Since opening St. Augustine, Florida, Voodoo Tattoo Studio in December 2012, owner and artist Chewie, has tried to keep an open-mind to everything in the body art world while continually pushing the envelope.
Although Chewie has been tattooing over 15 years, his skill travels back to when he was just two years old, drawing and sketching and shaping pictures with his early talent.
Today Chewie prefers custom work, and he’ll sketch, redraw, modify, and change any tattoo design to fit a customer’s personality after he’s spent adequate time talking and getting to know them.
Highs and Lows and Go Go Go! (Apprenticeships)
Unlike many professional tattoo artists of long days passed, Chewie did not serve a traditional apprenticeship.
Even still, Chewie has managed to survive the highs and lows of the industry and the economy in his St. Augustine, Florida Voodoo Tattoo Studio. I asked Chewie his thoughts on how the industry has evolved over the past 15 years.
“There are a lot of good artists out there that haven’t gone through the hardship of running errands, and being ridiculed or pushed. It’s helped the industry because it’s shown people it’s not just tattooing, it’s an art form. But at the same time, a lot of artists haven’t had the old school ways of learning, where they are sent out here and there to do odds and ends just to prove they really want to do it. In the end it’s a respect issue. Much more of those old school artists have it.”
Chewie’s Greatest Reward
“Seeing the people’s reaction when I give them more than what they expected to see.”
Changing the Future
“I wish everybody out there will one day accept tattoos as an art. Whether you are tattooing or a doctor, they’re just an expression of who you are.”
“Marty Martin from Ink Rush in Georgia. Marty introduced me to the professional word of tattooing. There are so many others artists since then. Paul Booth, Bob Terrell, Guy Aitchison and Nikko Hurtado, to name a few.”
Future Goals for Voodoo Tattoo Studio
I hope for our shop and artists to grow so that we can each expand into our own style.
Kristin the Tattoo Artist
Working side by side with Chewie, professional tattoo artist, Kristin, specializes in Realism and Art Nouveau tattoos.
“I’ve been drawing ever since I was little. I was finishing up a college class for my degree and was with my friend in a tattoo shop, drawing and doing homework. The artist saw my work and asked if I ever thought of tattooing. I quit my high-paying job a year later and asked him to teach me. I love that smile on faces when people envision their tattoo. Whether it’s a Realism or portrait tattoo, they watch it come to life and I get to be part of their lives in that way.”
Quote Me on That
“We want to have fun with our art, enjoy what we do, and make a living. Wherever I get to put ink, I’m glad to do it.”- Chewie
Images courtesy Voodoo Tattoo Studio
To review, obtain contact information, or check out artist portfolios at St.Augustine, Florida Voodoo Tattoo Studio, visit their Member Profile