"Rose raised Shawn as her own son; his parents weren’t around to do the job. In 1996, she suffered a stroke that paralyzed the left side of her body, leaving her in a wheelchair. The tables turned, and Shawn became the caregiver for his grandmother.
The 30-year-old Detroiter wanted to create a tribute to her to symbolize his love and gratitude. He decided to have Rose’s portrait tattooed above his heart."
"“I got it on my heart because my grandmother is my heart, she’ll always be on my heart, and I wouldn’t even have a heart if it wasn’t for my grandmother,” says Shawn. “She taught me a lot and I owe her everything.”"
An extract from the story you can read on the metrotimes site. There is a few more to read for those you are into Black and white portraits. Not really my cup of tea. But I have a lot of respect for people who want to immortalise the people they love. And Tom Renshaw is definetely good at it.
I love the way he describes his own life, and how he feels about tattoing people.
“I’m totally there for them throughout the process. It’s important that the tattoo is done well, but what’s maybe more important is the interaction and the time I spend with them. The relationship comes first. I want them to leave feeling like they have a world-class piece of art, have made a friend, and had a wonderful experience from start to finish.”
“If they [clients] like the tattoo, that’s what counts,” says Renshaw. “I don’t think we’re here (tattoo artists) to choose who gets what. Tattoos should be here to enhance our lives and make them better.”
That's also one of the main reasons why I got into tattooing. You usually creates personal bounds with the people you tattoo. They often become friends. I personally never treat a person I will tattoo as a client. But more as a human being. Someone I alwas try to understand. Tattoo is there to help people. And in my views, it is making me a better person.
I totally agree with him, when you tattoo someone a lot of energy is shared and exchanges. That's what made my hands shake when doing my first tattoos too and is still happens sometimes until I am totally focused and in tune with the person. Especially when tattoing people who feel very nervous. It takes time to get used to it. Tom sometimes feel drained when doing too many 'emotional' tattoos for people's lives. I wouldn's say that I get drained personally. But it can feel like silence after the big bang.
That's where I personally resource through Qi Gong and meditation to resource and remain calm. I wishes I was more focused on my kung fu too.