We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Hedstrom and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amanda, what role has risk played in your life or career?
If I hadn’t taken the risk, I wouldn’t have a career at all. I spent years trying to bridge the gap between the safety net of a day job and following my passion for tattooing. I ended up working 40 hours a week in an office and 30 hours a week in the tattoo shop, and I was so burned out that I was good at neither. I had to make a decision and do the scary thing, quit the day job. Risk and reward and all that. Everything improved drastically after I took the leap.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been tattooing for several years but I’ve been obsessed with tattoos since childhood. I used to draw on other kids with gel pins for lunch money. It was a long road to get here, but I always knew where I was going, however indirectly.

Tattooing is huge and ever changing field. While there is a lot of bullshit that’s come with social media, it’s also opened the doors to what was an extremely guarded industry. Some will malign that fact, say that the market is flooded with artists. I don’t see that as a bad thing. People can really specialize now, and focus on tattooing what they love in their own voice, not just be tattoo printers.

Art is a process and finding your style is a long road. The best art is imitation. I found my style by combing all the things I love: woodcut, etching, vintage comics and advertising, silent film and gothic motifs.

I got to where I am by a combination of luck and hard headedness. If I had to give a message to young future tattooers, it’s don’t listen to the people that tell you to give up. Get a thousand rejections, cry in your coffee, but keep going.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to see a show in a toxic pile of trash because it’s better than going to The Echo.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Almost too many to list; Aimi Tran
Sherri Austria
Maria Garza
Gina Serpintina
Denise Pinto
David Pinto
Mugsy Munster
Jose Portillo
Matt Sherin
I could list amazing people for days

Website: Amandahedstrom.com

Instagram: Crypt.inker

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.