So It’s been a little while since we’ve featured a collector. We have a few people waiting and some interviews ready to go, but summer has been both busy and amazing. We’ve had the privilege of tattooing a lot of interesting and amazing people.
The person we are featuring today is Rob. We decided to feature him because he waited until his 40’s for his first tattoo, and he went big! A lot of people don’t realize that tattoos can be pretty important to people for different reasons, and they can help illustrate your growth as a person; your hopes, your goals, reminders.
Rob is the father of one of my regulars. He’s smart, funny and he likes to get sh$#% done! He’s perfect example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. He’s one of the many people we tattoo who works in the “professional world” and keeps his tattoos pretty private. He could be your boss, your neighbor, your uptight uncle haha! He’s kind of a hardass, but in the best possible way. I really respect him and enjoy his company. It was a pleasure to work with him to create such a big first tattoo.
What’s your name/nicknames?
How old were you when you got your first tattoo? What was it, and why did you decide to get it?
Rob: 42. I’ve always liked tattoos – the art and the process are interesting to me and I was curious about the experience. I had been rolling ideas around for years but couldn’t settle on a design. A close friend recommended I read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn and it was while reading that book that the idea came to me.
Can you give us a rundown of your tattoo collection? What do you have and who did it?
Rob: On my right arm and shoulder a bodhi tree. On my chest a bodhi tree is shown reflected in water. Stina has done all of the work.
Do you ever encounter criticism because of your tattoos? If so, how do you react?
Rob: I haven’t received any serious criticism, but my 14 year-old son’s reaction was significant. When he first saw the tattoo he was taken back. I realized I had changed his father’s appearance and I had not considered the impact. After reflecting on it a bit I explained to him that I had taken something from the inside and put it on the outside. He got it.
What do you do when excited strangers feel your tattoos in public?
Rob: Yeah, Stina warned me about that! Being tattooed is a new experience for me and so is the attention for it. At first it was strange but now I think it’s great. Boundaries and pretenses slip away for people, letting you share something creative with someone and only for that moment.
What sort of jobs have you had and how have your co-workers felt about your tattoos?
Rob: I lead an engineering team today and I’ve worked in software development for most of my career. The reaction from my colleagues is mixed, though nothing really negative. I have had to put up with some teasing, all in fun. The most common comment is “You don’t seem like someone who would have a tattoo…”.
Why did you decide to get this tattoo, can you explain your thoughts on it?
Rob: A not-so-subtle reminder that I have chosen to take the red pill. Though a good friend pointed out that a post-it note on the bathroom mirror would have worked too!
How long did it take and how painful was it compared to other tattoos?
Rob: In total about 15 hours. This is my first tattoo so nothing to compare it too, though I will say the chest work around the sternum was pretty pinchy.
What are some of your other loves and hobbies?
Rob: I love being outdoors – hiking, skiing, etc. My son and I are hiking NH’s 4000 footers together – 30 of 48 down! Music is a big part of my life – both playing and listening.
What one word best describes your tattoo style?
Rob: For me it’s about the here and now, being present in the moment and seeing the world as it is. So I’ll go with Presence. What do you feel, right now?
What are some tattoo projects that you have planned for the future?
Rob: Nothing solid at this point. I’ll wait for the idea to present itself.
How do you go about choosing your pieces and designs?
Rob: It’s about capturing an idea and a place in time in my life, I’m happy to leave the art to the artist. Stina worked with me to develop the idea but it was not until I showed up for my first appointment that I saw the design.
Name some music that is in your playlist right now?
Rob: Colin Hay, Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Drake, Def Leppard, Screaming Trees, Puddle of Mudd
Any last thoughts or shout outs?
Rob: Stina, James, Steph – you guys are great, this has been a fantastic experience. Meg – Thanks for the push and I didn’t cry, not even once. 😀