So I decided to post this today because it’s Sean’s birthday. Pop over to his instagram and leave him a Happy birthday, or like a couple of his photos.
I met Sean a few years ago, I think the first word I would use to describe Sean is probably unique, followed by a little eccentric. He collects fancy stuff, is interested in a wide range of things, loves sports, and likes to be true to himself. He doesn’t try to be the person who stands out in a crowd, he just does. When you first talk to him, you see that he has a good sense of humor, a loud personality, and a strong sense of loyalty and love for his family and friends. His ability to laugh and joke at everything, even himself, always brightens my day.
Happy Birthday, Sean!
What’s your name/nicknames?
Sean: “No Jerks Seany” , Big Red or Swalrus
How old were you when you got your first tattoo? What was it, and why did you decide to get it?
Sean: I got my first tattoo when I was 18 after graduating high school and staring as a freshman at college. Well it originally started out as a mythical tree with a face of a wise old man on the trunk of the tree that was reading a book. I then decided to memorialize my dog of 14 years who had just passed away lying at the foot of the tree. I quickly realized that there was more to the story that needed to be said and it turned into a leg half sleeve. I wanted to capture my roots and tell my life story so far.
Can you give us a rundown of your tattoo collection? What do you have and who did it?
Sean: To date, I have two half-leg sleeves and a full chest plate. All of my tattoo work has been done by the incredibly talented Christina Sardinha Wulfe at Grim North Tattoos. It all encompasses a whimsical fantasy world that honors my imagination. They represent a kingdom that symbolically has personal meaning to me.
Do you ever encounter criticism because of your tattoos? If so, how do you react?
Sean: I was initially very surprised that many people seemed put off by the extent of how many tattoos’ I have. At first I thought it was because I was so heavily tattooed at a young age. I have come to realize that people’s reactions to my tattoos determined their ability to think outside the box. A creative, insightful, and evolved individual will always respond with delight and curiosity, often asking what is the story behind the tattoos.
You have a lot of bright and loud tattoos that seem to attract a lot of attention, what do you do when excited strangers feel your tattoos in public?
Sean: During the summer when I wear shorts it is impossible for people to not notice my extremely bright and colorful tattoos. The tattoos seem to command strangers to acknowledge their existence by making a comment out loud or by staring.
I know that you have a little pressure from family members because not all of them love tattoos. How does that affect you and your actions?
Sean: My mother encouraged me to not be impulsive and to think long and hard about what I wanted permanently on my body for the rest of my life. This was great advice because had I not taken the time to think this through the tattoos would not have any long lasting meaning. My family has been supportive and delighted in the story that unfolds. Each of them immediately knows which part of the tattoos represents both them and why it has so much meaning. For the single-family member that has a problem with tattoos in general I tend to cover them and avoid conflict. Getting tattoos is an expression of one’s identity and one needs to be confident and self-assured to withstand any kind of pressure. I have found that those who don’t approve of tattoos have some sort of cultural bias that is impossible to tamper with. It represents their identity and not mine.
You have a twin. What everyone wants to know is, can your twin can feel your pain while you’re getting tattooed?
Sean: Oddly as a child my twin brother new if I fell outside and he was inside. To this day he can sense if something is wrong even if he is hours away. My twin brother who has no tattoos does not feel my pain during the tattoo but is aware of when I am getting inked and claims he can’t stop thinking about me during those hours.
What’s one of your most meaningful tattoos and why did you decide to get this tattoo, can you explain your thoughts on it?
Sean: The tree on my right half sleeve represents my father who passed away when I was 13. He was a writer so that is why he is reading a book. As a child I struggled with dyslexia and learning to read was a great challenge for me. Today I am an avid reader and have overcome my disability which adds to the meaning of the tattoo.
How painful was it compared to other tattoos?
Sean: My sternum where the clock is located was by far the most painful of all my tattoos that I have received. All tattoos hurt, one’s desire to get one overshadows the immediate discomfort.
What are some of your other loves and hobbies?
Sean: I am a movie buff, love playing sports, and I am almost as passionate about the gym as I am about my tattoos.
What one word best describes your tattoo style?
What are some tattoo projects that you have planned for the future?
Sean: I have no current designs or ideas yet. My tattoos seem to come alive by themselves, and once I am set on a certain idea it doesn’t take long for the tattoos to manifest themselves in my mind’s eye.
How do you go about choosing your pieces and designs?
Sean: They all come from personal experiences.
Name some music that is in your playlist right now?
Sean: I like a lot of different music but I am a big fan of rap and hip hop in general. To name a few CD’s in my car currently: Nas- Life is Good, Drake- Nothing Was The Same, Rick Ross- Rich Forever Mixtape, and The Avett Brothers- I and Love and You.
You like art a lot. What are a couple paintings/illustrations that you are really into right now? Who are they by?
Sean: I am a very big fan of Cory Godbey and Justin Gerard.
Any last thoughts or shout outs?
Sean: I have to give a lot of props to my amazing tattoo artist, and now friend Christina Sardinha Wulfe who brought my inner self to the surface through the form of tattoos.