Never forget where you come from, but always have a hope of where you are going!
My first shop was on 4th Ave in 1976. In 1979 I had the chance to work with Cliff Raven in Hollywood California. A desire to the desert was on my heart so I moved back to open my Grant Road location in 1982. It was the only shop in Tucson at that time. A small hole in the wall. The shop is still there under different ownership. I had the privilege to do the art work on Big John Stud for the movie ‘Marlboro Man meets Harley Davidson.’
A question was put to me. Did I know what I wanted to be when I was a child? I was an Eagle Scout serving at the Boy Scouts Pavilion at the World’s Fair in 1964-65. I had the privilege to see Michelangelo’s Pieta sculpture of Mary and Christ. I knew then I wanted to be artist. I enjoyed painting and wanted to be like Norman Rockwell painting pictures of America. I didn’t realize at that time that I would end up being an artist painting on Americans! My desire has been fulfilled; I have lived my life as an artist.
In the early eighties, my good friend J. D. Crowe founded Ancient Art Tattoo in Virginia Beach, Virginia and we formed a co-op of artists under the same name with the purpose of promoting safe tattooing. I started tattooing in 1971 and opened my first tattoo studio in Tucson, AZ in 1976. During the nineties J. D. Crowe and I toured America, hosting 14 tattoo conventions known as “the Tattoo Tour.” We became the “Memory Makers” of that decade, bringing artists from across the country to share in what we dubbed the ‘art of giving’.