My name is Spider and I am a custom tattoo artist that started in 1986 as a hobby extension of my custom painting and airbrushing artworks. I am self taught and had a small studio put together in a back bedroom of my house in the late 80’s.
I was lucky enough to bring a friend to a National Tattoo Competition in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where everyone in attendance voted on talent, rather than by a panel of judges or how much money you spent with the convention.
Unfortunately most competitions today are about money and not the artwork. When the votes were tallied, we had won and from that competition I had studio offers come in from Texas, Germany, and Illinois.
I decided on Illinois as it was closest but unfortunately I could only take four years of the studio that I chose. There they taught me all the bad things about tattooing as a business. I learned how NOT to treat your customers as they are the reason we can tattoo and not to use substandard materials on customers to save on the bottom line. The most horrific act I witnessed was the re-sharpening and re-using of the outline needles by the owner of that shop. With a great deal of help from my closest friends we were able to create Spider Tattooz in Oak Park IL. The studio has been very good to me for the last ten years and the tattoo competitions have taught me never to disrespect the business as it is a gift not handed out to many. It has also taught me not to become a “Rock Star” or allow my “Ego” to interfere with the quality in which you treat your customers and how it affects tattooing. I advertise as “Custom Tattooing without the Rock Star attitude”. Nothing will poison your mind and your business more than raising the price of your tattoo before it’s completed because “Ohhhh I’m on TV! Or in a magazine.” Please.. I charge by the hour and not by the tattoo pieces, I try to keep tattooing affordable for everyone. A 15-minute tattoo should not cost you $100.00. Nothing like a good fleecing.
That’s the part that I really hate in this business, actions by certain studios and artists that give the industry a black eye. That is not how this studio operates. We look forward to continuing a great tattooing service for all our customers and making some new friends.
I am both grateful and humble for my loyal customers that have allowed me to pursue my dreams and allow me this chance in my life, to become a Custom Tattoo artists without the attitude, for without you I would still be punching a time clock. For all of you, thank you. To my wife Gloria, without your love, devotion, and support, this would have never have been possible.
And for the Great Creator for all my talents I say to you, “Wopila”.