Consistency is key, we’ve all heard the phrase, but local tattoo artist and part owner at Dead RockStar, Josh Anderson, says that it’s his biggest challenge and motivator.
“It’s easy to get complacent sometimes, but you have to kind of smack yourself in the face to wake up and say ‘remember to try to do this one better than the last one.’ I do so many [tattoos] that it’s easy to just fall into a routine. But sometimes I’ll remind myself to slow down.”
It can be especially important for Josh to do this check-in, as he’s been at the same studio, Dead RockStar, for all 16 years of his career. An anomaly in the industry where artists can do multiple apprenticeships and tend to bounce around to different studios. Josh started his career in tattooing while he was an art student at MSUM.
“My wife and I actually went on our honeymoon to Amsterdam, in the middle of my semester. I got to see all the museums and artwork, and then I got my first tattoo there. That’s what started it.”
He started to wonder how he could combine art and his schooling with tattooing. After graduating, he found an apprenticeship at Dead RockStar. Josh was hired at the shop after that was complete and has been there since. His wife now works there as well. She combined her master cosmetology license with other certifications to provide permanent make-up and micro-blading cosmetic services.
While it is challenging, avoiding complacency also motivates Josh. He reminds himself that no matter the size or design, his name as an artist is always attached to his work.
“You have to remind yourself every day that it’s a privilege to be able to [tattoo], not everybody gets to. I feel very fortunate to actually be able to, and especially being in one spot and one location that’s been consistent over the years.”
Dead RockStar Tattoos, Body Piercing
3401 Interstate Blvd S, Fargo
“I don’t necessarily have a particular style. You see a lot of artists that have one style, and that’s great. But after 16 years, we’ve always done a little bit of everything. I’ve always felt it was important to try and do everything because if you limit yourself, it’s harder to learn. I’d say still, anything black and gray, realistic type is what I always enjoy doing. A lot of it translated from when I was in college. My emphasis was painting, we took figure drawing as a prerequisite and I did a lot of models and portrait faces and still lifes. That translated, looking at something and trying to recreate it. That’s why when I look at my reference, I try to recreate it. That’s what I’ve been better at because I’ve been trained to see. That’s what they try to teach you, how to visualize and see things as contrast and shape, I think that’s why it’s helped.”Josh Anderson