Hi, I'm Toast. Here is my timeline bio.

In the closet-size bedroom of my moms apartment in New York City I tattooed a broken peace sign on the arm of a trusting friend. My mom passed me rubbing alcohol to clean the excess ink since I didn’t know better. I’m sure it hurt like hell. However, two hours later my first client was delighted with their tattoo, and I’ve been at it since.

In an exchange, I tattoo deer antlers on a close friend’s  face, and in turn, ruin my life - he gives me my first accordion.

Stopping on a desert highway rest area, I meet Michael “Spider” Reaves - tattooist and gold miner. 58 going on 24. Fast friends, he taught me what I needed to know about tattoo machines. I once watched him catch a bumble bee between his thumb and pointer fingers. Another day we failed to catch a rattlesnake with a snare he fashioned from a broomstick and length of cord. He inspired my confidence to take tattooing seriously.

I am awarded a NYC board of health certificate, necessary to buy top quality tattoo supplies. Later in the supply shop, having nervously requested my previously forbidden items, prepared to present my hard won certificate, the staff explain they had already given an account to me with a fake cert. number. I had been given a hook up and didn’t know it.

I moved off-grid to a cabin in the woods. There I created a beautiful studio. Sessions usually included lunch and tea. Most clients were artists, punks, country-side folk, and the odd traveller. I loved this period of tattoo for me, because it felt so much I was part of tiny subculture, and occupying the role of the community tattooist.

2016 - 2020
I chased an apprenticeship in accordion repair, but instead ended up becoming a tent rigger and accordion player in a traditional circus show with dogs, horses, clowns, and the flying trapeze. Travel became a couple more circuses, a tall-ship across the Irish Sea and finally landing in New Orleans dead-set on learning how to be a proper street performer.

During these years, I tattooed often, but rarely took photos. The tattoos felt like they didn’t belong to me, and my memory was enough.

2020 - 2022
In Germany I’m hired as a full time performer in a circus troupe. I did a wine-glass balance act, sword swallowing, and magic. In this time I only tattooed myself and close friends until I got recommended to a tattoo shop which was a short term good fit.

The most memorable tattoo I did in that time was tattooing tiger stripes in black and orange on someone’s entire penis. Between tears of laughter and pain, we did it, and we both cherish the memory. To my surprise, I have now tattooed the genitals of five people.

Tough ’n Tender Tattoo Parlour is founded and becomes my home as a tattooer. Its at TNT that I feel I’ve hung my hat and become available to meet new people and hear about their experiences and viewpoints on the world.
When it comes to tattoos, I love the funny and impulsive most.

Essentially, I enjoy the exchange of tattooing a person and giving them a mark which lifts them up in life, shares their sense of humour, marks change, or shows a little of who they are.

Looking forward to meeting you maybe.
With care,

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