Sister Margaret Tattoos

“I come from a working-class family in a little valley town in Pennsylvania where industrious, blue collar work is common employment, but I’ve always been intrigued by the arts: from music, plays, and literature to tangible creations. The origin of inspiration for me was my late, great uncle Dean. One of my earliest memories is sitting restlessly in church one morning where he drew a little pen portrait of me in the small colored tablet I had. I remember tearing up and just squeezing him. I was in awe. I recall that memory often, and just think to myself “God, I want to make people that happy.” It was a huge turning point leading me to pick up a pencil, but I never pictured my artwork evolving the way that it has, let alone taking it in a permanent direction. I had learned the mechanics and sterility at age 14 from a family friend that had a studio in Edgewater and started physically tattooing at 16. My parents sort of pushed me into it, especially my dad. His theory was if he was going to get tattooed he preferred to have sentimental value while I learn an artistic trade. They’ve always been pretty supportive, despite having bigger plans for me. A terribly taboo way to start out of course, but that’s how it happened, and I haven’t put a machine down since. Thankfully, I’ve improved tremendously. After almost 8yrs of experience, working in 4 different parlours, having my little girl, and picking up second jobs to make ends meet, my opinion of working in the Daytona area is much like my relationship with the tattoo industry in general: love/hate, with a dash of cabin fever, and from time to time it’s a bit like Stockholm syndrome. Both the city and the business have ups and downs, and for the most part function on a seasonal basis. Every nerve in your body is worked, but in the end you only get out what you put in. This town has a hell of a lot more local talent than the community recognizes. It just needs a little more “positive” exposure, and that’s tough. These days our society is far too wrapped up in criticism, outrage, and negativity in all aspects of everyday life to the point that disagreements for the sake of themselves seem to have been cultivated as a trend. United humanity is dwindling. If I could remove one thing from the community of my craft it would be deceptive camaraderie. We all deal with it at some point. Sometimes far too often, and too often from those we count on most for honesty and support. There’s a huge difference between constructive criticism and downright arrogance. There will always be someone with childish assumptions that you’re out to steal the limelight, and for a 23yr old female artist I’ve taken my share of heat. If I can offer any advice it would be to keep pushing forward and maintain a humble resilience.”