From Health Teacher to Tattoo Artist BKLYN Commons Member Shaun Parker Continues to Preserve His Pores and skin within the Recreation

By: Lindy Hale

New York Metropolis native Shaun Parker is not any stranger to vary. 

Whereas working as a health teacher in Memphis, Tennessee, Parker stumbled upon the social media web page of a buddy who was transitioning from graffiti artwork to tattooing. This buddy’s shift sparked Parker’s curiosity. He was assured that, together with his background in award-winning artwork, he might make an analogous transition himself. 

The very subsequent day, Parker was on a airplane to New York Metropolis with one aim in thoughts—breaking into the tattoo trade. 

Now, tattoo artist is simply one other title beneath Parker’s belt. With over 12 years of expertise within the trade, Parker has reworked his inventive portfolio to additionally embody unique work, digital designs, and most lately, his first ebook titled The Tattoo Hustle which debuted in 2020.

We sat down with Parker, who has been a BKLYN Commons member since 2018, to realize perception on his inventive journey and find out how he has been in a position to maintain his enterprise transferring ahead all through the pandemic.

Shawn Parker at work. Picture: Provided.

Who’s your best inspiration as an artist?

I used to spend 10-15 hours every week in Barnes and Noble studying about Renaissance artists. I bear in mind studying one ebook about Michelangelo sneaking off to Africa to be taught his abilities of sculpting. This story made me gravitate in the direction of his fashion. I hope sooner or later to go to the Sistine Chapel to witness Michelangelo’s artwork in individual.

On your web site you discuss altering notion and the thought of artwork. What recommendation do you’ve gotten for people who wish to rework the way forward for artwork?

We stay in a world of copycats. It’s the “Jordan sneakers” pandemic. When one individual will get a tattoo, others need the identical physique artwork with out channeling their very own unique creation or concept. 

I wish to encourage artists to suppose lengthy and exhausting about their visions in order that they’ll be taught to share the depth of their inventive ideas. For instance, many individuals contact me for widespread tattoo designs. However as a talented tattoo artist, my power helps folks develop on their unique ideas to show their tattoo concept into a singular story. 

If we, as artists, use our creativeness to consider artwork in a broad sense, we’ll breathe new life into creation.

Like many small enterprise house owners, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your small business. How has this required you to pivot over the previous 12 months?

When the shutdown started in March, I began portray canvases, wooden panels, and doing emblem design. One factor that the pandemic helped me notice is that I used to be dropping persistence doing the identical kind of labor over and over. The time away from tattooing allowed me to remodel my portfolio and promote my work to individuals who wish to grow to be pores and skin artwork collectors, moderately than to those that simply need one other tattoo. 

How has being a member of BKLYN Commons supported your creative journey?

I began assembly my BKLYN Commons neighbors one after the other. Over time, I’ve been in a position to construct skilled relationships, develop my community, and pool sources with different members. 

I typically take my shoppers on a tour of BKLYN Commons after our classes. These excursions are useful as a result of they permit my shoppers to realize a way of the nice and cozy and welcoming neighborhood within the constructing. Since BKLYN Commons isn’t a storefront, it’s vital for folks to see the collaboration and exhausting work going down inside. 

As members, we frequently refer one another to our shoppers for numerous services and products. It’s a bunch effort. We’re all entrepreneurs and we encourage one another to develop our particular person companies.


Parker, whose tattoo store is situated in BKLYN Commons’ Bushwick location, urges folks to remain aggressive in the case of networking and advertising, particularly throughout COVID-19. “Supporting a enterprise isn’t a sooner or later factor,” he stated. “The assist must be eternal for small enterprise house owners to proceed transferring ahead and up.”

To be taught extra about Shaun Parker and Shaun’z Ink go to:

Instagram: @shaun_c_parker

The views and opinions expressed on this article are these of the creator(s) and don’t essentially mirror these of BK Reader.

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