Paying close attention to the technique used by the artists who’d tattoo him, he was absorbing proper knowledge and practice before he ever picked up a machine. After working construction for his father for five years, DeVries stumbled into an apprenticeship with Jim Hyak, after his cousin denied it. The rest was history.
Oddly enough, DeVries’s path was closely intertwined with fellow MD Tattoo Studio artist, Daniel Chashoudian, from an early age. DeVries and Chashoudian grew up on the same street, both worked construction for DeVries’s father, carpooled to school, and spent their free time drawing. Chashoudian jumped on the opportunity to apprentice under Jim Hyak as well, and now the two work side by side at one of the most prestigious tattoo studios in California.
Mike DeVries is more than just a tattoo artist, he has his hand in many business ventures and is highly active in the community, often giving back through charity work. He owns Memento Publishing; a company that releases high quality, illustrative books (Eight Arms of Inspiration, Cranial Visions, The Coloring Book Project, Tattoo Prodigies and much more) that showcase the artistic abilities of talented artists worldwide.
His main venture outside of tattooing is being half owner of StencilStuff. After Mario Rosenau of Art Junkies in Hesperia, CA, developed a safe and effective recipe to hold a stencil in place. Constantly expanding, StencilStuff offers Prep Stuff and Spray Stuff, both of which aim to make the tattoo artist’s work that much more precise in all styles and techniques.
A renaissance man of sorts, it’s hard to imagine that DeVries has much time for anything else. Despite his work ethic and tenacious, entrepreneurial attitude, he still finds the balance between business, pleasure, and family, as hard as it may be.