Category Archives: Tattooisms

I’m gonna sing the Doom Song now.

I recorded a video of myself yesterday. Actually, the Husbear recorded it.

This is what happens when I have a slow moment at the tattoo studio. Which is actually a rare thing to have happen.

I still have some shading to do and the coloration in the body, but this is what I was able to get done before a client walked into the studio for a tattoo:

It’s GIR. Wearing the Fourth Doctor’s scarf.

Maybe I should blog about my reasons for those choices?

Until next time...

Dear Tattooist: When did you know?

This post was prompted from a question asked by John in my last post:

When did you know you wanted to be a tattoo artist?

Only about 5 years ago, actually. And it was more because of something that resulted as a question from someone to me along the lines of “Why aren’t you a tattooist?” rather than a “Hey, I want to be a tattooist when I grow up!” sort of thing.

Time for an Erik history lesson.

I used to do a lot of art-related stuffs when I was younger, but it was more a creative hobby than something I thought anyone could ever make money to live. I would build extremely detailed plastic models; oil painting; pen and ink drawing; modeling and firing clay; random collages made from all sorts of stuffs; photography; and all sorts of other bizarre stuff that one might attribute to “art”.

My parents my art talents, but only as a hobby and not something I should do as a career. So when it came time for college, I put my art stuff aside. I ended up with a BA in Social Science and was going to teach History to high school students. After I graduated, I realized I no longer wanted to be in school. I eventually ended up in the computer field.

I left the computer field the first time to help the Husbear run the hair and tanning salon we had opened. When we could finally afford to hire employees, I went to school to become a massage therapist. After getting my license, I did that for about a year before I became completely bored with it. Mind numbing for me it was.

So I went back into the computer field. In that time, I had started getting more tattoo work done (after nearly 10 years since my first one!). People who knew me knew I was artistic. It took someone asking me why I wasn’t a tattooist before I got the notion to do it.

“Huh!”, I thought.

So I looked into what it would take in the great state of Arkansas to become a tattooist. The main route involved apprenticing under a tattooist at a shop, which required a whole lot of money to do. (Shops at that time were charging roughly $10,000 to apprentice, and all your tattoo income went to the shop. And no guarantee that you would be allowed to complete your apprenticeship!) So I went a different route: With the help of the [She Who Shall Not Be Named, At Her Request], I opened up a tattoo studio first. In exchange for her mastering me in the tattoo arts, I would give her free booth rent for a duration.

I earned my license in June 2006. I tattooed part-time in the evenings after my 45+ hours-a-week day job, and on the weekends. That got… old. So finally in June 2009, I left the security of my computer gig to tattoo full-time, and I haven’t looked back since.

I love it. I get to meet the full gamut of the population, AND they pay me to inflict pain on them! And I get to create art. Permanent art.

Me at work, which really isn’t “work”, tattooing Joseph.

Updated 2012.04.02

Until next time...

Worst Tattoo I’ve Ever Seen

Urspo asked what the worst tattoo I had ever seen was.

With websites like Ugliest Tattoos, LOLTATZ, and Hanzi Smatter showing all sorts of horrors, that is not a hard question to answer. Because of that, I will limit the scope of the question and say the worst one I’ve ever seen, in person.

Here it is:


When [She Who Shall Not Be Named, At Her Request] and I originally saw the picture, we were hoping that was permanent marker. And then his mother brought him into the studio. Definitely not marker. But definitely permanent.

I still have no idea what it is, or what it was supposed to be. Even after hearing the explanation.

All I do know is that this is what happens when an 17-year-old wants a tattoo and a friend “knows somebody who has a tattoo gun”.

And by the way people, it’s a “tattoo machine”; not a “tattoo gun”!

I received this from the mother of the… victim.

OMG, Erik – that is the funniest thing EVER! – absolutely no apology required! just to set the story straight, he is 18 and it was his “graduation gift” from a friend that “used to work at a tattoo place”. and the design the way he explains it is it is supposed to depict someone in fear, that has not slept for days because they are afraid of Freddy coming to get them. “it’s a slasher thing”. he was supposed to get it “fixed” a couple of weeks ago, but the guy never showed up??? i still tell him he is an idiot, and you may feel free to quote me!

Until next time...

Hole-y Me, Batman. Twice.

I got pierced last night. Twice.

They’re kind of hiding in my goatee.

It was a most unusual sensation to be sure. It didn’t hurt. It felt like someone was pulling a hair out slowly. Which possibly could have happened since we had to go through my goatee.

This is the first thing I’ve had pierced in at least 10 years. I no longer have any of those piercings. I was never a big fan of piercings. But I have been thinking about this particular piercing for at least 4 years. I always liked how the piercing looked on David Draiman (the lead singer of Distubed).

I don’t know how well I can pull of a similar look, but I do like the talons.

Until next time...