Assuming all goes as planned (and what ever does!?) it looks like Ill be taking over as the owner of Eye Candy tattoos in January, the shop name will change but the location wont.
Brian will be moving to tattoo with our good friends at Unique Ink in Greensburg to help fill up their awesome new larger space that is opening soon and ill be taking over the old Eye Candy space and renaming it Black Cat tattoos. Brian and I are still as tight as friends as we ever were and will always be. The shuffling around is simply a way for both of us to change shit up after 9 years of the same system and to get some fresh views on our respective worlds. I still have and always will have so much gratitude for not just giving me a place to work, but Brian was the first guy I met who was as nerdy about tattooing as I was. Before we worked together he would pick me up at the old shop i worked at and we would compare photos of tattoos we had done and egg each other on to get better and better. He was, truly, my first tattoo peer who i felt like was on the same page as me, liked the same artists i did, had the same desire for getting better, and had the same vision for a place to work that was free of all the dumb shit that most shops force their artists to work with. Its been an amazing and fun decade tattooing with him, ill miss seeing him on a daily basis a lot.
The thought of owning a shop has flitted through my mind before, and if Brian wasn’t such a great guy to work for and with i might have done this much sooner. As it is, most of the changes will be cosmetic and once I get settled in and we get the finances squared away ill still be on the lookout to move the shop to a slightly less ghetto locale, still, Norf Oakland has been very good to me, I dont hate it or anything, but eventually id like to be in a more arty fart part of town since I’m a wanna be artyfart myself.
I dont like to assume, but it certainly seemed like all involved thought I would take the news much worse than i did. Brian actually thanked me for not freaking out when he told me Eye Candy was going to close, but I haven’t been meditating for the last 5 years for nothing. If you consider yourself any kind of Buddhist at all then accepting that everything is constantly changing is very nearly the first thing you must do. Besides, this is the best for both of us, Brian already seems happier and more relaxed and once the initial shock wore off i got into all the little things i plan to do to put my own stamp on Black Cat tattoos.
Stay tuned, more info as things fall into place.