Hello, I'm Melissa Johnson... artist and tattooer.
I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Idaho in 1994, and moved to Florida. I learned to tattoo in 1997 at Old Town Tattoo in Kissimmee, Fl. Everyone in the shop taught me, so I got to glean little tricks and nuggets from each of them. I spent about 10 years with them and their sister shop, Studio 2 Tattoo. I have also worked with Exotica Body Art in Orlando, The Dungeon near UCF, spent a little time at Cliff's Tattoos on Long Island, and then opened my own shop in Idaho. Two years in, it was going well, but I missed the sun and warmth of Florida. I then moved back to work with friends at Copper Fox Tattoo in Kissimmee, Fl.
I enjoy tattooing bold color pieces, flowers and animals, black and gray, photo realistic imagery, Traditional Oriental tattoo styles, and anything else that creates an eye catching design.
Tattooing never ceases to amaze me. Whatever judgements or walls that exist between artist and client at the beginning must dissolve in order to team up and successfully reach our mutual end goal of a superior tattoo. There is a trust that starts during the consultation, and increases every minute down the path of creating the tattoo design, and culminates in a deep trust and surrender during the tattooing process. We often get into a flow state in conversation. Clients tell me the most amazing things in this space. Incredibly personal things, amazing ideas, unbelievable stories, and the connectedness between us is palpable. This is one of the many privileges of the industry.
My other favorite privilege, is the flow state of the tattoo process itself. Since there are no erasers in tattooing, it is a one shot, high stakes, no mistakes endeavor, which brings me right into the moment. It feels incredible to be surfing the body's surface with a needle and ink, being one with the shared intention and goal of the client, one with the process, and the whole room. These are the moments when you know the client is going to move, who is going bump the client before it happens, and when your client needs a break. It sounds kind of new agey to describe this state, but every tattooer loves tattooing for the flow state. It is its own reward.
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