By Dawn Cooke
I have been traveling on and off since the beginning of my career. I haven’t always been able to travel as much as some of my peers because I have other obligations that make travel less accessible to me. But whenever I can I try to visit places and often I go where I have friends. True friends in life and in tattooing are hard to come by but as I have learned once you find them they make life so much more enjoyable.
There are several reasons that I travel. I go for work, I go for pleasure, I go to network with others in tattooing and I go for inspiration. Nothing pays off more than being inspired by your peers. That’s why instagram is such a big hit! But instead of being glued to your phone get out there and meet all those great artists Face to face!
I recently went to Eagle River Alaska to visit my good friend Deb Yarian. It is a really beautiful place. Mountains, Fresh air, I really got the feeling that people there try to look out for one another. So different from here in metro Detroit where I am from. I have tried to bring a little of that brotherly love back here to Detroit with me. Being there just really made me look at the world a little differently. People there are somewhat isolated and it seems like it makes they so much kinder to one another.
Then Deb and I flew to Juneau and visited Dave Lang at his shop High Tide Tattoo. Juneau is an amazing place! There’s something really invigorating about standing just feet from a glacier. The wind blowing off the ice is chilling. Deb and I got really cool tattoos done by Dave too.
Alaska was breathtaking! I did some fun tattoos and then I traveled to Santa Rosa California and worked at my friends Justin Shaw’s shop called Faith tattoo. He has so much cool artwork and stuff in his shop. His shop family and family were all so great I really felt like family while I was there. I got to see the red woods too! I couldn’t believe how big these trees were. I can’t even describe it. You just have to go and get in a tree and start planning out the floor plan of your new home inside it to see what I’m talking about.
Then I stayed with some good friends in San Francisco and drove down to Analog Tattoo to work in Jan Jose. That shop has a totally different feel. It’s really swanky though and everyone there is so talented. I got to reconnect with some old friends and meet some new ones. It was so great to spend time with everyone.
Then I worked at the Bay Area Tattoo Convention put on by State of Grace Tattoo. This year was pretty busy. It was like real life instagram! Imagine that. I got a tattoo and ran a half marathon on Friday too. I was fortunate enough to do fun pieces on all my travels. Big huge thank you to everyone who got tattooed and hosted me!
My travels were really inspiring to me and I have so much to share! Stay tuned for more blogs coming soon! I’ll be sharing the work of all the great artists I met in my travels!