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

Hi Gwen, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Making art and creating art literally makes my soul and brain happy. For a person like myself, other jobs that I’ve had were to constricted and I would always end up breaking rules whether I knew I was or not. I’ve been an artist ever since I can remember, always drawing, sculpting, painting or even just doing my makeup. When I was asked if I wanted to apprentice at Hard Knox Tattoo I knew I had to try. You gotta have tough skin in this industry especially as a woman so it was a scary transition but what I’ve learned is that tattooing isn’t just something I do, it’s a lifestyle and it’s been the best thing I could have done for myself and my family. I’ve been tattooing for four years and I’m still hungry, always trying to learn and better myself as an artist everyday. I absolutely love the tattoo life, it’s been a dream come true.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Getting to where I am now wasn’t easy, I was getting tattooed and hangin out at the shop for two years before I was asked if I wanted an apprenticeship, then it was a little over two years with no pay to complete my apprenticeship. Definitely had to have a side hustle through that lol so I would go work at the shop all day and then go home and make custom funko pops to sell, and not just the figure, my husband and I would make all the box art as well. I made lots of sacrifices through that time so that I could tattoo any chance I had. I eventually built up an amazing clientele who love my art, and my style of tattooing. I put my heart and soul into every tattoo I do big or small. Dreams don’t just happen, you have to put in the time and work for it to become a reality. Never give up, always keep pushing and the universe won’t let that go unnoticed.

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 live in a small town lol I usually go to Columbus for boba tea and fancy dinners but for here in Mount Vernon Ohio I would recommend Ichiban a Japanese sushi and hibachi restaurant or Fiesta Mexicana for delicious street style tacos which is my favorite. Starbucks is also an everyday must. Almost famous sweets and sodas is the cutest candy store that I love to go to and it’s right next to the moonlit soul where they sell the prettiest crystals.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband Justin Crawford who is also a professional tattoo artist. I’m so lucky to work everyday with my favorite person, he taught me a lot about tattooing and supported me plus our children through my apprenticeship which wasn’t easy with our family of five.

Instagram: beetlegwen

Facebook: Gwen Crawford

Other: My booking email beetlegwentattoos@gmail.com TikTok- beetlegwen

Image Credits
Nicole Leone Miller

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