Where were you born and where are you from?
I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida.
How did you get introduced to the tattoo culture?
I didn’t get introduced into tattooing until I was in college and started getting somewhat heavily tattooed. This is when I got introduced to custom tattooing as well. I had never realized you didn’t have to pick something out, that the tattooers could actually draw (I think a lot of people still have these ideas).
When did you get started?
I started tattooing around September 2007 under Travis Franklin at Oddity Tattoo in Sarasota, Florida which is where I still can be found.
Do you remember the first tattoo that you did?
The first tattoo I ever did was a skull and top hat on my buddy Wayne, who worked at City Pizza with me where I slung pizza dough to help pay bills. It took me about 3 hours to do and was about a half dollar size.
How would you describe your style of tattooing?
I would describe my style of tattooing as cartoony in a general sense. Some people say new school, but it’s mostly character based and colorful. I like doing other styles of tattooing as well, like black and grey and some evil stuff , but I usually get asked to do cute or cuddly things which I have a lot of fun doing.
What were you doing before you got into the tattoo business, and what made you change?
Before I got into tattooing, I was making pizza for about 5 years. I liked that job, but it’s kind of repetitive and you are only making money for the pizza shop owner. Not doing anything exciting. I always wanted to tattoo, so it was just buying time for me.
What influences your artwork?
My biggest influences as far as other artists are Travis Franklin, Greg Simkins as the main ones. There are far too many artists I can name that I look up to or am influenced by, but I would leave someone off and feel bad, so those two are the main ones who deserve the credit. I have a 9 month old son and 2 English bulldogs, so their day to day lives influence me. I love cartoons and ninja turtles and animation movies and all that fun stuff. Humor also plays a large role in influencing me.
What would you say is the best part about tattooing?
There are so many great things about tattooing. Meeting new people and being my own boss. I can do art for a living and not live with my parents.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get their first tattoo?
If someone was looking to get a first tattoo, my advice would be to ask a lot of questions, look at portfolios. Talk to different people. Believe what your eyes and instincts are telling you. Don’t just go to a shop because it’s around the corner or your buddy got a tattoo there that looks okay. Don’t call and price shop over the phone, It’s so hard to give an accurate price over the phone. If you make a decision based off one phone quote being $20 cheaper, that’s dumb!
What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going?
The things that keep me going are my son and wife. Besides that just being a man and going out and making a living is what I was taught to do. I was taught to have a work ethic and not sit around so making myself and my parents and family proud also plays a large roll even if I didn’t have my own family.
What is one thing that life has taught you?
Not really sure what life has taught me. I’ve always been a pretty happy relaxed person. I just usually roll with the punches and try not to get too worked up over the small stuff. That will work its way out eventually. If you’re good to people they’ll be good to you, and if they’re not, they don’t deserve to be around you.
Where do you see the tattoo culture 10 years from now?
I’m not sure where I see the tattoo culture 10 years from now. 10 years ago I was just trying to get my foot in the door and there wasn’t a lot of information. Now the info is everywhere. There is a larger gap between people doing good tattoos and people who shouldn’t be tattooing. There’s a lot more tattoo artists and a lot more people tattooing, I expect both of those numbers to rise. There will probably be more cliques in the tattoo industry, where people will group themselves by style and these people might look down on other groups based on their own style; either way there will always be a different opinion from people in the industry 20 plus years from now and from those people who are just getting started.
Anything else you would like to add?
You can check me out at Oddity Tattoo in Sarasota, Florida.
Also I’m on instagram @scottolive and post a lot of in progress stuff there that I don’t put other places.