Today we’d like to introduce you to Haze Falconer.
Hi Haze, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Hello! So my art journey started back when I was a little kid. Whether it was doodling on napkins at a restaurant or on myself at school, I was always wanting to express myself through art!
As I was growing up and thinking of the future, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do career-wise but knew it 100% needed to be art-related. I flip-flopped on potential job ideas up into high school, and for sophomore through senior year I transferred to an art school in Orange County where I attended a program called Digital Media. At this point I was set on working towards being in the videogame field, I loved character designing and all that went behind the scenes in developing a game. Although I enjoyed it, over time I started to lose passion towards the industry.
When I was about 17 I started looking into the tattoo world and absolutely adored it. I continued to read, watch and draw anything tattoo related, and my last school project as a senior was to create a portfolio to use when applying for apprenticeships. On my 18th birthday, I got my first tattoo and bombarded the tattoo artist with questions on what his experience was like and how he did it all. This made me even more excited to start my tattoo journey! In 2019 I started my apprenticeship at a shop near my house, but it was cut short in 2020 due to the pandemic. During the shut down I continued to expand on my art by posting on Instagram/TikTok, taking on commissions and eventually opening up an Etsy shop. In the beginning of 2021, I got hired at a different shop where I finished my apprenticeship but ultimately it wasn’t a good environment so I ended up leaving at the end of the year.
This past January I came across N9ne Lives Tattoo Collective and it immediately felt like home. Everyone was so welcoming and sweet; they’re all very talented and being able to learn from them is really cool. The whole shop became a safe place and the artists helped me develop my tattooing and art overall; I was introduced to a different side of the tattoo world in the best way! I’m very grateful to call this my job and be a part of such an amazing group of artists! <3
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It’s definitely been a rocky road, especially once I started my apprenticeship. I was balancing working a retail job, being at the shop and still trying to have an ounce of a social life (& sleep). There was a lot of pressure to be at all places at once, which caused a lot of anxiety.
Doubting and comparing myself to others in the industry was also something I struggled heavily with. I had to really change my mindset of “why can’t I be that perfect at tattooing?” into “how can I get to that level of tattooing?”. I always want things to come out perfectly and be exactly what the client wants, which is a huge pressure as well. Needless to say, I still over-critique my work but it encourages me to improve with every piece!
I wish I could say it’s been an easy journey, but I’ve found a lot of individuals in this trade have struggled in the same if not worse ways than I did. All I can say is that it made me not only a stronger (& more stubborn) person but a better artist too. Plus I have some crazy stories now!
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m a tattoo artist and I primarily tattoo b&w illustrative pieces with an occasional pop of color! I also have an online shop where I sell stickers and prints as of now.
My style ranges anywhere from super cutesy animals to skulls and floral, anything that my client and I can have fun with! I love to dot shade (stipple) a lot of my pieces cause I feel like it fits my style best!
I think something that sets me apart is my priority to draw all the time and always put out new work! I feel like my designs are always evolving as I experiment with different ideas. Of course, I still have a long way to go and a million things to learn, but I’m excited to look back in 5, 10, 15 years and see how far I’ve progressed.
If I have to say something that I’m proud of that I did, it would be committing to this industry through it all, for staying true to myself and growing my style to be what makes me happy. Being where I’m at now made it all worth it, and the fact that people trust me to put art on them permanently is still so surreal!
We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
It’s a little funny, but one of my favorite memories from my childhood is when my dad made a small paper book with stick figure drawings. It was about one of them traveling to the moon with a shovel to get cheese for his other stick figure friends. Definitely nothing significant by any means but it makes me laugh, being an artist runs in the family I guess!