Our lives are surrounded by seasons. These seasons dictate everything we do from the time we are born until the day we die. Winter is at our door here in Mississippi and I am ready for the change. It has been a Very long year that was full of adventure and hard work. I cannot sit here and lie to you and say it was a pro table one (monetarily speaking) but I did welcome in to this world with my wonderful wife, Kristal Blue, an Awesome Baby Boy named Dakota! Can I get a Hearty Hell Yeah!?!?! Well one thing is for sure, with all the ups and downs, next year has to be the one that turns MY economic ship around, and I am NOT playing... here are some of the things I did this past year and what I am planning to do in the one coming up...
ART MAYBE KING BUT IT SURE DON’T WANT TO PAY BILLS
Everyone bitches about the economy, including me. I HATE politics but I vote just the same. Maybe my single voice may tip the tide for us working men and women, maybe it is all bullshyte. All I know is that my Cherokee Grandfather fought in WW2 and I am gonna honor him alongside every other person INCLUDING African Americans and women not to mention my own Native American people, who were the last to have the right to vote. It just makes sense. We do many other “senseless things” with an attitude of duty that means nothing almost every day so why not take time to try to make a difference? To me, it is like taking my favorite hand and sticking it in the air and giving the powers that be the bird! As a tattoo artist, the Free Trade Agreement that Tricky Bill put into play pretty much killed the Tattoo industry after China ooded the market with $15 tattoo machines. I can pretty much say that I hate that guy. I am a conservative person, but I also believe in letting people live as they want as long as they are not harming other people. You want to marry an inanimate object such as a Rollercoaster... fine by me... if you want to marry your cat... well it’s time to send you to the looney bin.
Anyway, the eld I have dedicated my life to, which is Tattooing, has gone down in demand for quality and only for quantity. I used to be the ONLY Tattooer in my area for 10 years or more, now there are rip off street artists in every neighborhood. The coveted Tattoo License that used to hang proudly in my shop is now no big deal as The Health Dept will not go after these Illegal offenders, but if I am late on a renewal, they will fine me $250 when the actual fee is only $150... totally outrageous huh??? In the end, it reminds me of Obama telling all of us “Back bone of America Small Business Owners” that “You did not build that!” that gave the sense of entitlement to anyone who wanted to take the short cut to easy ,money. Screw all the shyte I went through the past 25 years INCLUDING my seven year apprenticeship and sleeping in my car. To Obama it meant nothing. ANYONE can do what I do and they don’t have to work for it. To me, that spells socialism, screw that. I believe in all the hard work I have done.
That’s right... I DID the hard work.
HEY MAAAN IT’S THE MICHAEL LICHTER SHOW
I get in conversations several times a year with Micheal Lichter, we talk about many things and I always enjoy it immensely. Michael has a very good eye in more than just photography. His soul is very intuitive. I think he only reacts to that thing in him that is curious and translates it with a camera for the world to see. The quest for the story behind the pictures, that he takes are deep. You seem to see Michael everywhere. He is able to tell a whole story through a single picture. That is what is amazing about him and his work. This year, I was a part of his show in Sturgis. It was the first time I ever was in a gallery showing of any kind. I totally dug it but it was WAY more work than I Imagined.
Thanks to Kristal Blue as she got me ready for the show. Kristal seems to know how to do just about anything. She has been in this type of business her whole life. Thanks to her quick wit and knowledge, we were able to get everything framed and ready for the log trek north. The show was awesome and overwhelming at the same time, read my full report in Iron Horse in the next Issue for my whole Sturgis Experience.
TATTOOS AND MORE TATTOOS LETS GET BACK TO TATTOOS
I have been in business as TNT TATTOO for many years, in fact, I opened it the exact weekend that Hurricane Katrina hit. Boy that storm was a greedy bitch. Well TNT was a great business and I trained a lot of artists as well as tattooed thousands of people. I can’t complain too much as it has been an overall good experience. This summer, I started a new shop in Sturgis, South Dakota called Rock n Roll Tattoo. It is located at The Full Throttle/Pappy Hoel Campground. I liked it so much that I decided that this kinda shop is where my heart truly is. On the way home, the wheels in my head began to turn... why don’t I do this back home too? Combine Rock n Roll, Tattoos, and Choppers in the same building. It seems that I could not continue tattooing in one building and building bikes in another so it was now time for a change...
ROCK N ROLL IS HERE TO STAY
Well, I have down sized a lot at TNT the past few months, baby sitting grownups is one the most hated “waste of time” situations out there so I got rid of my ”help.” My new place will be just my apprentice and myself at first. Of course I will have the usual stop ins that lend a hand and my immediate family but I am done with having a full stable of artists and piercers... if and when I do add others, it will be under SERIOUS close scrutiny. By combining the elements of what I do under one building, I won’t need all the extra “help” that has held me back more than it has helped me move forward. I can tattoo up front and build bikes in the back. I also have a show room up front and plenty of space to peddle art and merchandise.
This is very exciting to me. So OUT with the old and in with the NEW! Sometimes moving on is not a sad thing at all, I am very proud of my accomplishments and I am remembering my mistakes as well to not repeat them. By combining these elements I love, rock n roll, art and tattoos plus MOTORCYCLES, I know I will win... I hope you will come see me when it is all done and open...
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