Namaste. I am Jesse.
In this exciting chapter of my experience I am working for a friend of mine (Mike Wilchenski) at Anchors Aweigh Tattoo Co situated in Garner, NC.
Anchors Aweigh Tattoo Co is located about 10 min southeast of Raleigh, North Carolina in the bustling little city of Garner.
Professionally I’ve been tattooing for 3 years now. I’ve been tattooing as a hobby for almost 13 years, but the most growth in skill I’ve experienced has been in the professional environment of course!
I love the art and process of tattooing and enjoy learning new styles and techniques. I prefer and receive the most gratification from my black/grey realism work. I also have a superior talent for script.
My mom has always been very supportive in my journey tattooing, it’s just an independent lifestyle I have always been a part of and very connected to (whether I realized it or not) from the start. The people, the interactions, the freedom, and the creative drive to manifest great things has attracted my focus since I was a young punk. I guess my biggest influence currently is the satisfaction that I get when I think about the people in the past that said “You won’t make it“ … it’s very satisfying to me, so I just sit and smile while I consistently improve my work and client experiences.
How did you become a tattoo artist?
After a 12 year stint in the US Navy, I had to decide what I wanted to do now that the military was out of the centerfold of my life. On the one hand, I was a computer networking technician for so long in the Navy, so do I continue in the computer science field or, on the other hand, follow my dreams. One choice was safe, the other was risky. I realized after 6 months of being a civilian contractor for the DoD, that I hated my $85K/year desk job, I was lost/depressed and absolutely despised my existence at that point. I wasn’t doing anything currently that felt meaningful. After some soul searching, I decided to follow my intuition and invest 100% into my visualization of being a proper tattoo artist. Since then The Universe has abundantly supported decision and my journey has been practically effortless. My days now have been some of the best days I’ve ever lived!
I am a Buddhist. I like and resonate with positively charged people and experiences. I enjoy spending a lot of my free time in deep introspection and thought. I also enjoy reading and love to write music.
The only things that I dislike I am currently detaching any connection to. I don’t enjoy the suffering of others, so if I can transmute circumstances to help others I will.
Any parting words?
I am truly grateful for my daughter Zoey, she is almost 12 and is the light of my existence. She is the only reason I am still alive today. Thank you Zoey. Also a big thank you to all my clients past, present and future for allowing me to impart my creativity in your tattoos and conversations!
Michael Phillips (A.K.A. Piercer Mike)
7944 Camp Bowie West.
Fort Worth, Tx. 76116
I really try to free-hand anything I perform as much as possible. I do have a few piercings I still use clamps on, though. I also really love performing ear projects, corsets, and anything else that gives me a challenge. Anything custom! I love bending and customizing jewelry. I try to come up with things people have never seen before, and make their friends and family want one.
My mentor is probably my biggest influence. His name is Daniel Mills. He has pushed me to be the best I can since the beginning of my career. He gave me a chance after he had only been piercing a little over a year himself. He doesn’t pierce anymore; he is in the film industry, doing very well at it too, I must say. He does still follow my work and tells me how proud of me he is any chance he gets. I have him to thank for everything.
Elayne Angel has always been a huge influence as well. I have read every article of hers in “Pain Magazine” since the first time I picked up an issue. I have also read “The Piercing Bible” from front to back many times, and I cannot wait to read the new addition. Everything I have ever read that she wrote has helped me increase my knowledge of body piercing.
Cody Fuller (owner of Bonehead Tattoo) is also a huge influnce and has renewed my inspiration for this business/industry. He has pushed me since the day I started at Bonehead almost 5 years ago. His exact words in the beginning were, “I want to be the premier place for piercings,” and I have strived to give him and myself just that. He has taught me to be humble and at the time not to take shit from anyone. I think that is important in this business. He owns the oldest tattoo shop in Fort Worth, Texas. He opened Bonehead in 1993, and is still going strong. That is truly saying something.
How did you become a body piercer?
I have hung around tattoo shops since I was 14, but I got my first tattoo when I was 13. I have always been obssessed with body art, and I have always wanted to work in a shop because of this. I’ve wanted to either pierce or tattoo, but didnt know which one until I actually started hanging with the artists of that shop, and body piercing just called to me. I knew I definitely didn’t want to tattoo, because I would be so mad if someone made me redraw something over and over again. So, after hanging out at New Breed Tattoo in West Lafayette, Indiana, for a while, I finally asked Daniel over for drinks one day. He was down to teach me, but had to talk to all the guys first. About a week later, they all showed up at my house and gave me the best news that would change my life forever. I started my apprenticeship about a month or so after. A bunch of the guys had left New Breed and started Operation Ink in Downtown Lafayette, Indiana, and it was at Operation Ink that it all started for me professionally.
Well obviously, the thing I like/love the most is body piercing. I have surrounded my life with it, and it is constantly on my brain. Even when I’m not at work, I’m promoting piercing through various social media and/or talking about it. I am also an avid music nut and horror film junkie. I just can’t get enough of it! Without music and horror, I don’t think I would be who I am today; needless to say they are both a huge part of my daily life. Black metal and the horror classics!
My biggest dislikes are people who pierce or tattoo out of their house, instead of a shop, without any proper industry-standard or sanitary/cross-contamination training. I think it is the ultimate disrespect to the people the take the time to do this the right way (often years of their lives!) and make a proper profession out of i, versus ordering a shitty kit off of the internet and scarring up their friends and family, causing the professionals headaches from trying to clean up their messes and mistakes. Just don’t do it; you’re gonna have a bad time.
Any parting words?
Be passionate! This is, in my opinion, the key to success. Without it, you are wasting your time.
Name? Elizabeth Vann @pokesbyliz
Shop? Fallen Saints Tattoo Studio @fallensaintstattoo
Location? Jacksonville NC
Years tattooing? (Piercing) 3 years
Preferred style? (Favorite piercings to do): Ear Projects! The more unique the anatomy the better!!
Biggest Influences? In life my biggest influences are my clients, my husband and my children! Professionally speaking, my biggest influences are Jef Saunders, Shawn O’Hare and Elayne Angel.
How did you become a tattoo artist? (Piercer)
I worked the front desk and one day the piercer at the studio asked me if I wanted to become his apprentice so he could retire!
Likes? Being outside, being a mom, being a wife, animals, art, poking holes, making money, traveling and enjoying food!!
Dislikes? Rude people, chores, and politics!
Any parting words? Thank you so much for your time, check out my page and let me know what you think! @pokesbyliz
Hello fellow body modification people,
Its already June, half way thru the year. Continue the great work and will keep posting it.
Contact Jenn if you have any questions or need a friend.
9901 Acoma Road SE
Albuquerque, NM 87123
Use our contact form to reach our sales, accounting, and design teams.