By Melissa Fusco
Welcome artists, collectors and spectators! I would like to first say 'thank you' to Tattoo Artist Magazine for inviting me to do a monthly contribution to their new TAM Blog. I am honored to be apart of this project and hope to help shed some new light on this dynamic industry from my perspective. I am writing to you in-flight from Denver, Colorado where I was visiting one of my resident studios, Godspeed Ink Tattoo located in Breckenridge, Colorado...
Breckenridge is a skiing/snowboarding resort located in the heart of the Rockies. This town is full of rich mining history since gold was discovered there in 1859. The Gold Rush brought in all sorts of transient people, digging to be rich by day -to drinking, gambling and brothel hopping by night. To me nowadays, not much has changed. Digging for gold in the form of snow, Breckenridge now in its 51st year of ski resort operation, and snowboarding is my primary reason for being in Colorado, as well as my fellow artists at Godspeed.
This winter of 2013 will be my 20th year on a snowboard and my 10th anniversary tattooing. I have worked in a few different studios in a few different states, and I have to say that I have never worked in a studio like Godspeed. I first visited there as a guest artist in February 2009 and moved the following June. Though I have deep roots in Colorado since I went to college outside of Crested Butte starting in 1995… My love for the Rockies goes further then anything else in my life and those that know me are used to seeing me come and go. The best thing in the world is to be able to share that love with others.
In my experience, I feel it is important to share more with each other then just your work space and hang out with your shop-mates outside of a work schedule. I have worked in studios where artists never hang out and a common bond is nonexistent. I have also worked at some studios that the only hang out time is a drink after work, which is better then nothing. However, getting outside and exploring nature, going to a show or museum, having meals together and loving life is so important for any relationship especially in a creative environment. In turn when a shop-mate is dealing with an unfortunate life experience it is easier for us to give a helping hand, companionship and understanding. Every artist at Godspeed snowboards, and it is one of the top priorities in our lives. The Shred and The Art! That is normally the order of our daily routine. Being that much closer to your shop-mates is such a unique feeling, inevitably spiraling into the shared creative atmosphere.
Every environment has its ups and downs, those are the dynamics with multiple humans consistently sharing space. The least amount of troubles, the better creative environment for everyone. Step aside and bring in awareness, down to the core level of why you are where you are. Ask yourself, how does your environment help fulfill your life, and does that reflect positively in your work? If a change is needed take the leap, if not, then take the initiative and ask your mates to share a meal, go to a museum exhibit, a live show, a hike, or whatever you think could help create a more positive, creative, open environment so that you can transcend as an artist. Respect needs to exist no matter what level it can be given and/or received. Being mindful is necessary.
Tattooing is greater then itself, as a tattooer we are actively participating in a craft greater then ourselves. As allies and spectators of tattooing, we are connected with the art, act and end result; that is greater then ourselves.
* Check your ego, don't allow it to expand ahead of your capabilities or contribution. We all have an ego, it is necessary, be sure to keep it parallel.
*Reach out to others, especially those near you in your creative environment.
*Build a foundation to grow from to keep your environment motivating, and free of negative energy.
*Watch out for emotional vampires, they tend to suck you of your energy. You can not alter their perspective and may need to keep them respectfully at a distance.
*Encourage a common bond.
I would like to conclude with mentioning the Paradise Tattoo Gathering that was held in Keystone, Colorado (just around the corner) it was so amazing to have so many creative, talented, friendly artists and spectators share in the experience and the energy that the mountains had to offer. Everyone was so stoked on the environment, and I am so happy that the Paradise Gathering will be returning to Keystone in 2013. Don't miss it! Bring your mates too! Lots of love and positive vibes!
Melissa Fusco can be found at http://missmelis.com/.