Although, she wasn’t crazy about tattoos at first.
She’s a Mormon, so she didn’t like the idea of me being a tattoo artist at first. But I am the only child that is making a living from art and that’s really important to her.
Breaking into the business is never easy. Ryan’s first wife opened a door, talking to a shop owner who had an opening. He soon became an apprentice, but true to many artists’ experiences, it wasn’t sunshine and roses.
My mentors started pushing me backwards. They were hating on me. I think it was because I was better than them, because of my art background. But I learned a lot. I cleaned a lot. It was some ‘wax-on, wax-off’ stuff.
Today, Ryan is about to take on his first apprentice, his daughter. He plans to be a very different mentor than what he had coming up.
My goal is to get artists on the fast track. It doesn’t have to be all cleaning for months. I want them drawing soon so we can focus on technique. We will learn to clean. But I want to take on someone who can be better than me. This is what I plan to do with my daughter.
Although Ryan supports his daughter in this career, he’s also cautious about her getting into the scene.
If she tattoos in Vegas, she’ll have an endless supply of clients. This career can put her through school. But there is a downside. There are a lot of people who are shady. People party. I don’t want her exposed to that.
What she will get is the training and teaching from an artist who does portraits that you almost need to do a double take on, because of how real and alive they look. And with every piece, Ryan only gets better.