I was born and raised in Whittier, California. It was in this southern California city that I would learn to do piercings. After going to school for computers I found myself working at an internet café up the street from Monkeys To Go, an alternative clothing store that offered tattoos and piercings. I knew I didn’t want to work in computers and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I had always enjoyed all kinds of art especially body modification, so I decided to go into Monkeys To Go and ask the owner Chris who had done several piercings on me how I would get started in becoming a body piercer.
Chris and I had a long conversation about the industry and piercing and he decided to take me on as an apprentice. I worked at Monkeys To Go for about a year learning everything I could about piercings and the tattoo and piercing industry in general. I not only learned a great deal about piercing from Chris but also learned a lot about tattoos and became friends with Sean Smith an amazing tattoo artist who now works for American Electric tattoo in Hollywood, CA.
Monkeys to go closed down when the owner and my mentor Chris passed away in his sleep. Monkeys to go have since reopened as Just Deadly tattoo and body piercing and were featured on the Spike TV network series tattoo rescue. After Monkeys To GO closed I started working at Disneyland in the marketing research department. I thought this would give me a great opportunity to meet people and overcome my social anxiety. I enjoyed my time with Disney but knew California was not where I wanted to be.
I decided to move to Oregon one day and within two weeks found myself in Beaverton OR. I worked random various jobs to get by while I looked for a job doing the trade I love, body piercing. After about six months in Oregon I found a job working at a tattoo shop in Hillsboro Or. Shortly after I began working there Nik was hired and we became friends. After about a year of working together Nik decided to open up his own shop and asked me if I would follow him to his new destination. I agreed and here I am at Destination Ink working with a great friend and tattoo artist doing the job I love and have a passion for.