I am currently a tattoo artist in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I have been tattooing for 3 years now, but I am not only a tattoo artist. I am also a traditional artist, graphic designer, as well as a 3D and digital multimedia designer/artist. I have always surrounded myself with the world of art and started competing in the 2nd grade. Not to boast or sound egocentric, but in high school I was helping to teach the class, and also sometimes helping to teach the teacher. I feel that I was gifted and blessed with a natural talent and throughout my few years of adulthood I have pursued many different areas of work and study, but in the end I always seem to find myself right back in the industry of arts. Art has become my life, and tattooing was one of the few mediums that I had never even considered until a few years ago. To be honest, I did not have a formal apprenticeship, nor did I even adhere to any supervision from a professional. In late 2006 are started to research tattooing and the different styles and techniques. I watched videos, I read magazines and articles, and even researched different opinions on artwork and tattoos by professionals within the industry. In 2008 I ordered a cheap ebay tattoo kit and started practicing on artificial skin, grapefruits (which suck and I don't know why people recommend them), and pig ears bought from the local supermarket. Pig ears was by far the best, but I got an idea. I drove about 45 minutes away to a meat processing business that processes the dear, cows, goats, pigs, etc. from local hunters and some farmers who do not do it themselves, and asked if they have any leftover skins that they do not use and if I could have them or pay for them. I was extremely lucky! In my personal opinion fresh pig skin (from the inside of the legs/crotch area) is by far the best to practice on as it feels 100% like true human skin. Anyways, I practiced and tried many different techniques while following along with video tutorials and here I am now. I do not consider myself to be a self-proclaimed "great" tattoo artist, but yet I know that I am not going to end up in a "worst tattoo" forum anywhere. Although I am self-taught, I do not consider myself to be a "scratcher", as the industry calls it. I've been looked down upon by many "professional" tattoo artists that I have worked at who claim to have been tattooing 10+ years because I did not "put in" a formal apprenticeship, but yet, side-by-side my work is better than theirs. They all tell me that it's a "way of life" and it's not about being a "rock star", yet they all wanna be the "cool guy" when everybody's around and be the center of attention. Well, to me tattooing isn't a "lifestyle"...IT'S AN ART! In my personal opinion there are tattoo artists (true artists who do more than just trace lines and color them in, but individuals who can truly paint, draw, design, build, etc...all mediums of art.), and there are tattooists (people who can get you a nice image of what you like off of google or some other form of search engine, trace a pattern, run it through a thermal copier, apply the pattern, and then trace the shit out of it hoping to not miss a line and shade/color it to the best of their abilities according to what the image displays!). I am an artist, maybe not the best in the world, especially at tattooing... ...but look out, because here I come!!!