"I had my sights set on working for Pixar"
I grew up in the small mountain town of Carbondale, Colorado spending most of my time skateboarding and playing guitar. With some guidance from my high school art teacher, I discovered a passion for art and had a particular interest in animation. So, after high school I enrolled in the Art Institiute of Colorado and received a bachelor degree in Computer Arts and Animation.
I had my sights set on working at Pixar, so I moved back to Carbondale to revamp my demo reel and portfolio. While working hard on my portfolio I was presented with a job that would end up consuming the better part of the next decade for me. I was hired as motion graphics artist and animator at a small media production company.
Over the next eight years I worked on what seems like countless projects ranging everything from broadcast tv and large corporate videos to small non-profit videos and educational materials. Some of these projects include work for “Good Morning America”, "Extreme Makeover", ESPN’s Winter X-Games, Pfizer Pharmaceutical, HBO Comedy Fest and John Oates and many many others. I ended up wearing a lot of hats at that company and won numerous awards for everything from producing, animation, special effects and compositing, editing and web development to name a few.
I was pretty well established in my career by this point and it was really great, but I was beginning to get restless from spending most of my days in a dark room, surrounded by computers. I found myself getting migraines nearly every day from the screens and I realized that something needed to change.
I had been fascinated by tattooing and tattoo history and culture ever since I received my first tattoo and the idea of tattooing started making its way into my daily thoughts
More and more I would research on everything I could find about tattooing. I looked at books and magazines, scoured through websites, anything I could do to gain some more knowledge about tattooing. It consumed my thoughts day and night. I continued to draw, as I always had, but I did so then with a new focus and drive. Now there was a goal to my drawing.
I was fortunate enough to find a proper apprenticeship under Matt E. Hayes (no relation). I could tell he had reservations about taking on an apprentice... especially one with the same name. But in the end he agreed and took a chance on me and in 2008 I helped him open Spyder Rose Tattoo in Glenwood Springs, CO.
I served a pretty traditional apprenticeship under Matt E, and learned so much about tattooing and life during that time. After my apprenticeship I ran the shop for him for about another year until I was offered an opportunity to move to Denver and work at a shop down there.
My time in Denver was a time of imense growth. I helped open Mammoth American Tattoo, started doing conventions and expanded my network of peers by leaps and bounds. My work became more and more refined and I began to make a name for myself in the greater community of tattooing.
In 2018, my family and I decided it was time to move out of the city. We wanted to raise our children in the mountains, so we moved back to the Roaring Fork Valley where I opened Defiance Social Club tattoo studio in Carbondale, CO. It had always been a dream of mine to have a shop on Main St. in my home town and I couldn't be more stoked to have been able to make that happen.
However, I’m just as stoked to check that goal off and move on to the next one! As of April 2020 I’ll be closing the Carbondale location and moving to a private studio location in Glenwood Springs. I’m super excited for the change and I’m looking forward to the added benefits of more comfort and productivity for both my clients and myself. If I'm not tattooing or making art, I'm likely up in the mountains or out on the river with my kids enjoying everything that the mountains of Colorado have to offer.