Artists: Chad Chase
Venom Ink Tattoo
What year did you start tattooing?
How did you get into tattooing?
I was always interested in it due to my dad and all his friends being inked up. I [have been] drawing since I can remember, and it seemed natural for me to delve into tattooing.
Where did you apprentice?
I never had an apprenticeship. I tried to find someone who would take me on back in 1995 and was unsuccessful. I started practicing on myself and some friends, then opened my own place in 1996. I’ve never worked for anyone else. It was a long, hard road, but I stuck with it. Learned all the proper ways to be clean and sterile, taught myself how to make needles and how to build and tune machines, etc. I don’t recommend this route for anyone. It would have saved me years if I had someone to teach me.
Do you have any special training?
Nothing specific, but I am trained to make the best tattoo that I can!
What conventions have you worked?
I’ve worked a few, mostly close to home. Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and I’ve worked Hell City a couple of times. Conventions are tough for me, having a shop to run and two little girls to take care of. I am going to try to get out to some further-away shows that I’ve never worked before.
Have you won any awards?
What are some of your best convention memories?
Definitely last year was great in Oregon, working a show and hanging out with my Formula 51 family. I’m sponsored by Formula 51 and couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to be in with. Also the new Hampshire live Free or Die show was great as well. My friend cosponsored artist Rich Pineda and I held our first realism seminar together. It was called “The Quickening,” and was a first for both of us. It went really well and we had a blast doing it. We plan to do more at other shows in the future.
How do you describe your style?
Slightly messy and somewhat realistic.
What inspires you as an artist?
Other great art, of course. Artists who I admire that don’t have an attitude. That’s a big one. I hate rock star tattooists. You color for a living; it’s really nothing to be a cocky prick over!
What sets you apart from other artists?
Nothing, really. We all do our thing and work hard to improve and make the best tattoos we can. There are people who give a shit and those who don’t in this business. That’s really the only separation amongst tattoo artists, I think. Everyone within their own category is equal. I fall into the give a shit category.
What other mediums do you work in?
Acrylic and oil, though I feel I’m horrible at it. It’s very humbling to try to achieve with paint what you can do on skin. But a fun challenge as well.
How have you branched out from tattooing?
Besides being business-minded and the painting, I haven’t, really. This is my life.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
If you’re a great artist and we meet and you’re a prick, then I’m not impressed with you anymore, no matter how good you are at tattooing. List toppers of great guys and artists that I know personally are Chris Fifty-One, Joshua South, Rich Pineda, Kyle Cotterman, Joshua Carlton, Josh Bodwell, Chris Chubbuck, Timmy B., and Ste?fano. I’m sure there are many more—sorry if I left you out, you know I love you! But those are some artists who I have met and know, and who aren’t all high and mighty. Just down-to-earth guys who are doing their thing.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
Anything realistic and in color.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?
Let me do my thing. I want your tattoo to come out better than you do.
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
I have about 400 images stored away on a hard drive that I’m dying to do! Which do you want?