Sting!, an American-made ’59 Scorpio, has been tattooing professionally since 1981. Although he is basically self-taught, he credits conventions, endless seminars and tips from numerous colleagues for “being where he is today”.
After running his Bremerhaven, Germany shop for over twenty years, he moved back to Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun in December of 2005. His nice little, hard-earned collection of trophies, plaques, awards and certificates now decorate a private art studio and he works by appointment only in various settings. The Chandler studio is empty and he can be found doing guest spots and conventions. NO house calls, duh.
Sting! was made a life-time member of the Tattoo Club of Japan in 1982, has been an active member of the National Tattoo Association since 1984, joined the Alliance of Professional Tattooists in 1996 and was inducted into “Who is Who in Germany” in 2000.
In 1977, a junior in High School, he took Third Place in Mechanical Drawing at Chadron State College and was editor of the school newspaper his senior year. He graduated as Valedictorian in 1978 and after giving Uncle Sam three years of his valuable time, he opted to study broadcasting while working in the computer section of the Arizona Department of Education. After that he opened a tattoo studio in Lincoln, Nebraska while working for various local radio stations. Then it was off to Germany, where he had been stationed during his Military Intelligence career with the U.S. Army.
Even though he had a Top Secret Clearance as a soldier, he's always been committed to helping and sharing his enthusiasm with any and all dedicated members of the tattoo community. In the late 80’s Sting! spent several years as German Representative for the European Tattoo Artists Association. In the mid-90’s he helped found the Deutsche Organisierte Taetowierer (German Organization of Tattooists) and served on the Board of Directors for two years.
He speaks fluent German, Pig-Latin and some English although his mother language is... American! He can graciously embarrass himself in Korean but is now at a total loss in regards to Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. And, still no speaky Españolski.
Although Sting! didn't grow up in the city, he's a night owl and lover of the Metro Phoenix music scene. Yup, 'e dun grew up in the sticks. He does know what sloppin' hogs, bailing hay, gathering eggs, milking cows (not as easy as it looks), castrating bulls, de-horning steers, de-tasseling corn and all that early-morning crap is about. Watch for electric fences and don't walk behind a horse unless you know what you're doing. He never rode with a saddle until about a decade into the new Millennium!?! There's a certain peace of mind about sitting on the porch and seeing NO ONE within miles that he'll admit to missing.
He's been 'around the world a bit and rode (patch) with Gremium; Germany's largest Motorcycle Club. He also played in a German band with a nice following and regular gigs. He continues to play in several styles and genre and is now focusing his energy on repair and customization of guitars by starting "Stinger Guitar Works". Bikers and musicians will always have as big a place in his heart as cowboys and hippies. He has been spotted without his trusty old black Stetson, "Herbie"...blastin' past on an iron horse...