Artists: Brad Wooten
What year did you start tattooing: 2009-01-01
Do you have any special training: Dark sensitive skin; tough skin.
Conventions usually worked: I typically do guest spots rather than conventions right now. I am often near Houston, New Orleans, and the northeast several times a year.[shop owners email me if you have an opening!]
Where did you apprentice?: I apprenticed in the oldest shop in Louisiana under Jacci Grasham and her crew. One of my favorite people on the world, she taught me everything I didn't expect to learn dealing with matters of attitude.
What tattoo artist do you most admire: It depends on what's to be admired. If it's the final product, well there's plenty of artists to list off. Jed Leiknes, Washun, Sean Sullivan, Roxy[2Spirit]... If it's about an artist's entire system of work, Markus Lenhard I admire most of all for his genius methods to record and manipulate body shape then render and iron smooth a design completely before commitment.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?: Although it's an obviously good thing to know why you want a particular tattoo for personal reasons, I tell people to try to forget why they're getting it and judge their tattoo based solely on looks from all focal ranges after the subject matter has been chosen [within reason of the original intent, obviously]. For instance, lettering on the wrist will be legible if you investigate but will look like nothing more than a black strip from more than 3 feet away. A typical tribal back piece will look great from across the street, but becomes no more interesting when you get closer. Biomech has a fun balance to me because it has a similar max range to tribal but become more and more interesting in detail all the way up to a few inches away. You cannot count on sentimentality to make your tattoo look good to you your whole life. People change, and so will you more than likely. Make room for your tattoo to grow WITH you.
How did you get into tattooing: I grew up near Birmingham Alabama. I had always drawn and originally imagined myself to be a concept artist, character or game designer, or art director of some kind but every bone in my body gave me the intuition to stay out of college. I think I had a problem with the shared manufacturing process of creating art as a team for video games or movies, and the current modern obsession of those products with high end graphics made to impress which I felt undermined the real and soulful origins of games and movies. It wasn't a matter of evolution anymore, it felt more like a cancerous mutation. I wanted to work in a more abstract line that was self-defined. I was working pizza when I made a trip to New Orleans. I had a great time and was attracted to the raw, uninhibited character that the city was defined by. Six months later I couldn't take it anymore and jumped on a bus. Everything else happened very quickly, and New Orleans guided me into tattooing in its own way.
What inspires you to be an artist: High-energy stress and enthusiasm, heavy aggression and letting go. Too many adjectives to list... it's also very unpredictable.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing: I get really excited when people come with ideas combining human anatomy and mechanical or organic substances. Hands as rocks, fingers as slime, teeth as mechanics, heads as centipedes, etc.. It's really all over the place and is also unpredictable.
Is there a tattoo that you haven't done yet that you are dying to do: More!