Blog By M. Mitera

Less than a week left until the big weekend! We are so excited to see everyone and get some awesome tattoos done! There are so many artists and vendors that will be coming this year, it’s sure to be a blast! Artists are getting booked up, though, so if you’re looking to get tattooed this year, be sure to get there early! One of our featured artists this year is Mike Gibson and we managed to catch him for a brief minute to answer some questions for us!

How long have you been a tattoo artist?
I’m pretty much self-taught. I’ve been in the shop since 1994 but I was teaching myself before that just wanting to learn back in the days when it was really hard to get an apprenticeship. I don’t consider myself a professional tattoo until like 98, 99.
What would you say is your favorite style to tattoo?
“My favorite style to tattoo is black and grey. Recently I’ve been getting in to hyper realism though and I’m really liking it!”
Do you have anything especially fun planned for the weekend in regards to tattoos? Any large pieces going to be in the works?
I do have a sleeve I’m working on while I’m down on the show on Saturday but besides that I’m pretty much available for appointments.”
Will you be entering your work in to any of the contests that are going on that weekend?
“I’m not totally sure yet! I’m hoping to enter some pieces but we’ll have to see how the weekend goes!”
Do you have any influences in the tattoo community? What about other artists that might inspire your work?
As for artists inspire me in my beginnings it was people like Steve Ferguson from The Ink Spot in New Jersey and Charlie Buddy Wheeler from Tattoo Charlie’s out of Louisville, Kentucky. I grew up right by his shop and was always in there pestering him. Tom and Jerry Robbins was a big influence of mine and help me progress, what’s an old school artist Richard Richie Slam that was one of my mentors.”
Do you have a favorite moment as a tattoo artist? Maybe a client that was especially memorable or a tattoo that you did and just absolutely loved?
My favorite moment of the tattoo artist was when my 13 year old daughter had her own booth at the Down East tattoo convention doing temporary tattoos by using Johnny Test Drive. She did that for 2 years and the amazing support from the artist like Poch Best and John Thomas, owner of Spider-Bite.
Have you ever attended the LFOD Expo before? What years?
Yeah I work at Live Free or Die I think it was in 2013!”
What made you decide to participate in this years Expo?
“I’ve been friends with Jon for years and always love coming to this expo.”
Do you think you’ll return again next year?
“Of course if I can I’ll be attending next year!”