I began my professional tattoo journey in 1987 under the ever kind and watchful eye of Professor Don Deaton of Sea Tramp Tattoo and company. I became one of the first hundred to join the National Tattoo Association, and was honored to contribute to The Paul Roger’s Benefit book, via request from C.W. Eldridge. There were only a handful of tattoo shops in Portland when I began. I feel blessed to have began my tattoo journey from this beautiful city and to have been first schooled by legendary Portland tattooers such as Tom Slick and Doc of American Tattoo, Mary Haake of Dermagraphics, Larry “Bones” Haddick, Lion King and Terry Tweed of Deluxe Tattoo.
From the beginning of my career, I was intrigued with realism and replicating the masters. I loved the idea that we could go further with tattooing than what was commonly practiced in the art at that time. To tattoo and be able to reproduce the same effects onto skin as the old masters had produced on canvas, in marble, illustration, by photography, or other means was compelling. I was first influenced to tattooing by the artwork of Greg Irons, Judy Parker, and the works of Greg Kulz, Jack Rudy, Kari Barba and the Dutchman of Canada. Each of these tattooers offered something unique and revolutionary to tattooing. I was inspired and wanted to learn. I wanted to evolve.
In 1990, I took an opportunity to move to California to further my studies.
The National Tattoo Conventions, opened a new world of tattooing to me. Back then, we had one National tattoo show a year. I was mindblown as to what was happening worldwide and that I could be apart of it. My want to push tattooing further…had already become a reality. I had to grab my bags and run to keep up, the tattoo train was already leaving the station. I made the effort to work, to travel and do guest spots with artists I admired. That included going all over the United States and over seas to chase my muse.
Over the years, what I first saw as innovative, has become respectable old news. The new wave of people that have come into this profession have taken tattooing to levels I can barely comprehend. As long as the inspiring world of art and tattooing offers me knowledge. I will strive to study and further my skills.
Thanks to all my clients for offering me their never ending ideas and inspiring me to push my boundaries as an artist.
I would not be able to do what I do if it were not for you.
Respectfully, I would like to also thank those that have shared a few of their secrets with me. PJ English, Bill Liberty, Aaron Cain for being the voice of my inner critic, Eddie Deutsche, Bob Montagna who told me, “all we can do, is be prepared”, Scott Sylvia, Patrick Conlon, Kari Barba, Patty Kelley, Henning Jorgensen, Tin-tin, Robert Hernandez, Julie Moon, SuzAnne Fauser, Danny Dringenberg, Kore Flatmo, Raevyn TWS, Grime for always being even keeled, Jason Kundell of AWR PDX for knowing Karma, and most importantly, Professor Don Deaton for showing me the way. Much love and respect.