Inked Inspiration: CSUN art major uses his passion as a tattoo artist

Inked Inspiration: CSUN art major uses his passion as a tattoo artist

Danielle Hale

There is a stigma that comes along with tattoos. But it is slowly fading in today’s society. While some previous generations still might not readily accept and understand today’s cultural fascination with “getting ink,” it remains that tattoos are slowly becoming more socially accepted.

Getting a tattoo is a way to express to the world who you are and what you like. Tattooing is an artistic form that is able to showcase the talent and passion that so many tattoo artists have.

Talent and passion are two things that Weston Imhoff, a CSUN senior art major with an emphasis on illustration, definitely has. Imhoff is studying art, .

“I’ve been doing art, pretty much my entire life,” Imhoff said. “It was something my parents really supported me doing, and I kind of found that it was something that came natural to me and that I really enjoyed. I decided that when I came to CSUN, it was something I wanted to make a career out of.”

Illustration and art indubitably fit perfectly into the world of tattooing. Tattoos, much like illustrations, are art, for they are a permanent way of displaying something for the world to see.

Outside of war tattoos, most previous generations look at tattoos as part of a degenerate culture. While tattoos have slowly become more socially accepted in the last decade or so, it seems as though they will hardly raise any controversy at all in the not so distant future.

“My favorite part of tattooing is that I can share my art with so many people on a really personal level,” Imhoff said. “If you have a piece that you do for a gallery, it’s going to hang there and people can see pictures of it, but if you don’t have money to buy it, then you might not ever be able to see it again.”

His custom tattoos, however, stay with you forever.

Imhoff didn’t always want to be a tattoo artist.

“I actually began as a CTVA major, but switched to illustration because it was something I kept coming back to,” Imhoff said.

After meeting a fellow artist in a class at CSUN, Imhoff was introduced to the world of tattooing. He has slowly been stepping into the tattoo world ever since, beginning first with an apprenticeship and working up to where he is now, an artist at Wildlife Tattoos in the San Fernando Valley.

Drawing inspiration from classic tattoo artists like “Sailor Jerry” Collins and Ed Hardy, Imhoff likes to combine bold and fun tattoos with his own style.

“I’ve loved being able to make pieces and make my art more beautiful while learning knowledge and new techniques from my professors and other peers here at CSUN,” said Imhoff.  “Tattooing has allowed me to become more inspired by the things and people around me, and I love that I can share that with everyone… and it (a  tattoo) is always there with you,” said Imhoff.

As a tattoo artist, Imhoff has been able to blend his illustration and love for art and combine that into a paying career. After he graduates, Imhoff plans to continue making art, “as long as I can maintain my own personal sense of fine art and combine that with tattooing, I don’t see any end to creating art.”