Steve: How early did your art life begin? I’m talking little kid years.
Sam: I was always surrounded by art growing up. My father used to always do art at the house whether it was for his own self-satisfaction, creating something for a friend, or helping us have the best looking school projects. My father had been an artist since he was a kid all the way up to his heart attack in 2013. After that he said he just does not have it in him to start anything again. He has no fire or any type of want to. He enjoys watching his kids and his grandchildren create now.
Steve: Overall, what were your pre-teen and teen years like?
Sam: My upbringing was pretty normal. I came from a family of 7 siblings and my parents were always in the picture together all the way up to me being 15. I was never really into art as much as it may seem with being a tattooer of 10+ years. I was deep into music, drums, deejaying and cars all the way up to my twenties. I didn’t really get to hang out with my brothers too much as we got older (they just got along better on a different level), so I confided a lot in being around my mother and “good” friends. I don’t talk to any of those friends anymore.
Steve: What made you want to be a tattoo artist?
Sam: I never really wanted to be a tattooer honestly. At least up until I did my first tattoo.
I was being tattooed by a good friend whom I had been going to for a while. At the time when I was 22, I was getting tattooed by him and I guess I had bugged him enough to let me try it just for shits, honestly. So he finally gave in and let me do this crappy looking heart on my leg with my grandmother’s name through it. After that, it was over. By the next week, I had gotten some tattoo equipment and tattooed anything that would let me and myself when no one would. I eventually got an apprenticeship and learned what I feel to be the right way for me and the rest was history. Quit my day job about 6 months into my apprenticeship and never looked back. I had a great teacher that taught me everything I would need to know and I still thank him for that every day. Since I started tattooing my love for art has grown more and more. And learning will never end.
Steve: What style or styles of tattooing are you known for?
Sam: I was always taught to be able to do any type of work that comes your way. I became a very well rounded tattooer over time, but with that I have definitely developed a style of tattooing I am most happy with. My portfolio consists mostly of High Contrast Black & Grey Realism.
Steve: What do you hope to accomplish in your career?
Sam: I hope to show people that what we have is a great gift that can be gone in a blink of an eye. To be grateful for what we have and do for other people. I want to leave people wanting to be better.
Steve: How do you hope to inspire others?
Sam: Leading by example is the best way to inspire others. If you want people to grow, show them how. If you want people to learn, take them to class. But take the class with them. Be the best you that you can be and always be an honest you. People will appreciate that more than you just showing and telling them what you think they want to hear or see.