Looking Back on 2015

I love New Years–I love looking back and reflecting, I love reading ‘best of’ lists, I love the NY times “The Lives They Lived”, and I love that there are so many good movies out. In terms of work, I like looking back at my work and seeing how I’ve grown and how my approach has changed over the course of the year.

This year I decided to really focus on trying to diversify my approach to my work–instead of always reaching for the same line weight and the same source material I made a conscious choice to try things outside my comfort zone or reference things that felt farther away from the traditional imagery I’ve immersed myself in for the past few years. I experimented with painting new subject matter with my friend and co-worker Ben Delano, developing ideas and trying to deconstruct how tattooers we admire do things differently.

While that might not seem like a huge leap or commitment, it felt frightening to make that choice–What if clients stopped coming in because they didn’t see what had originally drawn them to my work anymore? What if people think I don’t use bold line weights anymore? What if my work isn’t recognizable as mine? What if I get worse?! Every tattoo felt like a step farther from something else I’d built. In addition to that, I’ve found myself wary of taking too big of risks trying new things on clients who trust me. The positive experiences I’ve had talking through new approaches with my clients have totally reinforced how appreciative I am of my clients for trusting me and encouraging me to grow and take risks, with them in tow! As intimidating as this course has been, and continues to be, it has been so rewarding and has continued to push me to grow. Thank you so much to everyone who has encouraged me, every tattooer or artist I have learned from, every client, everyone who has contradicted me or challenged me. I am so grateful for this year and everything I have been given. Happy New Year everyone!

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