We had the good fortune of connecting with fan wu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi fan, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I originally come from Shanghai, China. I have been exposed to Japanese animation since childhood, I was so impressed and like it very much. I also love drawing a lot, so I also draw some works by myself. Although I was fond of drawing, my parents did not support and cultivate my interest much. I secretly drew some animes in class and then submitted them to the anime magazine. I remember the first time a comic magazine published my copy and I was very excited to take it back home and show it to my family. From then on, my family gradually changed their ideas and began to support my interests and hobbies. I think a lot of people don’t know what they really like is or what kind of work they want to do. Even if they know, they might have to give up their dream because of the pressure of survival. I have some friends who choose a stable job but they actually don’t like that job. I clearly know I’m not a person who can insist on a job which I don’t like. Up to now, I have been choosing the way I want and I like to live. I seldom think about the result. I think the most important thing is to enjoy the process.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think the most successful part of my job is that I can leave permanent and memorable tattoos for my clients. Tattoos are more about a person’s meaningful experiences and what they want to commemorate. As a tattoo artist, I can help my clients realize their wishes and ideas, which is a great honor and responsibility for me. The road of the tattoo is actually very difficult, the beginning is certainly not easy. And there is no shortcut to tattoo, only on the basis of time and daily training to continue to accumulate. In the beginning, there was no income for tattooing, so I had to save as much money as possible every day. I think the hardest thing is persistence. Because it’s most frustrating when you choose something you love, and you put all your effort into it, with little or no return, so people have a hard time sticking to it, forgetting their original purpose and love. I also thought about giving up because of the survival problem, but every time I would remind myself to remember my love, I still have the support from my friends and family, so just keep going and see the results.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I think the shop I’m working at now helps me a lot and gives me a lot of opportunities. I’m very lucky to be here at Gristle Tattoo. Our owner, Dina, she helps me a lot with my career. I had not much experience in tattooing at the very first beginning, but she still gave me a chance to try. A lot of my firsts are after I’ve joined Gristle Tattoo. I had my first experience of tattooing at the Philly convention, I first time traveled to other cities to do the guest work, I first time got an interview from Inkedmag on Youtube. I also really enjoy working with my coworkers, everyone at our shop is so nice and their style is unique. I can see and learn a lot of new things from them. Gristle Tattoo is also a vegan shop, we actively support and fundraise for various animal-related causes, which makes me more impressive and thankful.