I started my tattoo journey about 8 years ago in a pretty crappy tattoo shop with an even worse fish tank. At the time I was working in an aquarium store so I offered my expertise in exchange for the opportunity to sit and learn and eventually start my apprenticeship. I scrubbed a LOT of algae and watched a lot of what to do and what not to do in a tattoo shop. Two shops later and a stroke of misfortune of the previous owner, my partner and I stumbled into becoming the owners of my studio; Bombshell Tattoo Galerie. I had no idea what I was doing, I was so inexperienced and it was a nightmare. 4 years later I had fumbled my way into being a half decent tattooer. I was heavily booked, and had a few awards under my belt. I thought I was good. I was working on my permanent residency in Canada and received some painfully incorrect advice from an immigration consultant, which resulted in me being required to leave my new home and my new studio. That forceful encouragement resulted in me gaining the opportunity to work with some of the best tattooers in the world, and also learning I was not as good as my small city in Alberta had led me to believe. It made me try harder.
Being kicked out of Canada, my home, comfort zone and own studio for 2 years, is ultimately, what helped me to become the artist I am today.
If I have any advice for young tattooers, it would be to explore, travel and grow.
I am still learning.