Tag Archives: tattoo

Stranger 82/100 – Jay

100 Strangers - JayStranger 82/100 – Jay

I ran into our next stranger as he was on his way to open a bank account for his new tattoo business.

Meet Jay.

Tell me about Tattooing. When did you get into that? “I was around 19 when I got into it. My brother was the one that really was the first one to tattoo in our family. So, he got me into it.”

Where do you want to be in ten years? “Honestly, an empire. Yeah, an empire of tattoo shops, some property and definitely having a shop in Europe. I heard the Netherlands are really nice. I’ve been to Sicily. But I do want to check out the Netherlands. I’ll be going there hopefully this September. I’ll at least be able to go out there for a week and check it out and, you know, meet some people.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Save up every dollar. I’d start with that. When I started tattooing, I realized that I could have definitely had a shot when I was about 22.”

If you had saved up? “Yeah.”

What did you spend it all on? “Hell, I was young. {laughs} I was young, man. What did I not spend it on?”

What made you realize that you needed to save money? “I did end up in a few situations where I was actually incarcerated. I was in jail for a little while… nothing serious… just six months. After that I was like… I just need to focus on my art.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “That’s kind of a tough one because I mean it’s like, right now, I feel like the path has cleared up a lot. So, I guess staying focused… because there’s always things that are just popping up and trying to take you off your task. Yeah, just staying focused that’s basically number one.”

Technical Notes: It was a clear, sunny day, so I positioned Jay in a shaded area facing the bright street. I used a reflector to light up his face.

Stranger 67/100 – Remedy

100 Strangers - Remedy“Hope, peace and happiness… that’s what I feel. That’s all the lesson we need right now.”

Meet Remedy.

Remedy, his real name, was born and raised in Charlotte and is a supervisor working at the airport.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Pursue your dreams and be steadfast in them… that’s what I’d tell myself.”

What brought that to you attention? “Seeing everybody else moving forward in life. I’m trying to do the same thing.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Myself, work and myself again. It’s up to you to move forward in life. I’m doing alright. I’m drawing more, dancing more… trying to do more of my passion.”

What do you draw? “I’m an upcoming tattoo artist. Yeah, I’m working on that most importantly. But, I’m trying to put my artwork online and have people look at it more.”

So, how does a tattoo artist get started? Do you have to mess up a bunch of people’s bodies before you get good at it? “Nope. Don’t touch nobody until you’re confident… until you know in your heart that you’re ready.”

Is there a way to practice on non-humans? “You can practice on yourself, pig skin, stuff like that.”

Pig skin… are you serious? Does it act just like human skin? “Just like regular skin, yeah… or fruit, mangos, stuff like that.”

What are your goals? “Have my own tattoo parlor and my own dance studio… things of that nature. Fashion…”

Fashion… tell me about that. “I’m very into fashion. I make my own clothes sometimes.”

How would your friends describe you? “Some say quiet, some say bubbly, outgoing, stuff like that. It varies. {laughs}”

Do you maybe act differently around different people? “Yeah, it’s dependent on the connection between the person… how I open up.”

As we were saying goodbye, Remedy said, “It’s pretty cool coming out and viewing the world and letting people see it from your eyes.”

Thank you Remedy for being part of my 100 Strangers Project.

Technical Notes: We were next to a large building with a bright beam of sunlight shining down on Remedy’s face. I used a reflector to even out his face. The holiday lights on the trees behind him added to the ambience.