Owner of award-winning ABT Tattoo in McDonough, Georgia, Todo Brennan is a world-renowned tattoo artist with over thirty years of experience.
Although the shops Todo tried landing apprenticeships with back in the 1980s pretty much kicked him out the door, that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream as a professional tattoo artist.
He’s dedicated. He’s professional. He’s talented.
Here’s how one man followed his dreams and paved a road to success with his own two hands.
When did you discover your artistic inclinations?
At just five years old I would sit beside my Grandma, shading my coloring books with crayons. That’s where it all began.
You have an impressive list of rock star clients. Care to name drop?
Slash from Guns n Roses, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, members of Gwen Stefani’s No Doubt band, as well as Stone Temple Pilots, just to name a few.
I’ve also created custom artwork for Ozzy Osbourne and Poison’s Brett Michaels.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a professional tattoo artist?
I think it’s the discovery of new styles. Every day I tattoo, I learn something new. I never get bored and that’s probably the best thing about it. Tattooing teaches me how to do other art as well, such as painting; and then painting teaches tattooing. Everything feeds the other, artistically.
Did you serve a traditional tattoo artist apprenticeship?
Back in the 1970s when I first started tattooing it was all underground. The shops I tried to obtain an apprenticeship with back in the 1980’s looked at me like I was crazy and pretty much kicked me out the door. I had no choice but to learn on my own.
What’s your biggest challenge as a tattoo artist?
I’d say staying ahead and competing with all these young artists today that are popping out of the woodwork, schooling me. I look at them and wonder “Holy!” How the hell did you learn so quickly?
I’m always trying to stay on top and push the envelope. I thank God I have that I have a lot of great artists in the younger generation that can give me some tips here and there and we’ll discuss new techniques.
In turn I can teach them old school tattoo basics.