There is a sickness with social media, where people want to post the worst possible things and try and relate it to themselves. It turns into this giant pit of sadness and in my opinion isn’t what this platform is about. Instead, I’d like to share something positive about people I know and how great they have been to me and others around them.
In October when the shop blew up, it was and still is the absolute craziest thing to have ever happened to me. The sense of dread and terror that took hold that day didn’t feel like it was ever going to let go. Then Jeff Croci started a go fund me for myself and my coworkers. I saw all the positive comments and words of encouragement from everyone and it left me speechless.
A week after the explosion, I was still without a lot of equipment. Tools I had been collecting and using for twelve years were gone. I am not superstitious nor do I believe in a higher power, but there is tattoo mojo. My machines had some fucking mojo. They had been with me all over the world and tuned perfectly for me and everyday I would think, “I can lose everything except these, and be okay.” Then reality hit and I lost everything. I bought a machine a couple of days after the explosion just so I could say I owned something related to my job title, tattooer. However, it takes time to build mojo and make a machine feel like it’s yours.
I got a message from my friend Adam Craven that he had machines for me. I met him over at Atlas Tattoo and he gave me two machines, one of which was a machine I used to own that he got off the guy I sold it to. He completely rebuilt it and gave it back to me. I was floored. Then the real magic happened and he gave me one of his personal machines. A machine he’s been using for a year. A machine that he’d been tweaking and tuning and bestowing some great mojo onto. He told me all the little details of the machine, that it’s a hand cut side plate of his very own prototype and that the spring stock is 40 years old. By far the best and most meaningful good luck charm on this Cadillac of machines was a rear binding post. It had come off of Ross Ferrie’s Color King. A machine that had a good twenty plus years of use. It’s mangled from the clip cord, and it looks amazing. Ross Ferrie is very much a tattoo father figure to me and to own a machine that has a piece of one of his machines on it, built by another great peer of mine, Adam, is pretty much the greatest thing in the world. That machine is dripping with mojo and you can feel it.
Tattooing is a great thing. If it weren’t for tattooing I wouldn’t be where I am and that wouldn’t be very great. Happy New Year!