“I always knew I didn’t want to go to college. I was always interested in tattooing. I am not big on school, and I didn’t want to be in debt. But there was pressure from the teachers and counselors to go to college. I know they cared about me, and they were afraid that my dream of becoming a successful tattoo artist wouldn’t work out. But I was like, ‘I think it will.’
“My parents were really relaxed about it. They had faith in me with this industry. So I decided to go for it and do whatever it took to become a tattoo artist. It was discouraging though. No doors would open the first year. But I just kept drawing, kept painting, and kept building my portfolio so I could be ready when that door opened.
“My dad knew someone from all the way back in elementary school that had this tattoo shop, and introduced me to him. Doug looked at my work, told me that they had a guy that worked there that was overseas for a while, and asked me if I wanted to fill in for him. I was floored. I came in to ask for advice, and they gave me a job. I was on the team. The people here are amazing tattoo artists. But everyone treats me great, shares advice, and are great people to work with. I have been here for 6 months now.
“My dad was a big inspiration for me. He never went college. He barely made it through high school. He works in construction now and is the vice president and he does very well. So I was just like, ‘Wow, my dad is so inspiring. If he can do it, I can find my own version of that for my life.’ He believed in me, and now here I am. I am 21 now, and my dream is becoming a reality.”
~ White Lotus Tattoo Toms River
Join the conversation on Facebook