The Pursuit of Art: Tattoos as Expressive Creations | By: Sade Lewis


Art comes in many different forms: dance, singing, drawing, and even poetry. It is the way that people take the time to express themselves. The understanding of art does not just happen overnight, it takes time to develop, and must come from the heart. The greatest creators have made their mark in their respected fields by sharing the beauty of their capability. With this, we are able to see the transformations of many different forms of art. As a society, we have gained the ability to have change, and make change. Art is not only changing, but it is also expanding in many different senses. Take tattoos for instance.

According to Statistic Brain, 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo, and that number continues to grow on a daily basis. I actually find it quite intriguing when people have tattoos. It is their way of conveying a message or a story. They want people to be able to see their story, and know their story, without actually having it told to them. Painters use canvases to display their art, while tattoo artists use the bodies of people as their surface. Tattooing takes a great deal of strategy, and can be tough to master. Just like any artist in their respected genre.

It takes steadiness, focus and discipline, to get it just right and it seems as if tattoo artist, Deonta “Tay” Head does just that. This young artist realized his artistic talent at the age of three. He took his skill of drawing to an entirely different level, by making them permanent images on the bodies of various clients. He has been having great success throughout his artistic journey, by having his work featured in various magazines, on the east and west coast. He has been tattooing for the past twelve years, and says it’s his passion. We had the amazing opportunity to interview him, and gain more insight.

BLACK: What made you want to pursue a career as a tattoo artist?

Tay Head: The reason I chose the career of a tattoo artist is because I had the passion to do it. Then it just went to another level.

B: What do you find is the most challenging aspect of being in this career field?

TH: The only challenge that I can see is trying to outdo myself. Meaning, creating an even bigger and better piece of art and making sure the customer is satisfied, because I can get really creative at times.

B: Tattooing is a work of art, which means you are considered as an artist. When you first started out, how were you able to expand your craft to get where you are right now?

TH: The most important fact is that I had my family in my corner from day one. My family was my strength to go to that next level because they believed in me. Then my name started to ring bells all over the Washington DMV area.

B: Okay Tay, so I come to you, and I tell you I would like a tattoo of some sort. Take us through the process, step by step, of getting a tattoo done.

TH: Essentially, you create the design out on paper. Then you put on rubber gloves, trace the design out, or you can freestyle the design of concept. Next, you prepare your tattoo machines, setting your voltage levels. Once that’s completed you’re ready to do the procedure of the tattoo.

tatpic2 tatpic3

B: If someone wants to become a tattoo artist, what would you say are the top three skills they must retain?

TH: The three skills they must retain are: know your craft from back to front, be dedicated to be successful, and most importantly have certifications in order to do tattoos, as well as cover yourself.

To see many more creations by this amazing artist, check out his Instagram: @only1artist, as well as his websites, Urbanink and Externalexpressions. His ideas and creations are endless, just like art. Don’t ever be afraid to express yourself, because expression is just another way to be heard. As American artist, Georgia O’Keeffe once said, “To create one’s world takes courage.”


All Photos taken by: Intrigue Visuals



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