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Featured Artist

Andrew Perkins Artist Spotlight Interview

Andrew Perkins is a local tattoo artist and oil painter at Monster Art Tattoo shop on Cherokee street.  He recently talked with Really Big Coloring Books about being an artist and tattoo artist and how both have shaped his career.

Photo: Andrew Perkins

Q: When did you start your career as a tattoo artist?

A:  I have been licensed for 3-1/2 years.  The journey in whole has been about 5-1/2 years now.


Q:  Did you apprentice?

A:  Kinda, sorta. When I first started I would go around to the (tattoo) shops asking about apprenticeships and wasn’t getting much of a helping hand. A long story short, I was up at the (tattoo) supply shop one day and was talking to the lady working there, and coincidentally a guy walked in who was looking to start his own shop. So we connected and worked together.  I pretty much bought my apprenticeship more or less, got licensed and taught myself the ropes.

"It is a really beautiful thing to go into your “job” everyday and have people pay you to do something that you would be doing regardless. I guess the freedom of having a job that I actually want to do."                     

--Andrew Perkins

Photo: Andrew Perkins

Q:  What did your family and friends think about you getting into the tattoo business?

A:  I have literally had my grandmother tell me that I need to find something better to do with my time, but I have also had my mother who was ecstatic that I had finally found some purpose in my life. So yes, I have had a little bit of both you know. Tattooing is one of those things that can be bit taboo depending on who you are talking with.


Q:  Because the only people that get tattoos are freaks, rebels, rock and rollers, and bikers right?

A:  Yeah, I assume that is how it goes.  [People think that] the second you get a tattoo, you want to go out and start getting into trouble and everything else right?


Q:  How many tattoos do you have?

A: I don’t know.  That is a good question. At least…thirty or so. I kind of lost count, so let’s say upwards of thirty.

Photo: Andrew Perkins

Q:  Do you have a favorite tattoo?

A:  Yes I do.  It’s a tattoo that my oldest daughter Kylie drew when she was six and a half years old.  I had her draw her own design of our family.  It’s all stick figures.  The coolest part of that story is that I took her into the shop early one morning, got her all set up, gave her the run down and had her tattoo it on me as well. Coincidently it probably is one of my worst tattoos as far as the quality goes, but it’s the one that I enjoy the most, and it definitely has the most meaning for me. 

  Who or what influences you?

A:  It’s not necessarily a who, more just a desire to create.  When you add things like trying to create things on human skin, it just complicates things and also makes it more satisfying when you really hit your mark. Probably just the desire to create. I really enjoy creating whatever it is in front of me.

Photo: Andrew Perkins

Q:  What do you normally do when you are not at the shop?

A:  Painting! Either painting or hanging out with the family, man. That is pretty much what I do. I am a family man and an artist, through and through.  That is who I am and what I have become.

Q:  Who is your favorite tattoo artist, or just an artist that you look up to?

A:  That would be very hard to narrow down, but if I had to pick one, I assume it would be Guy Aitchison. He is a tattooer but is also very well known in the fine art/ oil painting scene. He is kind of what I strive to be, a guy who can handle anything and everything that you can do artistically.

Photo: Andrew Perkins

Q:  What is your favorite part of being an artist?

A:  The freedom of it. It is a really beautiful thing to go into your “job” everyday and have people pay you to do something that you would be doing regardless. I guess the freedom of having a job that I actually want to do.  I think that is something that most people spend the majority of their lives trying to pursue. How to work and live life all at the same time. I think I have figured it out, or for me at least. I know for me.   I am loving my life. Living it and loving it!

Q:  Where do you see yourself in five to ten years? 
What are your ultimate long term dreams?

A: I don’t know. I first started out, all I wanted to do was make good looking tattoos, so it still is just that simple.  But long term I think my idea of retirement as a tattooer would be to open up my own tattoo shop. Keep the ball rolling for the next generation of guys, Yeah I don’t know.  I just hope that in 5 years that the progression is as strong as it is currently. If that is the case, then thoroughly do not know where I would be.  At that point the sky could truly be the limit.


Q:  If you could describe your artwork in one word, what would it be?

A: Imaginitive.