Photo courtesy of Mindy Su

The Soul Behind the Canvas

Mindy Su, a successful young tattoo artist based in Atlanta, Ga. discovered her passion for creating tattoos at a young age. Being a tattoo artist was a goal she set for herself in which she ultimately achieved by taking risk, networking, and understanding the true meaning behind the profession which allowed her career to see steady growth.

“I have always been a very art-related type of person,” said Su. “I thought about going to college in high school but when I started to think about it realistically art majors tend to not make a lot of money. I didn’t want to go to school and waste money.”

Su knew she had an attachment to art but with college off the table there was a greater challenge in finding a high paying profession. Even with that being the case, Su still decided to pursue a path in the art world. Her drive to sell her own art was high.

“I didn’t have anything that I could sell at the time and that’s when it came to me that I really like tattoos,” said Su. “I always liked the way they looked on people and I even wanted some myself. I figured why not do it.”

School is not required in the world of tattooing but in order to become a tattoo artist a person must go through an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are not easy to obtain but with the proper networking, an upcoming artist can gain a legitimate introduction into the job responsibilities of a tattoo artist.

“I was very oblivious to the whole process,” said Su. “When I got into the apprenticeship I thought it would be a traditional shop where I would do a lot of miscellaneous work and not tattoo as much. Once I found someone who was willing to teach me everything I needed to know, the process of creating tattoos came to me pretty easily I would say.”

Su’s instructor, Tino Hernandez, took her under his wing and taught Su how to tattoo at his Atlanta-based Green Vibe Art studio. He helped her perfect her craft while showing her the soul behind the art she was creating. Tattooing is more than making money and putting your drawing on a person.

“I appreciate how much more there is to do in this industry,” said Su. “I didn’t think I would have to market myself and be a social media person in order to get my body of work out there. Once again I thought I would just work at a shop and put my art on someone and that just be it.”

While Su is still young in her career, she has gained success through the hundreds of tattoos she has completed so far and has deepened her connection with her craft.

“I love the beauty of making a human canvas where my clients are putting their souls on the outside of their bodies,” said Su.



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