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Meet Trailblazer Ash Valentine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ash Valentine.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ash. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was always into the arts growing up. One day in my junior year of high school, someone brought a tattoo magazine into class and everything clicked for me. Since then, it was my goal and dream to be a tattoo artist.

I had two separate apprenticeships. My first one was with a very traditional Oklahoma tattoo shop. With some of Oklahoma first tattoo artists. At this time, tattooing in OK had only been legal for six years. I was not a good fit for that shop and left six months later. I eventually went to Muse Art Tattoo and worked as a desk girl for a year and a half until I was able to be an apprentice. An apprenticeship lasts two years in Oklahoma. The first year, I was under Markus Muse learning business and painting every day. The second year, I was tattooing under him. After my apprenticeship, I eventually went to the “largest” all female shop in OK; Black Mint Collective. This is when my career really took off.

I would fly out to California to hang and tattoo friends ever since I was an apprentice. I guest spotted at Sacred Art Tattoo and Thunderbird Tattoo. After coming out to LA a few times a year, my friend Liz Campos convinced me to move out here! I am currently working at Suerte Tattoo downtown now.

Has it been a smooth road?
You can’t have highs if you don’t have those lows.
Trying to become a tattoo artist in Oklahoma is a hard one due to the fact that they made it hard for a reason. It’s also a male-dominated field of work. It was easy to lose touch of my femininity and look down on it. I would say stay true to one’s self and don’t lose sight of what you want.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My profession is a tattoo artist but my artistry furthers to painting and enamel pin designing. My tattoo work is mostly blackwork and I specialize in floral work. I love putting beautiful bouquets on beautiful people!

I paint cute Ash-Trays and window panes. And I also started an enamel pin business with my best friend called BananaSprkl. We recently came out with a pin that has a little bundle of bruised bananas and has a banner that says “Bruised Babes” and I really feel like it speaks to every woman. We are all bruised either physically, mentally or emotionally.

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
You can do anything you put your mind to. Keep with it and stay humble.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Heather Ferreira

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