A lot of people that know me really well probably don't even know that I was 'training' to tattoo before I got in to computers and graphic work (unless they're cursed with my permanent markings). I probably only did about 25 tattoos total but only a few of them were what I should have been attempting. I'm not much of a 'what-if' kind of guy but seeing so many of my friends move in to the tattoo field and excelling beyond comprehension, along with questioning if I want to sit in front of a computer all day anymore, it has been coming up a lot lately as an internal dialogue. This video brought up a lot of those questions again.
NY Adorned “Tradition” from Evan Owen Dennis on Vimeo.
I couldn't afford to go to college. Actually, take that back. I guess I could have made it work, plenty of people do, but I didn't care or even wanted to think how to plan out the rest of my life and drop a lot of money on it at age 18. I was young and out of high school, last thing on my mind was going back to school. I loved and only focused on graffiti for years while managing a skate shop and running a graffiti mail order company out of there, which spawned Phantom Magazine, delivering pizzas, then on to office supplies while I saved up to buy a computer. I was given 2 paths at an important time in my life: continue to learn to tattoo, or take a job at Santa Cruz Skateboards in the Art Department, which is a dream come true to a small town Texas boy that loved nothing more than skateboarding, even though I was definitely a beginner and had plenty to learn in any design world (and still am). I did both for a couple of months, heading to the tattoo shop after work but it didn't last too long. I found my place, my peers, and was able to work with my heroes. Those heroes included the skateboarders I worked with and the people in the Art Department. Those people brought me to wherever I am now and I love them for it.
Back to the video. I knew the name NY Adorned for years before I moved to our horrible apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with DIET, SLIE, and J. Lee. Shortly after I met Daniel Santoro, and he eventually tattooed me at their East Village location. It was a great experience, hanging out on the back patio and catching up during breaks from our Permanent Vacation session. Adorned eventually opened up a Brooklyn location and I'd like to thank them for the block parties they threw on hot summer afternoons, those are some great Brooklyn memories. Daniel has moved on to Smith Street Tattoo in Brooklyn that holds an incredibly impressive roster and you should check them out when you can. You won't be disappointed.