Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicholas Rexrode.
Hi Nicholas, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I remember wanting to be an artist for as long as I can remember. When I was around five years old, my family moved from middle of nowhere Virginia to Atlanta, so schools and friends were a little rough for me growing up. The more I dealt with that, the more I knew college wasn’t going to be my part of my path, and not fitting in made me want to almost differentiate myself even more, which is what ultimately pulled me towards tattoos. I pretty much just wanted to push myself away from what I thought was the norm, and for me, that bright light at the end of the tunnel was tattooing. I landed my apprenticeship about two weeks out of high school and spent the first seven or so years tattooing at shops all around metro Atlanta.
Each shop I spent time in was a learning experience and helped kind of form what I felt I wanted out of the industry- and out of life- and eventually led to my fiancé and I moving here to Florida! Work-life balance is super important to both of us, so making sure I found a laid back home-like environment was priority number one, as I’ve never been one to want to work my life away. To me, life outside of work with my fiancé and family, in general, will always come first, and nothing will ever be more deserving of my time, which can sometimes be a little tricky in this industry. Luckily, I lined up a spot at Fine Ink Studios Kissimmee about a month before moving here and immediately felt like I found a genuine and successful spot, that would allow for that work/life balance that’s so important to me. I’ve been here and thriving ever since we arrived!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I mean in tattooing as a whole, I don’t think a smooth ride exists personally. Our industry is generally very secretive and traditional. You basically struggle to learn and then struggle your way up to a good income. None of it comes easy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. When things are tough to earn, I feel like you appreciate it more once you get to a point that you consider yourself successful, not to mention the fact that the world doesn’t need three million tattooers. If anything, I wish it was a little harder, so you know that everyone that’s in it really wanted it, stuck to tradition, put the work in, and honor it for what it is.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I have been tattooing since 2012! I mostly lean towards more illustrative styles, but of all sorts. I tend to enjoy black and gray, leaning towards realism, more than anything, but in the past couple years, I have really been enjoying more traditional-ish designs with bold lines and earthy tones. I pride myself on being able to handle basically anything that walks in the door, and I’ve never really enjoyed the idea of putting myself in a small box of “this is all I do.” My entire tattoo career was raised up in street shops, where if you couldn’t do anything that walked in, you might not be getting paid that week. The idea of doing something different everyday is the appeal in my eyes.
Can you share something surprising about yourself?
I feel like this is true for most tattooers, but we’re basically all just a bunch of nerds. In my nine years, I’ve yet to meet one good tattooer that this doesn’t apply to, and I mean that in the best way. I love that about our industry. In my free time, I’m usually either at home watching law and order with my fiancé (or whatever tv show we’re binging at the time) or spending the day at a theme park or the beach. I think the idea that we’re mostly average people outside of work isn’t the stereotypical idea of how tattoo artists spend their free time, but it’s true.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @TattoosByNicholas