My name is Larry Allen. I am an artist & tattooer from the Boston, MA area. I work out of Witch City Ink in Salem, MA
My background in art started years ago in grade school. I took as many classes as I could & spent thousands of hours drawing, simply for fun & the enjoyment of art.
My degree in Art Education is from Plymouth State College up in the white mountains of New Hampshire. I concentrated in both printmaking and photography, showing a proclivity towards value contrasts in my portfolio.
After graduation, I taught art in the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina. The old saying of teachers teach for the love of it, not to make a living, proved very true & I left that profession after just 2 short years. Moving back north, I took a job outside of the art/teaching field so that I could actually have more than 2 nickels in my pocket at the same time. It was in the financial field of investments in a big corporate firm. Though I hated the world of cubicles, meaningless office chitchat, having 9 different bosses, etc... the job payed really well, but I ended up disconnected from the art world for almost 10 years.
One day, I asked an old college friend out to lunch because I wanted to pick his brain on how to open a business since he owned his own tattoo studio and was seemingly very successful.
I found out that he had opened his 1st studio through a lot of blood, sweat & effort, and opened his 2nd studio just 3 years later. He had grown his business so big & so quickly that he had pretty much stopped tattooing so that he could run the business full time. The more we talked, the more we both realized everything that was bogging him down was something I was already familiar with, so I came on to take over the business side of the business so that he could get back to being the studio's head artist. I learned the in & outs of running a small business pretty quickly, but the tattoo industry was much more broad than I had ever given it credit for & I loved it!!!
For the 1st time in a long time, I was in an environment I loved & in a place that could stimulate my creativity, while allowing me the opportunity to do something I was good at and make a decent living. That was 8 years ago & I haven't once looked back.