Tron is one tattooist who is never afraid to get real with her clients, even if it’s at her own expense. One of East River Tattoo’s star artists, Tron has developed her own style of traditional tattooing that incorporates modern influences into classic techniques to create a fresh take on the style. We were lucky enough to catch up with the her at the Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival convention, where she churned out some of her signature modern meets classic pieces, and talk to her about her first tattoo and her weirdest convention story.
Tron has always been a bit of a Riot Grrrl at heart, which is why it comes as no surprise to anyone that she was only 15 years old when she got her first (illegal) tattoo on the Venice Boardwalk in Los Angeles, California after ditching school one day. “It was 1996, tattooing was still kind of risque, I guess, and you only saw tattoos on people that were in bands. And so I was like, ‘fuck yeah, I’m kind of punk. I’m gonna get my first tattoo.’”
Citing Ramona Quimby as one of her biggest childhood role models, Tron could think of no greater way to pay tribute to her hero than by plastering her on her lower back, a la tramp stamp region.
“I showed them what I wanted, and I didn’t know anything about tattooing, and they were like ‘alright, cool.’ Told me it was gonna be $80, and asked me for my ID, and I was like, I’m totally 18. I left my ID at home,” she says. “They were like, ‘Noooooo… Ok!’ That was my first tattoo, and I’m still stoked on it.” To this day, she still hangs on to that initial picture of Ramona she brought in all those years ago as a momento.
Tron is no newcomer to the industry — or conventions for that matter — and through the years she’s encountered an uncomfortable situation or two during a convention, but all others pale in comparison to her first experience at the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention.
“My first year tattooing there, I tattooed some guy on his shoulder,” she recalls. “He was really, really awkward and weird, and by the time he stood up and was done, he totally had a boner and everyone saw it, and I didn’t realize until after, and everyone was like ‘Oh shit!’ – and then Ashley Love had to tattoo him next!”
When you’re looking for a solid artist for your next piece, keep in mind that liking the person you’re spending upwards of two or so hours with is almost as important as the tattoo itself, and Tron is one of those artists we could shoot the shit with for hours on end, tramp stamp stories and all.