A Story Told in Ink Continued

Marko getting ready for "tattoo removal"

A Story Told in Ink

Artist in the Spotlight: Marko Livingston

By: JMAW

“It’s never good enough.”  He says with a laugh.  Four years into his craft and a perfectionist nonetheless.  Since my first custom tattoo session with Tattoo Adam, I remember Marko walking in, saying “wassup” then being all about his business, getting a pencil, a paper and then getting right into and starting his sketching.  He has some of the sickest stencils I’ve ever seen, posted in the shop and you totally can feel that the man loves what he does.  Adam said just that to me recently: “Do what you love?  Don’t worry about the money.”  He lets out one of those free-spirited laughs that trips me out each time because though human like the rest of us, he’s a part of the “All Ready There Club,” as if he’s tasted the secret of life, drank of the Fountain of Youth, climbed the Tree of Life, shoot, all of the above.

One day, I got the chance to ask Marko a few questions and take a peak into the words of someone who lives for artistic expression. At first he didn’t really have much to say, but it flowed quite smoothly actually, much like his custom tattoo style.  And well, Dude is already there as well.

On describing his influences as a custom tattooist: “I am inspired by everything and everyone… there’s something to learn for the rest of my life.”  I could not agree with what he said here more.  Each moment, each experience of life can teach in so many ways and it is so inspiring to take that in.

On the best part of the job:  “Meeting/working with different people, allows me to do what I want to do in life like travel and make people happy.”  As I take my notes, I feel like he’s speaking my language.  I’ve spent many a day, a night, years of my journey, reflecting on what would allow me to do that, an ever twisting/turning path, which took me into the different world of politics, universities, the food industry, being a psychic, spirituality, and now tattoos.

Marko’s 1st foray into art was drawing and painting.  “I’d draw, paint everywhere, on myself, clothes, desks, napkins, whatever.”  I am a believer in mirrors, that life reflects what’s going on within/all around us, and I recall, as a child, being a writer from early on, how I wrote on everything, I still have old napkins with rap lyrics when I thought I wanted to be a rapper (albeit a hapa-haole kid from Hilo), poems, the draft of my speech as Best Man for my cousin’s wedding, etc.

I’m getting chicken-skin.  Though I’m not in the place physically, where Tattoo Adam or Marko are at, I feel like I’m getting closer, in fact within, I feel I am already there.  I see it reflected in their vibe.  Hear it echoing in their words.  I feel it in how I finally feel like I’m doing what I love: living life fully no matter where I am.

To be continued…

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