It has been roughly a month since my abrupt and unceremonious departure from Lark Tattoo. I would have appreciated a more professional handling of the situation by my former employers, but I had long been accustomed to less than satisfactory performance in most every area with them so it came as little surprise.
Initially, I sought another shop to work from, but I only wished to move upwards, and despite the decline of Lark, this only left a small fraction of local shops worth approaching. Given the time of year, and that the best shop in the area was (unsurprisingly) full past capacity (Prez), I was left with the option of opening my own place. The only questions for me were whether or not I had attracted sufficient clientele, and if my war-chest would cover the initial expenses.
Despite the terms and timing of my exit, I do believe I had prepared sufficiently well in advance, and I will make this work. It certainly causes me to appreciate the hundreds of skipped takeout meals, and thousands of cups of coffee not purchased, which helped fill the war-chest I'm now slowly draining to support this new venture––one that I have dreamed of since the very beginning of my tattoo career twenty-five years ago. I count Body Art and Vermont Custom as half-steps, since I did not have full ownership in either, but they taught me valuable lessons.
As of now, I have leased a perfectly-sized space on Kenwood Ave. in Slingerlands, NY; just a ten minute drive from my home in Albany. I've since learned that more than a few of my clients live a short distance from the new shop, and I hope that the rest of you wonderful people will make the drive to come find me. I promise that I'll make the trip worthwhile. For those who appreciate not needing to deal with driving and parking on city streets to come in for tattoo work––you're welcome. While my primary motivator was keeping rent affordable, I did consider that many do live outside the city, and would prefer to avoid the hassles it presented.
Buildup is ongoing, and despite some delays due to uncooperative weather and unresponsive utilities (shocker, right?), I am pushing forward with all of the force this one-manpower motor can manage. I'll do my best to update here on this (also new) site and on social media.
Thank you for your continued, or prospective patronage! I look forward to seeing many old faces, and many more new ones, coming through my doors in the months ahead.