three if not like five times. I put it out there like, hey, hey, everybody. This is what I'm offering. Cricket. Cricket. OK, I'll let that go, a couple months later. Hey, this offer still stands. Nothing. So it's like, OK, all right. Let's see what happens. Just going to fly in a circle. Fly in a circle. I’m I going to land?
Do you have any new artist doing guess spots at your shop?
Next week, I’ll be meeting up with another tattoo artist. Who wants to do a guess spot in December. Will see, I mean, I like this style. But with him it’ll be temporary because he's going to Florida. So we'll see. Again, I'll try it out. If it doesn’t work. I’ll just keep playing in the circle.
What do you think about the tattoo community?
Tattooing is one of the hardest mediums and because of that you can find within the tattooing community there is a lot of partying happening. This this could be because of all the challenges tattoo artist have face when dealing with people and needing an escape.
What did MIAD do for you that impacted or influenced your artistry or your life?
I think ultimately that gave you this opportunity to work with a huge group of people and bounce ideas off all these people. So I remember being at MIAD, getting more out of student to student interaction than student teacher interaction. Not to say that teacher weren’t impactive, they were. The most I got out of MIAD was collaboration with other students. Whether it be critiques or actual doing collaborative art work or just talking people like that. I think that the community of artists. Ultimately that was it.