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Check Out Jonny Elliott’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jonny Elliott.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I was born and raised up in mainland China in a town called Wuhu till 21, Be a language teacher traveled a lot after graduating from teacher’s university, Moved to Phoenix 7 years ago, and started tattooing as a hobby after teaching job by then in Glendale. With time goes by, my tattooing business grow bigger and bigger become a career, I finally quit my teaching job after 11 years of teaching last year, start being a full-time artist in Iron Key Studio.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The only struggle is from my family back in China don’t really get why I step in tattooing. As the only kid in the family, they have really high expectations of me, and tattoos are not appreciated as a kind of art for “good people “ in Asia.

I have to say I’m lucky since I met nice kind generous people everywhere, no matter in school teaching time or in shop tattooing time. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories from other artists and friends about the racist problem and bullying problem, however, nothing bad I expected has ever happened.

Meanwhile, my dad, who is a very conservative Chinese family guy, was super furious and black list me on Chinese social media since I was tattooing and tattooed my mom 5 years ago. He still has no clue I quit my teaching job yet. (lol) Either my mom dear not to let him know it yet, well, I guess he doesn’t have to know since he is in China anyway.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’ve been full-time school language teacher for 11 years. Tattooing for 6 years. I’m proud of both of my jobs.

My tattoo work is mostly well known as my little pet portraits and fine line single needle work. I would say the little pet portraits are my favorite work to do since I know my job is meaningful and cure people when I see my clients have tears of joy in their eyes.

I’m also proud of my background culture since it always offers me a different vibe of the art taste.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I was lucky that stepping in the tattooing industry at a good time point, since all the new technology hit in, the job is very much easier for new artists pick up skills and do amazing work in a shorter time compared with before.

The best way to approach the intern position would be to prepare an artwork portfolio that could show your art ability, find a tattoo shop that has an available spot to see if you like their environment, vibe, then be humble helpful and work hard to prove your passion.

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