By Jason Hitchcock | Photos By Hesh Photo
I wish I had gone to that now. That was first time I realized I could get paid for doing art so I started dabbling more in it.
That summer I worked at a skate park that I had helped build which helped me get a job at a skate shop shortly after that based on my knowledge at the skate park. This led me to getting an offer to paint longboards for this guy’s company he was starting. That was awesome because it immediately pushed me to do something that I wasn’t even sure I was capable of yet. But I busted out some cool designs and painted the boards with acrylic paint. I felt like a real artist for a while. The skate park and skate shop both closed within the following year unfortunately.
I got a job as a screen-printer my last two years in Tulsa. When I was 21 my buddy James and I rented a house in downtown Tulsa and I bought a shitty tattoo setup. I tattooed myself a few times and tattooed a lot of my friends in that house. Looking back though it makes sense. I loved tattoos when I was a kid; tattoos and basketball. I would sit on the school bus and draw tattoos all over myself so I would look like a pro ball player when I got there. I was always excited to see people with tattoos and full sleeves out in public. I just though it was awesome. I knew what I wanted to do. I was just jumping the gun way too fast and doing bullshit tattoos all on my part. After that I went into a tattoo shop and told the artist I wanted him to tattoo my neck, so we hung out all afternoon and into the night, I ended up starting my first apprenticeship there.
My BMX time started to shrink and shrink. I was starting to think about getting out of Oklahoma and I wanted to move back to Colorado, but the apprenticeship was the main thing holding me back. I had already made mental arrangements to pack up and leave if the time came. Then one day we found out that even though Oklahoma legalized tattooing, there were too many technicalities for me to be able to legally tattoo in state. That’s the day I decided to move back to Colorado.
My friend moved to Greeley and went to school for welding and wanted to do a BMX company. I thought it was a great idea so I joined them, but then they all got married and had kids so that dream didn’t follow through. It was only a year and now I have a fall-back for work. I wanted to learn to build bicycles and I ended up getting certified in just about any kind of welding and I ended up making a few bikes, a couple tall bikes and one I guess I call a long bike.
While I took welding at AIMS Community College, I started a new tattoo apprenticeship at Bombshell Tattoo under Ryan Dehart. Those guys taught me so much and did more for me than money could ever buy. I started really working on developing my own style artistically while I was there. I apprenticed there for the year that I was in welding school. Then it came time for school to almost be done and my tattoo apprenticeship was almost done also. I had to make the hard choice to end my apprenticeship and move to Denver. The day after I was done with welding school, I moved to Denver and I’ve been here for two years now and things are looking up. It took me a while to get it together but the last year has been what I would consider the starting point of what I’m trying to do. I don’t ride BMX a whole lot anymore. I do ride my fixed gear in its place though, and I am apart of a bike club called Open Road: one summer we rode out to Wyoming on are fixies it was a blast.
Ever since I made the choice to deliberately pursue art and force myself to stop wasting away I realized I might actually be able to live my life as an artist a year ago, things have been falling into place in ways I couldn’t have thought. I started to get booked a week in advance on artwork for friend’s band or companies they were starting I am even stating up my own clothing label called Terminal.
I also had my first show in the Phoenix Gallery at 3 Kings a few months ago. It was awesome, I had really good reception to my work and soon enough my months were filling up. Now I’m booking art shows that are a year out
It helps me stay focused on everything else I am trying to do with art like putting a book out of my stuff; self publish or get someone to show interest in it. I love to have it full of work I have done this year. There has been so many artist and pieces I have seen that I wish I could thank people for the inspiration but I will never get to. I love to be able to inspire others and keep them motivated. I’ve been joking about making a million dollars off my art, but in reality I would love to make a living off my art, with out selling out like people say.Just to keep doing art and grow while being able to support myself.