Holy freakin moly, what a year its been. We opened up Art and Sol Tattoo Gallery in October 2019. With stars in our eyes, and hope in our hearts that this was going to be something special. Well… who could have predicted one of the craziest events in modern history.. you know the whole Covid 19 thing. Well, despite the obstacles, we have pushed on and leaned into the wind as it were. While it hasnt been easy for anyone of us, it sure will be memorable.
My personal philosophy was that this was the best thing for small businesses. It created an opportunity to grow and innovate in new ways. The playing field has been leveled and while others wait for a return to normal, Im playing offense and pushing harder than ever before.
Our shop is growing with new energy from our shop helpers (soon to be tattoo apprentices) and new clients!
We are working on making everything we do the best it can be…. which reminds me of a quote… How you do anything is how you do everything. And we are setting the bar higher for ourselves in everything.
October will be 1 year of many. That isnt even a question. But our first year is a testament to our resolve.
Im working on figuring out how we can celebrate the shops birthday together and really make it special. Which, given the circumstances, it will undoubtably be.
If you would like to participate shoot the shop an email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to be featured in our birthday video, send us a happy birthday video to email@example.com
It was incredible. To be able to share that space with other Walt enthusiasts was pure Disney Magic. We also checked out Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge which left me vibrating after my smugglers run adventure. The whole area is a must see.
We followed it up with a 7 day Mexican Riviera Carnival Cruise. Its both relaxing and quite demanding. Im still trying to recover from a small cold I had on the honeymoon, while my wife feels like shes still on the boat….
Once I get more pictures from both of our phones Ill post a bit more.
But alas, the rest of this post is a reminder that today is the last day to vote for Best Tattoo Artist in the Tucson Weekly’s Best of Tucson. Im lucky to have been nominated to the top 5 for 2 years in a row but c’mon, winning would be so cool hahaha.
You can cast your votes by clicking here or you can click the button below.
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.
This past weekend the family and I went down to one of Tucsons best traditions. The 4th Avenue Street Fair. I have been going to this event on and off for the last decade or so and it never dissapoints. Well maybe because I never have any real agenda other than to see the community come hang out in the streets for a few days. Beers in hand, roasted corn in the air and all the classic pop up carnival food tents in the background. And at center stage you have vendors and vendors and vendors galore. All hoping to share their unique little gifts on to the world. From homemade to repurposed and even some thoughtfully manufactured items can be found. Local artists in varying mediums from paints to yarn to sealife… Its so cool to look at.
I found myself enjoying a pineapple cocktail for most of the day. and Yes, it was an actual pineapple that I continued to refill with only adult libations. And with that pineapple I discovered a really cool fact. If you want to make friends, carry around a pineapple with a straw and some garnish. Everybody wants to know the guy with a pineapple drink. If only for the moment they need to ask him where he got it… Instant ice breaker. People seem to lower their guard when talking to a man holding a pineapple drink. Im going to continue this experiment and carry a pineapple around wherever I go. Just to see if my hypothesis holds true.
So considering all the cool stuff I got to see and the people I got to watch. This year was just as good as any other year. We also brought home some new friends. 4 new red little shrimp that contain themselves in their own ecosystem. SO meditative to watch these little creatures swim and eat and eat and swim. They are a welcome addition to our home and we all love towatch them just be.
And Oh yes lets not forget the title of this little bloggy thing. Im moving… DUN DUN DUUUUUN. haha . Not to worry, Im just experiencing a little domestic relocation. The stresses that go along with a move are quite unique and tiresome and to be honest, I wish I was a minimalist everytime. But we will overcome.
So no need to worry I was just sharing some life happenings.
Its hard to do but its such a healthy neceesity to shed the past from your present. Going through ol boxes, being reminded of some great memories. And other items you come across may have now meaning at all. So why the hell do I have this…. Donate. Moving gives us an opportuninty to purge our collections that we seem to cherish until its time to relocate them.
That actually might be my new mantra when buying something. Do I want to pack this up and move this? Instead of this is so cool I need this so bad…
Well thatll do for now. What do you think of community street fairs and moving? Leave a comment
and if you are interested in any of my tattoo work fear not I will still be working at Fast Lane Tattoo on Oracele Rd in Tucson.
Heres a pic of me tattooing an original sailor jerry acetate stencil of a rose.