Getting Hooked Part 1
Well I guess for my first piece I should start from the beginning. I will never forget my first introduction into competitive art. I was in the fourth grade and our class hosted a coloring competition just before our Easter break. Everyone was given the same Easter bunny drawing to color in and of course the teacher was going to draw a winner to who had the best bunny. The image to this day is burned into my mind of taking second place to another talented artist at the time. As the years went by I continued my art passion in a hobby form, never taking classes or taking it seriously. Easing into my early teen years I was introduced into the world of tattooing by getting a little taste. My closest Uncle was infatuated with the tattooed lifestyle as he quickly began filling skin with the amazing art form. Another distinct memory of seeing my uncle's new calf piece as our families went to dinner and all I thought about is "I want one and I have to visit one of these tattoo shop". My Uncle instantly became my role model and I wanted to become just like him.
Fast forwarding a couple of years, I am now a sophomore in High School. One of the top wrestlers in the school and succeeding as a star Lacrosse player. My grandfather and I were having a conversation about tattoos after he recently received some new work himself. He tells me he will take me for my first tattoo. I think I was seeing stars and fireworks go off and started telling friends and family immediately. The day couldn't come fast enough, I started putting pencil to paper, more like pencil to folders, in fact I filled all of my school folders with sketches of what I wanted to get as my first tattoo. I spent a solid year designing and rendering my design. The day had finally arrived, it was a sunny summer day in July I believe. I was on summer break between my junior and senior year. I couldn't shake the butterflies out of me, I felt as though I was asking my first girl I dated out to homecoming. My Grandfather and I arrived at the tattoo shop and waited 2 hours for the artist to arrive. Finally, the stencil was placed, the artist was set and I received my first tattoo, a stone cross with a ring of thorns and said "fight the good fight" after the 80's Canadian rock trio Triumph.
For the whole senior year of High School, I was "that guy" with a tattoo. It was an amazing feeling I will never forget. I walked with my head high and pretty sure I wore sleeveless shirts for the whole month of September. Everyone asked, how did it feel? I simply said " It hurt a little but it wasn't to bad". What I was most proud of was it was my design. A year in the making and I officially have my own created design on my body, take that fourth grade bunny winner! After word got around I designed my own tattoo, everyone wanted a tattoo design by me. Peers left and right were thinking of the tattoo they wanted to get and came to me for the design. After the advanced popularity of the tattoo I still never thought to take an art class. Tattoo designing was an enjoyable hobby to me and did not want to be told how to design and perfect my drawings, I guess you can say I was a stubborn artist to begin.
As I sit in the middle of my local mall and remaniss about those times and type this blog it makes me appreciate were I started, sitting at my desk in the fourth grade coloring an Easter bunny. It was my first taste of art, who knew it would have turned into an infatuation with a different medium. Stay tuned for getting hooked part deux!