What a month. I just got married and Im a finalist in the Tucson Weekly’s Best of Tucson for Best Tattoo Artist for the 2nd year in a row. Im blown away. Its such an honor that my friends and customers think so highly of my work. As an artist its hard to see what others see, as Im always questing for improvement. Always wanting each piece to be better than the last. Not to say that my work isnt fantastic… Its just the plight of an artist. Never settling for “ok”. Staying up at night worrying about the small details that most never see.
Its truly an honor to be recognized in my community. I learned how to tattoo here back in 2006 and 07. And to be among such amazing artists in the top 5 is mind blowing for sure.
My goal then and now has been to make great tattoos that stand the test of time! True collaborations between artist and collector.
Its my first day back at the studio since I was married on Saturday. There is this crazy haze I’m walking around in… Nothing seems to bother me.
I walked into the tattoo studio this morning to discover there had been a little flooding from our first few monsoon storms of the season ( the first of which occurred during our ceremony) and the power is out on the entire back wall of my studio.
Ill have to rearrange so I can tattoo from a different outlet if we don’t get it fixed soon…. But thats it… Thats the worst case scenario. and its not that bad.
I feel like normally I would be in a state of panic.. Not the kind of panic that creates more problems, but the kind that distracts me from getting the right things done in the right order… Im married now. Which outlet I use to make tattoos is a very small issue. My wife has entrusted her heart to me…. That.. is a very big responsibility that I will handle with the highest urgency and regard.
I’ve heard of Pregnancy brain.. You know…. where you kind of get a little spacey… My wife has even exposed me to yoga brain after I’ve taken one of her classes at Yoga Oasis…. But this. This feels different. Or maybe its the same.. Im just content with all things good and bad. There is a peace that has washed over me…
Is this Honeymoon brain? Is this ” thank god the stress of the wedding planning is over” brain? Perhaps a little of column A and little of column B? Who cares? I sure dont.
Ive got a couple weeks til the honeymoon actually takes place. Which is nice. A little more time to relive the memories of one of the best weekends of my life.
Weve been pouring over the pictures all of our guests have taken. I could look at them all day long…. My wife and I were stunning ( she was 1000% out of my league then and now). The Hotel Congress was a main character in our wedding story as well, and she looked marvelous. Not bad for being 100 years old either!
The weekend was fantastic… From our favorite people flying in to celebrate with us. To our closest friends doing everything in their power to make us feel as if we were the center of the universe( Bobby Cyndi/Erika Jenn/Oli Jay). To my wifes tear jerking vows ( she was unamimously voted the winner of the vows haha). Our first dance… Dancing with my daughter to the Toy Story Theme Song that she picked for us. And the epic after party that so many of my clients and friends attended. It was pure Magic. ( it didnt hurt that we actually got married on Walt Disney and Lillian Bounds wedding anniversary either)
I thought for a second that I might be crazy enough to want to do it all over again (which I would in a heartbeat) but I think Ill be OK with a one and done.
Weve got some great things in store for the tattoo studio. Just had to get through this wedding business and the honeymoon and then itll be back to business.
Ill wrap up with some personal insights and a list of thank yous…
I wanted to mention what I personally took away from this… This was one of the very first times that I was able to focus on myself and my family exclusively.. Im sure you understand. In everything I do, I wonder what someone thinks about me… if they approve of what Im doing or if they are judging me. I think we can all be guilty of that from time to time… In fact, we had set expectations in our minds in regards to how the night would play out… how the family would get along, what would people wear ( semi formal was the code) and so on. I worried about that stuff… I really did.
It was all for nothing… At the end of it all. It was my wife and I floating around the room smiling and happy together.. The rest of the world didnt matter. Maybe I just needed to be married to her this whole time (11 years later).
I feel more unstoppable than ever before. and if things don’t go as planned. Im still married to my best friend. There is no downside in life anymore. We have our daughter and each other.
A huge shout out to our host, the lovely and aging so gracious Hotel Congress. It is truly my honor to be a part of your history. Specifically Melissa and her team in the Copper Hall. From day one with her we knew it was going to be her that made this day and weekend what it was. I only wish I had more events to host so I could visit with her weekly… Please do yourself a favor and consider her when looking to host any event. Thanks Melissa.
And of course for capturing all of the evenings festivities, a huge thank you to Sergio our Photographer. His skill are second to none. The most common issue we ran into while talking with other couples was their photos. We took our time and made sure to find the right person… and Sergio is hands down the best decision we made. Thanks
Jocelyn, Nate and Miriam at the front desk were incredible as well. We felt right at home for our stay. As did all of our guests. Im already planning on booking my next stay.
Matt at the Cup cafe was incredibly accommodating to my everchanging reservations for my family to join me for a post wedding brunch.
Keith and Mike in the Lobby bar were equally amazing. Making sure my cup never runneth dry haha.
All in all, the Hotel Congress and all the staff made sure our weekend and wedding day was exactly what it was supposed to be. This was the epitome of hospitality. I really can’t stress this enough. Im looking forward to enjoying this Tucson gem for years and years to come!
Have you ever stayed at Hotel Congress? What did you think? share your thoughts in the comments or this post with someone thinking about hosting there!
Its been a busy summer in the studio. Im always grateful for that. Add to the mix a wedding and a honeymoon in July and well… Im sure you can appreciate the workload.
This on top of owning a tattoo studio, being a present father, and husband to be.
But tomorrow is the 4th of July. one of my favorite holidays. A day off, yes. But also a day I get to spend with my girls and my friends all at the same time.
Ill also make sure to have The Patriot basically on repeat until I take my evening slumber, my body filled with domestic beers and meats cooked to perfection over an open flame. My eyes and ears still dancing to the sparkles that represent our freedom to drink those beers and cook those meats.
But also… The freedom to be me. To own a tattoo studio in Tucson… Hell, to be able to do tattoos for a living…
To have clean hot water at a moments notice. To have macaroni and cheese from a box, or a food truck.
Theres a ton of things Im guilty of taking for granted. But on the 4th of July, they are ever present.
So many times I hear folks talk about American Freedom, but sometimes they dont understand what we are free from. What oppression really means. How in some places I wouldnt be able to write these words, click a button and share my thoughts. Whether I could start a business. Or as simple as have hot running water on demand. Or as complicated as … welll.. as complicated as having the very real conversation that perhaps not everyone in our country shares the same freedoms.
Im gonna leave this right here on the internet. Just so my piece is said. I hope all americans have a safe and happy 4th of July. Free of oppression from any outside forces. May you embrace your family and be grateful to be living in this great nation and allow others to do the exact same thing.
Im off to the grill, there are meats that need tending, 12oz beverages that need a home and some friends that need some smiles.
The first round of voting for Best of Tucson is in and Im blown away. For the second year in a row Ive been nominated for Best Tattoo Artist in Tucson. Thanks to all who nominated me! Its a huge honor to be be in the top 5… Im happy to just make good tattoos for my amazing clientele, but a little recognition aint gonna kill me haha. So again a huge thank you to all that have gotten me this far and trust me year after year to make tattoos for you.
The time is upon us. The Tucson Weekly’s Best of Tucson 2019 voting has begun. Last year I was so very fortunate to have so many wonderful people put my name and my private studio in the ring for Best Tattoo Artist as well as Best Tattoo Shop in Tucson. It was such an honor to have the trust and votes from so many. My goal has always been to make tattoos that stand the test of time, are applied with clean crisp technique, in a clean and relaxingly comfortable studio…. So, as far as that goes, Ive been a winner for along time in that competition.
But… The competitor in me always wants a little more haha. So last year was only the first year my studio was open, and I was a finalist for Best Tattoo Artist and the studio was a finalist for Best Tattoo Shop. Amazing. But I think we can do a bit better this year.
This first round is for nominations. So please take a moment to go the the link and show some love for your favorite things in Tucson.
Best tattoo artist – David Meek Best Tattoo shop – David Meek Tattoos, Best Hot Dog- You Sly Dog, Best radio or morning show hosts – Cyndi and Chris, Best Hamburger- Molecular Munchies, Best brewery-Dilinger Brewing Co Best Yoga Studio- Yoga Oasis… these are just a few of my friends that deserve some recognition and a nomination!
Thanks for taking the time to support local tucson businesses!
I was eager to receive the call from Clint about being on the podcast. I love tattoo history and where it brought us. Im sure you have noticed there is a bit of nostalgia in most every episode with an overtone of distain for the modern process of instagram and hashtags…and this episode is no different. But this time we get to delve into a tattooer that was part of the history we so revere and yet have never heard of him. He quietly slipped into history having done his duty as a tattooer. He worked for the people, he plied his trade, he fed his family and he provided shelter. Far from where we are now with hashtag millionaires and iconic tattooers known for their hairdo more than their work. I submit this chat for you to enjoy not only Clints journey and dedication to our humble beginnings but also Mikes part in it.
Clint at Mikes final resting place
Lyle Tuttle and Clint Vaught
Please follow Clint and check out what hes done for us on Instagram and the his website
Hey everyone, it happened… The Tucson Weekly Best of Tucson finalists are officially in… And even more exciting, I have been nominated for Best Tattoo Artist (David Meek) as well as Best Tattoo Shop (David Meek Tattoos). This is an incredible honor and I have to thank all of the people that have allowed me to tattoo them. The only thing is… We Need to Win. So here is the link to head back to ballot and let Tucson KNOW who is the best. Im also happy to report some of my close friends have also made it in the finals Best Food Truck ( You Sly Dog) Best Brewery (Borderlands) Best Neighborhood Bar and Best Beer Selection ( Tucson Hop Shop) just to name a few.
Love this Tat Gun by Jeremy Miller of Pigment Tattoo in Austin Texas
Jeremy Miller may be the most educated tattooer there is. For this podcast, I get to talk to Jeremy about earning his PhD and how his education background is business has affected him as a tattoo artist. We chat about the balance between making art and making money. You many know Jeremy from the first season of Ink Master, and I got the opportunity to learn about the ups and downs of reality TV, especially how it has come into play with the tattoo industry in the past decade or so. Jeremy is a straight talker, telling me all about what he thinks the failings of the tattoo world will be in the years to come, and what we as artists and shop owners can do to fight that.
Be sure to follow jeremy and his shop on social media
The Tucson Weekly best of Tucson primary voting is underway til June 17th and there is no better time to let your favorite Tucson establishment know how you feel about them. Categories include best Food Truck (You Sly Dog) or best radio host (Cyndi from 92.9) to best art gallery (MOCA) or best yoga studio (yoga oasis). I love being able to participate and support my favorite things about Tucson. From Roccos little chicagos wings to renting movies at Casa Video or grabbing a beer at Borderlands Brewery it makes me feel good how awesome our local stuff is.
Awesome pic of Jack Rudy and Shanghai Kate tattooers with over 80 years combined exprerience
Rad Hula girl by Shanghai Kate of Austin Texas
Freehand Skull rose and eye by the black and grey master tattoo artist Mr. Jack Rudy of Good Time Charlies in Anaheim California
Bell Bottoms. Led Zeppelin. Shanghai Kate peeing standing up. The 70’s were an amazing time,
especially in the tattoo world. In what may be the funniest Tattooer’s Podcast to date, I shoot the
breeze with the awesome Shanghai Kate and a special guest, Jack Rudy about tattoo trends over
the last few decades, tattoo removal, and their intricate knowledge of how skin and ink react to
each other. From the days of Ed Hardy and Sailor Jerry, to the days of the tramp stamp, and
present-day trends, Kate and Jack take me through the history of tattooing and the influential
changes that they’ve helped implement in the industry, whether it’s single needle tattoos or
sterilization processes. Kate is all spirit and science, Jack is all antics and aliens. I hope you
enjoy this month’s episode as much as I did.