Showcase & Interview
Name: Brent Sauerhagen
Career Title: Tattoo Apprentice
Country: USA Colorado
Are you able to describe who you are and what you do?
I am a tattoo apprentice at an amazing tattoo shop in Colorado Springs Colorado called Ink Inertia Custom Tattoo and Fine Art Gallery. I’ve been there for over a year now and this new adventure I’ve started is the best thing I’ve ever done. I have a graphic design degree from Colorado State University but tattooing is where I am meant to be. I get to draw and use my illustration skills everyday and don’t have to use a computer if I don’t want to.[divider_top]
How would you describe your portfolio?
My older work is pretty broad, ranging from abstart paintings to cartoons. Now it’s illustration based with tattoo art as the main inspiration.[divider_top]
When did you first decide you wanted to pursue a creative career?
As a kid I drew a lot but I think around the 4th grade I started to fill notebooks up with my cartoon characters. I’ve had lots of false starts on “careers” as an artist but I think I’ve finally found where I belong.[divider_top]
What is your favourite medium to work in?
RIght now I love pencil, ink and colored pencils or markers. As I get further into my apprenticeship and build a client base I’m sure my tattoo machines, tattoo inks and skin will become my favorite and consume my time and passion.[divider_top]
How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve spent hours and hours over many years just sitting at a table and drawing. My degree and experiences as a paste-up artist for a science company that wrote text books also helped me to grow as an artist. Having a passion to get better at drawing and therefore spending an abundance of time just drawing has been the greatest factor in getting me my apprenticeship.[divider_top]
What is the biggest challenge you have found, being in the creative industry?
Trying to get people understand the amount of work that goes into a piece and then being paid accordingly has been a challenge. I think every artist wants to make art that they love and support themselves creating it. Unfortunatly, that is hard to do.[divider_top]
What inspires you?
In December I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and I’ve had to take a hiatus from my apprenticeship to receive treatments. Having to take this break and fight this disease has really inspired me to get back to tattooing and to become the best tattoo artist I can. I draw as often as I can and study tattoo artist constantly so that I can hit the ground running once I’m better. I’m also inspired by Japanese woodcut prints, comic books and pretty much any art with an outline. The tattoo art of Jack Mosher, Jeff Gogue’, Rodney Raines and Horiyoshi III to name of few also inspire me.[divider_top]
Do you have an all time favourite piece of work you have created?
Not really. I like a lot of my work but as most artists are I’m my hardest critic. I’m constantly trying to get better and never satisfied with where I am or what I’ve done.[divider_top]
If you could give some advice to aspiring creative minds, what would it be?
Life is short. Draw, paint or whatever it is your passionate about as much as you can. Study people who are better than you at what it is you want to do but make sure you find your own voice. Worked hard at your art and respect it. Pay your dues and be humble.[divider_top]
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for asking me to do this interview. I really appreciate the opportunity to share my story and my work. If you are in the Colorado Springs area stop by Ink Inertia to say hello or to get a tattoo. I can’t wait to get back in the shop and get back to work!
A lot of the drawings here are drawings that I’ve put in my planner that I take with me to all my doctor appointments and treatments. They are what I like to call my positive visualizations. They are reminders to fight against the cancer inside me and to beat it.
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