The ink on Mike

                                    Mike from Virginia

Where did you grow up?
Virginia Beach.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
It was pretty good; beach life is where it’s at. Surfing and the culture has definitely influenced me.

When did you start getting tattoos?
My 18th birthday, right shoulder.

How would you describe your style?
I’m obsessed with RVCA and EXPRESS, haha, slim fit jeans, some authentic vans, beanie, v necks, some dope sunglasses and I’m set.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Absolutely, when’s the last time you drew something and everytime the pen touched the paper it hurt like shit. Haha.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
It’s a pretty grey area. You got those people out there who like it for the art and the body modification to express themselves and what they are about. I love that aspect about tattoos. And you got those dudes too, who get the tribal bands, and some Japanese character that is simply a letter or sound, but all of a sudden it means “strength” or “courage”. Seriously? Give it a break.

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
My grandmother was Japanese and the culture in Japan and everything that existed with it amazed me. My grandfather was a sailor, so I dedicated a lot of canvas to that. I recently had a little boy, so you can bet the rest of the space I got is his haha.

What’s your favorite piece?
Probably gotta say my right sleeve.

Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
All day, everyday.

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
Eh, when I get something new, or like the last one I got on my sternum put me in a pretty shitty mood haha.

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
The right sleeve and chest piece for my grandma, she raised me, and she passed a couple years back, reminds me of how beautiful she and the way of life she lead was.

What’s your next tattoo?
I wanna get my chest piece connected to my stomach.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
If you wanna get a sweet wire bro band, think about it. If you want some gnarly 1998 tribal piece, do some ancestry searching. Make it count. It should be something that you know has a meaning and will continue to have one for a very long time.

What is one thing that life has taught you?
My grandfather and my son.

Will you be getting anymore?
Got an appointment Saturday haha

Do you have a favorite quote?
Relax, be happy, and show ya teeth!

Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for the chance to feature my art.

Also check out my boy’s shop hit me up!