What it’s like to be a tattoo artist

By Christina Spadavecchia
November 26, 2012

It all started in Brooklyn, N.Y., when the popular thing to have was a tattoo. This meant that you were part of the cool people around town. Many of the kids in town looked up to those people.

Vinny who lived in Brooklyn looked up to his older brother who was eight years older than he was. “I was intrigued by his tattoo of a girl that he had on his forearm.”

When Vinny was 17 years old he snuck out of the house to get his first tattoo. He got it from this motorcycle guy that was from the area who was known for doing great tattoos. Right after that Vinny started to get hooked. His first tattoo leads to second one and then another.

Ever since Vinny was little he was always into drawing. Every second he had free time he would sit down and draw in his sketchbook. “I started drawing and hanging at the tattoo place.” He was an understudy in the place, which means he would sit there and watch the tattoo artist. This was one of Vinny’s favorite things to do when he was a kid.

When Vinny turned 20 years old he started tattooing people at the shop right by his house. “My tattoos were not perfect in the beginning.” As time went by Vinny began to get better.

After seven years went by Vinny decided to own his own tattoo shop in New Jersey. It is open six days a week, only closed on Sunday. Vinny starts his day at noon or one o’clock in the afternoon. He had other artists who work at his shop. They all take appointments, sometimes they will take walk ins.

Right when Vinny gets into work he goes right to the schedule to see who he will be tattooing that day and then he checks on his guys. “I will work till I don’t have any more customers and then I will wake up the next day and do the same thing.”

Some tattoos will take 30 minutes and then others will take days to complete. Vinny will take about a five- or 10-minute break every hour in a half or even two hours while he is tattooing because your hand gets tired from the ink gun vibrating.

“But that’s it. I do it all over again. I love my job and I love my art work.”

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Christina Spadavecchia

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