Tattoo Artist Mentality

I’ve always been fascinated by the tattoo artist. I imagine her understanding of craft must be different than most other artists. Not necessarily better, just different.
Her craft seems to be at odds with how we generally perceive work. Deeply personal yet oddly distant. Moments after the work is completed, it walks out the door.
This forces a rather odd paradox she must live in. One maybe we can learn from. Her craft lives in this creative tension between caring deeply yet holding loosely.
The permanence and temporariness of her craft must force her to embrace the hard-but-beautiful truth that the art is ultimately not about her. While most of us are in the process of learning this as we master our respective crafts, the tattoo artist must realize this at an accelerated rate than the rest.
Despite our craft and calling being so personal, so visceral, and so linked to our sense of identity, it would be good to learn quickly and often this truth that it is not about us.

At the least it is about the other. At best it is about inviting people into a larger story and into our joy.

Care deeply. Hold loosely. Making something beautiful.


[Photo cred: Alfredo Mendez, remixed]