If we’re going to do the whole standard “about me” section, then this is where it goes. We’ll talk about how I’ve been a tattooer for 21 years, and how I’ve won a bunch of awards, been internationally published, starred on a television show, and owned a prominent shop, Art Machine Productions, in Philadelphia for 9 years. We can talk about my reputation for doing difficult cover up tattoos, or how I’m versed in a bunch of different artistic mediums.
I mean, if we’re doing the whole standard “about me” section.
All of that stuff is pretty normal, though, so I’m sure you want to know a little more. So this is the spot I give you some detailed information. Maybe we talk about how I’m a father of five, and a devoted husband. Or how I’m an animal lover and we have a house full of furry, scaly, and swimmy little critters.
Or maybe we talk about different charity events I’ve participated in. How Art Machine has worked to raise thousands for groups like the PSPCA or Philabundance, or how we’ve worked to assemble care packages for the homeless and done successful toy drives.
But let’s be honest, even all of that is a little self serving, and I always feel like a dick talking about it. So let’s get into the good stuff.
I’m a recovering alcoholic. I stopped using alcohol and drugs on March 11, 2015, after a brush with suicide. I was 35 years old, and knew that I had to make serious changes in my life, or I wouldn’t make it much longer. I entered recovery, and began taking my mental health very seriously.
Ever since then, I have actively sought to improve myself. For the past four years, I have tirelessly consumed written, video, and audio content to help better understand my mind, cultivate a positive mindset, and set and achieve goals. I consistently push to improve myself as someone in a leadership role, and as someone who is a role model to others.
With that desire to improve comes a desire to help others do the same. I’m incredibly open and frank about my struggles, in the hopes that what I deal with from day to day can help others who are in similar positions. I believe it’s our responsibility as human beings to be a light to others who are in the dark. If your light isn’t that bright, still shine it, because there is someone with less who could use it.
Officially, I have clinical depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and ADD, with bouts of mania sprinkled in. I straddle a bunch of diagnoses, just like most people who manage mental illness. Officially, I’m an alcoholic, but I stay away from all substance use, because like all addicts, I straddle addictions as well. Each day presents new challenges for me, as it does for everyone, and I think it’s important that we know we’re not alone.
The idea of owning a business and having a career is to make sales and generate clients. I’m not actually going to pitch myself though, because I’d rather let the work do that for me. Instead, I’m just pitching myself. Making connections on a human level is more important to me. Without those connections, what’s the point of the sale? The rest will work itself out later.
I’d rather impact people, and help change their lives for the better.