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

Hi Mars, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks is probably one of the most important aspects in creating a life and career for oneself. I wouldn’t be where I am, nor would I be headed where I’m going without it. Deciding to start my own brand/business within the arts is a risk in itself. In terms of my painting career, that’s pure entrepreneurship. Building from the ground up. Putting yourself out there not really knowing what will happen. Selling paintings super cheap cause you refuse to get a “regular job”. But what painting does for my soul, the medicine it bring me is worth more than gold, and where you put love in your life it’ll repay you if you’re patient (and if your network with the right people ha). Tattooing on the other hand, has had a completely different set of risks. A lot of sacrifice is made to be apart of a very exclusive industry. One puts all their eggs in a basket once committed to an apprenticeship and hoping the mentor you have won’t completely break you down, running you out of the industry before you even start. Most shops don’t hold your hand through it, it’s all on you to push through all of the trials. Luckily I’m past that and now at a point to here I work for myself. Although given all the beautiful freedom of making my own schedule, never answering to anyone, and getting to do what I love everyday… there is also the inevitable reliance I must take on with myself. Yes, I’m my own boss, but humans, were unpredictable and full of emotion… especially artists I mean, it’s known some of us can be “unstable”. Many of us come from colorful backgrounds and even more colorful minds. so, when it comes down to it, it’s all on me. Even on a bad day I have to make deigns, market myself, do all of the scheduling, etc. Every part of my success is determined by well, how determined I am. I am the biggest risk for the success of my life and career, but also the most valuable part of it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been seriously drawing/painting for about six years now, and just started my career as a tattoo artist about a year ago. My painting style is still evolving as I transition out of a purely academic setting. I initially went to school for two reasons, one to have an amazing portfolio going into the tattoo industry, as well as gaining the skill and technique required to successfully transfer what my mind begs me to create on canvas. Right now I’m working on a series inspired by the art of shibari. I enjoy taking a surrealist approach. I find my interest in seeing flawless technical skills being put in an imaginative world. Unlike many artists, I truly feel most inspired to work when I’m feeling super stoked on life. I enjoy putting all that happy energy into my paintings. Which is ironic because most of my work can be seen as “dark”. But hey, the heart wants what the heart wants. I’m really excited for the completion of my series and to have a show in Long Beach displaying it come this October. As far as my tattooing goes, I’m just excited to continue learning. There is SO much to learn, and so many to learn from wether that men’s from other tattooers or just the beautiful interactions I have with clients. Learning this medium has been a huge challenge but it’s so rewarding. I can’t wait to see how far I can push myself and my skills within it, as well as watch how I evolve as a painter and human as I continue! I got to her I am today through constantly putting myself out there an never being afraid to ask questions about how to get to when I want to be. As well as sacrifice, work ethic, and constantly trying to implement balance ini my life. It’s been a huge challenge I wanted to drop out of school constantly. I’ve also probably been through three different apprenticeships trying to find a studio that suits the vision I have for my career. Some weren’t a good fit for me, but because I never gave up I feel as through I was blessed into the space I work at now. What overcomes challenges like these is simply knowing your worth and never giving up on going for what you want. Along the way I’ve learned endless lessons. I’ve now know what I want for myself and career. What boundaries are necessary to make for someone trying to start their own brand/career, and so much more.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I hope you’re ready for a fat list. I wouldn’t be anywhere without the people in my life. I’m stoked I can publicly give them love sooo here it goes. Thank you mom, dad, Jessica, taylor, alex, Daja, Brianna, Clarissa, Trevor, Storm, Nick, Taqee, Anthony, Kellen, David, Isabella, Maris, Matt, Grace, ALL of my professors, everyone I’ve encountered in the tattoo industry that has graciously given their knowledge, and basically every artist on the planet for inspiring me to keep making art. There are honestly so many more too. The gratitude is endless and beautifully overwhelming. I honestly trip out on a daily basis how beautiful and bountiful my support system is. I’m not sure what I did to deserve it. I’m humbled by it truly, especially knowing there are many out there without one, that keep pushing toward their goals regardless!

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