Discovering his love for placing permanent art on the body, Flea of SickSide Tattoo Studio in Horn Lake, MS., talks comic books, building furniture and why he works best under pressure.
Tell me about your SickSide Tattoo shop and the artists:
I’m one of the tattooers, and we also have four other tattoo artists here. We were recently voted the Best Tattoo Shop in our city. We have artists that specialize in Portrait tattoos, Realism, New School, Traditional, and even comic book styles. We are a very well-rounded shop and basically do a little of everything.
What are the most popular comic book theme tattoo requests?
Batman, Wolverine, Green Lantern and Superman. There’s not a huge request for Spider-Man.
How do you find new inspirations for your tattoo designs outside of work?
I actually like to build stuff. I’ve become really interested in building beds, dressers, benches, and other furniture.
What has being a tattoo artist taught you about yourself:
I work well under pressure. Often people look for the best for the price when they shop tattoos, so that pushed me to put more thought into things to make all my customers happy. I also have more energy.
Your greatest strength:
For me, it’s getting the job done even if I’m not fond of it. I’ll still give all of my work 100% and stay late until I’m done.
Have you ever tattooed something on someone that you later regretted? What was it?
Yes, I try to talk people out of ring tattoos, or boyfriend and girlfriend name tattoos. Also if I feel like I’m getting sick I really don’t want to tattoo people when I feel that way. It’s hard to concentrate and give it my all if I’m not feeling well. I think most customers can appreciate that honesty, but not always.
How would you best describe SickSide Tattoo Studios:
We’re really fun, one of the most super laid back tattoo shops I’ve ever seen. Other shops can be rude. Here you’re greeted by every artist, we play movies, tell horrible jokes, make people comfortable.
Describe a time you where you believe your talent truly helped someone?
I’ve had several; the one that I most recall involved the passing of a close friend who was like a brother to me. Afterwards, my buddy came in and we did a duck hunting tattoo in memorial of him. We got to sit, remember him, and we got some tears. It was really tough.
If you weren’t a tattoo artist you would be:
Homeless, dead or in a jail.
Be sure to visit SickSide Tattoo Studio to book an appointment or view artist portfolios.
Images courtesy Flea SickSide Tattoo
Published on May 10, 2014, by Jodie Michalak