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M E 

For as long as I can remember art has always been my "thing".  When you're little and someone asks you "what do you want to be when you grow up?" - My answer was without hesitation an artist.  As you grow up and take on the responsibility of bills, the reality of what you want to be and have to be in order to live sets in pretty heavy - that's where I get lucky.  

I searched for tattoo apprenticeships a few different times in my late teens and early twenties.  The first time was in my last year of high school during the co-op semester and the last time was when I was 25. Every time I went into a shop it was the same result.  I left feeling discouraged.  
I was judged on my looks rather than my portfolio.  Often, no one would even look at my portfolio; they would just look me up and down and say "you don't even have tattoos".  This was in the early 2000's and at the time there were very few women in the industry.  I put my dream of making a living doing what I love on hold and started working in the service industry.  Working in bars and restaurants was an easy way for me to make a decent living and still have plenty of time to make art.  As the years went on, my drawing and painting got put on the back burner more and more until it became pretty rare that I picked up a pencil or brush.  In the winter of 2015, I started creating again, doing commissioned pencil portraits and that's kind of where it all started....  
A friend of friends who managed a popular tattoo shop on Queen Street West saw my work online and suggested that I try tattooing.  Knowing nothing about where to start, he said to me one drunken night "come by the shop on Saturday, you can tattoo me"  My heart immediately starting racing with excitement and mostly anxiety.  That day was the beginning of it all.  That day was the single greatest day of my life because that was the day when everything else fell away and the first day of the rest of my life began.  
A few months later, an artist at that shop and now one of my best friends, Nikki Ouimette, began mentoring me and that's when things started happening.  I give a lot of credit to the people who let me tattoo them when I had very little idea what I was doing!  I'm so grateful to have so many supportive people in my life, and I wouldn't be where I am today without that support...  Everything happens for a reason.  I believe it was meant to be that I started doing this when I was 29 rather than 18.  

Thank you to all the people who believed in me and to all the people who have and continued to support my dream!