A few weeks ago, we visited tattoo artists and Champion Tattoo Studio co-owners Adam Hernandez and Scary Carrie at their shop in Olathe, Kansas. We chatted about how they got started in tattooing, the freedom (and scariness) of being your own boss and how they really feel about tattoo removal. See what they had to say below!
Q: What was the first tattoo you ever gave someone?
Adam: I tattooed one that says “count your teeth,” and the o in your and the o in count were little bloody teeth, on the guy that I learned under. I tattooed a grapefruit and then the next day he’s like “you’re tattooing me.” I’m like “okay. Here we go.”
You get thrown to the wolves in this industry. You really do. It’s like sink or swim. Go!
Q: What has changed in the tattoo industry since you started?
Carrie: Everything. All of it. The internet. We have one now. There are so many artists now.
Adam: The saturation of artists. That’s probably changed the most. More and more artists are joining in, it’s not just the sailors and jailers anymore. It’s true artists.
Q: How would you define your style and what inspires you?
Adam: I like realism, a lot of detail, and contrast. I do black and gray, and color.
Carrie: I like color. I like color things.
Q: Is there anything you wouldn’t tattoo?
Carrie: Oh yeah, a bunch of stuff. I turn down stuff all the time. White tattoos, neck tattoos, face tattoos, finger tattoos. I’m picky. If Adam asked me for it, I’d do it, I’d do whatever he wanted. If some 18-year-old kid walked in off the street and wants his face tattooed, I’d tell him no. It’s a case-by-case basis.
Adam: Oh yeah. Gang related, racist, wedding bands, people’s names that aren’t your kid, your dog, or a loved one. I didn’t get my hand done until I owned this shop!
Q: What is the biggest misconception about tattoo artists or the work you do?
Adam: That we party all the time. That’s not existent. Not when you’re doing what we’re doing. We do a lot of large scale stuff. I got 3 clients doing full bodysuits. We’re constantly drawing. I tattoo all day, then I go home and draw until 2 in the morning and then I turn around and get here at 10 in the morning. I mean we party on the weekends…
Q: How often do you do coverups?
Adam: Not too often. I don’t take on too many. I got a lot more people with clean skin that want work. We tend to go that way.
We take on the super super hard coverups, we take on the ones that people say no to the most. “10 artists have told us no.” Well I kinda want to do it to show those artists that they can do it.
Carrie: I’d do em everyday. I’d only do coverups, make a living doing that, but not often.
Q: Last one! How do you feel about tattoo removal?
Adam: Oh I think it’s awesome.
Carrie: When it’s good, yeah. Awesome. Like you guys. We had a friend come to you. He wanted to do an 80’s leg and he had this gnarly skull. We wanted to add these glasses to it, but he needed to get it faded.
So he came to you guys. And it worked. Then I tattooed him some more.
Feel like you know Adam and Scary Carrie? Show them some love and use their ambassador code and you’ll both receive $100 cash rewards for a qualifying referral.
Scary Carrie Ambassador link – my.changeink.com/ScaryCarrie
Adam Hernandez Ambassador link –my.changeink.com/hernandeztattoos
Hey, it pays to have good friends!