Interview with Philly TalksRead Now
My Background as an Artist
My name is Ruby Gore and I'm a tattoo artist here at Philadelphia Tattoo Collective. I specialize in scientific illustration and botanical blackwork. Ever since I was really little I've been an artist and I wanted to do something where I was going to be drawing. When I was 15, I told my parents I wanted to draw, and they were like "okay, well that's not a real career... so what are you really gonna do?"
So I went to the Art Institute and specialized in graphic design, marketing, photography...kind of a little bit of everything. When I moved up to Oregon in 2011, I decided to change careers and become a tattoo artist. It was a little easier to get into the industry up there, and I was just so done with graphic design, I just couldn't be a slave to the desk anymore.
Ethical & Empathetic
I almost didn't want to start tattooing because I hated hurting people, it really bothered me that much. I try and create a really different experience for people when they're getting tattooed...I want it to be progressive. I have pet heating pad that I turn on for people who just need to be a little bit warmer. or I've got numbing spray that I'll put on them after we've done the linework.
Now I have people traveling quite a ways because they like my style, but it's also a bonus that they're into getting a Vegan tattoo...everyone else is just curious, I have yet to find somebody who's opposed to it. There are a couple of key things that I do that are a little bit less traditional:
Let it Consume You and Take No Shit
I have a to-do list that would make anybody cry and I love it... I just like getting better at what I do. I'm always finding inspiration every which way I go, it's why I like traveling so much. Even on the shittiest trip, I'm like, "this is terrible, I'm tired, I want to go home". And then as I'm on the plane going home, I'm so glad I did that because I learned this, or I met this person, or now I have this new idea to start a spin-off project.
Let what you love consume you. I mean, I definitely don't recommend going on as few hours of sleep as I do, but when you really love something you just lose track of time. Like when you realize it's 4:00 in the morning and that you should probably go to bed, but then it's like, oh wait, hold on one more thing... which is why I have a notepad on me at all times writing out all these ideas.
I never took no for an answer, I just realized that with some things I needed to get better and then come back. Learning how to take criticism was the best thing I ever could have done, art school helped with that a lot, but also just learning how to have a tough outer shell because the world's gonna be shitty regardless... not caring what other people think was probably the best thing I ever learned how to do.
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