Today we’d like to introduce you to Nessie Blaze.
Nessie, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’m a tattoo artist and muralist from Bristol, PA. I moved to LA in 2013 to pursue my career full-time. Never wanted to work for someone once I made the choice, no matter how hard it got and I’ve now worked for myself for the past ten years creating and selling my work. A good friend gave me a good opportunity to be a part of a show called Black Ink Crew Compton and it gave me a great platform for people to see me all over the world. But I’ve still been working from home all this time, just hustling, trying to be better day after day. I’ve gained celebrity clients like Haha Davis and Lil Mosey over the past few years and have done quite a few murals around LA. I am not a hustler, I’m THE hustler.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It’s been really hard, the journey. I was working so hard that I don’t think people even knew how broke I was while I was at these events, working for free, trying to get my name out there… things were financially super tight. I just kept showing up, I put myself around people smarter than me, bigger than me, who I could learn from… I was really trying to convince myself that I had what it took to make it and that I deserved to be in these rooms. I believe anything worth having can be difficult to attain otherwise everyone would have it. I’m just glad that I never gave up, especially when it really felt like I was drowning. I worked the hardest on some of my worst days and I really think that’s what defines the hustlers from the opportunists. I worked and worked and worked even though I wasn’t seeing rewards. And now blessings are literally falling in my lap. I’m grateful I had solid people around me and people who checked me when things got bad. Wouldn’t trade a single struggle, I learned the most from that. And I’m proud of myself cause I really earned it, no cheat codes.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I specialist in realistic/portrait tattoos. And when I paint, I typically paint hip hop artists that I love and especially ones I learned from their music. I’ve done murals in North Hollywood, DTLA, Huntington Park, etc. but I’m most proud of a Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London mural I did at a place called “Kimmicos Soulfood”… I was a huge fan and have painted him so many times, but I really impressed myself with that one because I got it done in like four days and something like that would have taken me weeks a few months ago. It finally gave me a chance to see how far I’ve actually came, as artists we forget to give ourselves credit for our growth because we strive for perfection. I also do most of my realistic portrait tattoos in 3-4 hours which is pretty quick for that style of work. I would say quick and painless, but I can’t promise the second part. 😉
What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
I think the most important lesson I’ve learned is to not let other people talk fear into your plans, sometimes even the people around you can give you advice that worked for them but may not be the best for you. I really had to learn who I was, what I am capable of, what I can do as an individual so that I could challenge every limit for myself. Just because it’s never been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done… They said the top will be lonely, not for me. They said you couldn’t go with who you started with, not for me. And I even heard that you have to get your hands a little dirty to be successful and I take pride that I never compromise my integrity or try to shade anybody to put myself ahead, I’ve shared almost every opportunity I’ve gotten in one way or another. And of course, I made mistakes and I’m not perfect, but everything has been genuine from the jump and if I can’t have it that way, I don’t want it at all. I play fair because when I win, I want people to know I deserve it.
- Instagram: Nessie_blaze
- Youtube: @Nessie_Blaze