studio visits, Thoreau, alsea

i can’t imagine having the balls to let strangers into my work space where i paint.

and yet, every day that i tattoo, strangers suit directly in the muddle of my work space and stare around the room for hours at unfinished sketches, broken pencils, and the glass case of bones.


why am i so comfortable allowing people in to one and not the other?

part of it is the shop, everything is clean, scrubbed, mopped, dusted. my equipment us lined up neatly. everything is arranged with the health and safety of both my customer, and me, as the highest priority.

my painting and drawing space, though…
it’s clutter in every direction. i know where the tools i use constantly are at-right there, in front of me. but to anyone not sitting in my chair doing the work it’s got to be an awful sight.


cleaned up for the photo, of course

and then…tattoos are commissioned works. every tattoo i do has to be worn, permanently, by that person. their ideas and personality must shine through. they’re bringing their soul to the surface; any part of my soul that gets in the mix is just for the aesthetics, the visual impact. and yes,i throw myself into the work, but it’s not the same. it’s not the same.

my private work area is where I am. I’m the one surfacing, the one exposed. and i can’t let people into that without feeling invaded.


close friends, nomads, and certain other artists i can welcome, but i don’t understand how some artists allow collectors they haven’t met, or spectators,i guess, is a better word, into that space with them.

even thinking about it makes me a little claustrophobic.