Classically trained in the art of enjoying life.
A nomadic character in the pursuit of somewhere nice.
“Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.” -M.C. Escher
As time moves forward the more it becomes apparent that everyone’s character is built from a collage of experiences throughout life. Though I have become good at playing normal for short periods of time, most of those who know me well see the discrepancies and would say I’m from some other planet. The metaphor is accurate being that my physical location throughout childhood was one of isolation. Starting globally you could find me in the farthest corners of the northwest western United States. Overlooking the ocean, hidden behind the North Cascade Mountains, a near 50 miles to the Canadian boarder, there is a little town called Bellingham where I grew up along Chuckanut mountain. The only way I have been able to accurately describe this place is to compare it to a fairy tale. The majority of my childhood was spent playing with animals and adventuring the thick mossy forests where anyones imagination could run wild.
Admiration for the arts was encouraged as a child. Having a mother who had made it successfully as an painter and a father who had spend the majority of his life playing music as a jazz drummer, they knew the importance of self expression. Emersion therefore came easily as I was surrounded in the idea to be yourself and do what you want, and I did just that. Most of my time was spent in sketch books, even in class when I should have been paying attention. This carelessness would have made life more difficult if I had not made the escape to Idyllwild Arts Academy at 16. Admission to the Visual Arts program changed the trajectory of my life by allowing me to expand my skills beyond what I knew I was capable of. The rest of the school was a collection of dancers, theater majors, writers, musicians, and film makers from all over the world. This exposer solidified my obsession with the arts and I found drive to move forward in this direction.
Looking for the perfect place to continue my education I found a college in Vancouver Canada called Emily Carr University. The story I chant is not much different then any other person who has attended art school in that I jumped through a series of hoops along with many other students who received the same watered down information before realizing its paralyzing effects on the artistic mind. After graduating the wise words of a bouncer who congratulated me by saying “now for the two years of unlearning ahead!” will never be forgotten. Even so, there is no regret in this experience. The sculpting of my character grew from the people I met and the city that housed us. I refined myself further from the exposure to Vancouver’s underground bass-music scene and the people who run it. For five years I succumbed to the rawness of the endless epiphanies that enveloped our tribal like community filled with artists of every kind. Though the day came that my Canadian visas expired and I was forced to leave.
If I could sum up this part of my life then I would recite the theme of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland- A tale about a girl from a well to do family who finds herself in a magical place and meets a bunch of wacky charters which ultimately leads to her self discovery.
For the next several years I blindly wandered back and forth looking for my calling. Sometimes stuck within the dream that is wonderland with moments of clarity in which the path ahead was visible. I tried many positions within the artistic world with mediums such as videography, graphic design, and painting. It was all good for a specific time and place, but each chapter ended. Deep down the personal gratification was lacking in that I had failed to meet my one job requirement I had recited to myself as a kid. That whatever my job was it would have to allow me to travel. I had thought that moving to Berlin would ease this desire, but within my pursuit to get there things derailed.
I hit bottom. Yet in some miracle of the universe in a coincidental dominos like procession I found tattooing. My apprenticeship is from a master with over 20 years experience and has allowed me into his private studio. There are moments in people’s lives when you realize you are exactly where you are supposed to be, this is tattooing for me. Once I had started it was like alarm bells ringing “you have arrived!” but knowing that it will be a never ending struggle to do better. Somewhere in our societies philosophy we as humans have been lied to in thinking that one day you reach the top and everyone lives happily ever after. I see life as a sine wave, the higher the highs the lower the lows, in that every day you have to work a little bit harder and the rewards will be all the greater. These have been some of my most challenging years, but it is totally worth it.
Now, I spend my time juggling tattooing with painting and whatever else I deem important. The ultimate goal is to one day travel and work, tattooing in shops or having exhibits around the world. Though no matter where I am, mastering my artistic skills and evolving my sense of self is at the forefront of my every action.
More to come…