Nate Laird: Opportunities for Progress
Shop: Divine Moments Tattoo
Location: Portland, OR.
Specialty: Black work.
Years Tattooing: 12 years.
What led you to pursue a career as an artist?
I started doing visual arts in high school when I took an art class seriously for the first time. It was then I fell in love with art. I started tattooing right out of high school in Salem, Oregon. It’s a great job if you have a natural love of fine art.
How did you develop your unique style?
I learned over the years that I think mostly about black work tattoos and, more specifically, ornamental pieces. So, I have pushed my tattoos in this direction, but remain versatile and open to change.
I still find myself sifting through Sailor Jerry flash as well as other original flash artists for inspiration. As for locally, Chase Tofaya, Nick Pulzone, James Kern,and Bacon– to name a few. I’ve been visiting the Portland Art Museum frequently for painting inspiration.
Favorite aspect of tattooing?
The relationships I build and the stories I hear. Also, being able to do something for someone that is special to them.
Least favorite part?
Creating an awesome piece of art on someone and having to watch it walk away from me at the end of the day, not knowing if I’ll ever see it again.
Rotary or coil and why?
I spent the first 8 years of tattooing with a coil. I always recommend learning on a coil machine, but I love the rotary machines I use now, especially the cartridges that have been coming out lately.
What advice would Nate Laird of today give to Nate Laird of 12 years ago?
I’d tell myself to slow down, not only on tattoos but with life. To take every single day and piece of art as an opportunity for progress.