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On Going With The Flow,

Just when you think you have it all figured out, when you think you might have a plan for your future, life throws you into chaos. At least, that's the way it seems with me. Maybe it's a lesson from the universe- don't ever get too comfortable, or perhaps something more positive- everything changes, and that's okay. I've never been the kind of person to roll with the punches. Usually I get knocked out by the first blow and struggle to regain consciousness for the rest of the fight. I guess that's why I never became a boxer.

I have had the great privilege to have many supportive, resourceful, and inspiring friends and family members who have helped me along my path. From Portland, to California, back to Maryland for a short bit, and finally here in Pittsburgh, the city that I am so proud to call home. This journey has been a wild one, but I kept my mind open and allowed myself the chance to absorb and learn from all of these experiences. I became unstuck in the routine which I had gotten so used to, unknowingly stifling my own opportunities in the world. The routine is easy. It's comfortable. But taking risks, allowing yourself to experience failure, and learning and rising up from that is so beautiful. There is beauty in the chaos of the world. Never forget that, babies.

Moving on, I'm excited to show all of the new things I am trying. I didn't do a lot of drawing while I was traveling, so there isn't much to show just yet. Now that I've settled into my own space again, I am ready to get to work. I've been drawing almost daily, diligently studying and making small moves to become a tattoo artist in the future!

It's going to be a complicated process and I have a lot of learning, and unlearning, to do. Being able to draw is only one minor piece of what it means to be a tattoo artist. In fact, many tattoo artists aren't even artists before they begin this profession. Some say it's better that way, to have a blank slate to work with because not every drawing or illustration can easily translate to a tattoo. As a tattoo artist, you have to provide your clients with high-quality work that will stand the test of time and age. The skin is an organ, and like all bodies do, it will change and shift as it ages. The best tattoo artists are the ones who understand that, and know how ink will change with the body, and will design and tattoo with that in mind. But since artists are also working with bodies and fluids, they have to be extremely aware of diseases, cleanliness, sterilization, sharps disposal, aftercare, and so many other factors. I have a lot of work I do, as an artist and as a public health servant, as a student of this craft, before I can even imagine claiming this profession as my own.

It is work that I am excited to do. I look forward to the creativity and freedom this profession will allow me.

It's funny how much you can grow and change with what you go through in life. If there's anything that I've learned, it's that there are always options. You might not be in the right place, or the right mindset, or at the best perspective to see them. They're still there, and they will always be there. Opportunities that you might not even be able to imagine right now. So I've resolved to become unstuck in my routine, and as they say, go with the flow.

Thank you for reading! Take care, babies, I love you all.

- ronnie, witchmoss


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