Looking back, what was the best thing about jumping right into opening up the shop? What was your biggest hesitation(s)?
The freedom. I could use my time wisely instead of sitting in an empty street shop for 12 hours with nothing going on. It wasn’t the best place to work at the time since a lot was going on with my boss so anything was better than there at the time. Hesitations were damn can I do this on my own. I never wanted to be my own boss. Things just work out for the best if you put your best out there I guess
Where have you traveled? What artists have you worked with and met?
I traveled to Los Angeles and hung out and got tattooed by Baby Ray at Spotlight Tattoo on melrose a few times also earlier this year by Bob Roberts owner of Spotlight tattoo. His son Charlie Roberts is super cool and does great tattoos. Everyone there has been very cool. I look forward to tattooing there on future travels. I also have a lot of work done by Yutaro Sakai at Skull and Sword in San Francisco. Yutaro is so rad and talented. Traveling to Japan to meet Horiyoshi III and getting tattooed by his son was a huge and one of the most important events of my tattoo career. Japan and the culture is awesome. I hope to go back sometime soon to have Horiyoshi III tattoo me. Traveling to Thailand in search of a monk to get tattooed by was another journey. Although I didn’t get to find the monk I still got the monks prayer tattooed in Thailand.
Talk about the tattoo artist-customer relationship and why you value the TRUST customers have in you?
Trust of the customer makes for good tattooing. I’m honest with them about good and bad ideas. I gotta live with my name on that tattoo so I feel more pressure to give the correct tattoo that the customer will love and last forever.
If you had to guesstimate. How many tattoos have you done?
I hate math that’s why I’m an artist, sorry I don’t even have a guess.
Most awesomist things you have in the shop?
My studio is full if interesting things collected from travels, friends or E-bay I have a growing collection of animal skulls some that I had personally cleaned myself. I love that I have a little saltwater fish tank in there too.
Talk about a few bumps in the road you have experienced and how you became a better person because of it.
Getting into trouble with the law and pissing your family off never feels good but since all that lead to where I am today and that I will be doing it forever and living off the art I couldn’t be happier
What makes the art community in Hawaii so special and unique to you?
There are so many talented people out there and everyday I see more coming up. I get to meet so many nice and amazing people who share the passion of the art and love of the islands
Shouts, plugs, praises, plugs.
Always thanks to my family and friends for everything, my customers who trust me with their skin and wear my art. Mahalo to you sir for keeping the good word out there. Please check out my art @markotattoos #todayeverydaystudio