This week has been one of massive change… change which has left this DJ numb, teary and heartbroken.
As some know I entered the world of tattooing 5 months ago along with two great friends when we opened the now great studio ‘The Country Gent’. Me, Simon Caves and Jaroslaw Baka really went in on this venture but due to circumstances beyond my control I am having to step away and do what is right (although doing what is right isn’t always what you want it has to be done).
I say circumstances beyond my control because 13 years ago I chose this thing called DJing and pursued it, soaked myself in it and became it. It is in me, I am it and I cannot let it go… to get to where I am has taken 13 solid years of practice, working out music, understanding crowds, knowing products, networking with amazing people, building up a reputation and finally .. performing and playing gigs everywhere.
This dedication to improve and not only give people what they want, but what they should have is no different in tattooing, they are art forms which are ever changing, have many styles and require 110% effort to work and be better daily.
I must say that I thought it would be easier to get into whilst keeping the music flowing but it isn’t. I used to spend 5 hours every evening on my turntables way back when I started and music was my every thought throughout the day, tattooing is no different, it is a lifestyle just like Hip-Hop.
Now, the hardest part of knowing when something has to give is what effect it may have on you or others around you when you call it a day, and personally speaking, I feel like I am mourning .. not the death of the shop because Simon and Jarek will continue to rapidly improve and I will always play a roll where the shop is concerned because I will help market it in various ways and help it become the most recognised studio in the North of England.
No, I am mourning the loss of being around 2 artists, now friends, who I respect and admire greatly. Simon Caves is one of my best friends, a great guy who is seriously one in a million and he has showed me so much over these past few months, but it is way more than this, it is the understanding of each other, the openness in which we talk and the fact that we both live from the heart. I have seen a transformation in this man since his days of a studio owner in Leeds where his art suffered because of his responsibilities for others, he has flourished, his work is on another level and of all things I have experienced and witnessed it is Simon’s change which has stood out the most.
I mean here is a man who’s style leaned towards traditional and now he is taking on everything that clients throw at him with aplomb (except portraits, we will approach those later), which goes to show that when you take away pressures and unneeded responsibilities your creative flow flows naturally… add to this the fact that Simon works his butt off not only to improve but for his family then his accelerated improvements become a bit easier to get your head around.
I love this man, I love him and it hurts that I won’t be around him as often as I have been… but it will heal and I will always be by his side no matter what, so cross him at your peril.
Then there is Jaroslaw Baka:
When it comes to cool, this man is cool. He has everything going on.. I mean, Jarek is 11 years younger than me and I look up to him, he is art, he is naturally gifted using any medium and I would ask any man or woman not to be amazed by the quality of his realism work. His portraits are outstanding and he is proving to be one of the stars of modern day tattooing.
I will never forget how proud I was of him at Tattoo Jam when he scooped up ‘Best in Show’ for Saturday, ‘Best small Black & Grey’ for my Ice Cube portrait and then finally ‘Best Tattoo of the Convention’.
If I was starting tattooing 13 years earlier I would be looking at Jarek in the same way I have looked at DJ Z-Trip over the last decade, he is truly great at art, attention to detail and he is the cleanest and tightest man in Poland.
Jarek comes to the UK every 2 months for 2 weeks, is booked up daily, wows the clients, me and Simon included and when he leaves he leaves a gaping hole.
Jaroslaw Baka I love you and I will miss you, I will miss your weird tea and I will miss being in your company, YOU ARE THE BEST.
I am sad, I am beside myself inside and I want everyone to know that it has been an amazing 5 months laying the foundations for a studio which is already making waves in a great industry.
I am a DJ, I love this job, it is my passion.
p.s. Kosa… I love you my brother, I will see you soon and let me know if you want me to do you a website for your new shop, Big Love.