Joe Winkler Tattoo Portfolio

Tattooing wasn’t always a huge part of my life. By degree, I’m an engineer. I graduated from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, in 2008 with a bachelor’s of science in Civil & Environmental Engineering and started working for a firm in Myrtle Beach shortly after. In 2010, the firm laid off 3/4 of the staff, including me, due to the state of the economy. I went back to work with my father in residential construction while looking for more opportunities in my field. I was getting tattooed at Elite Ink during this time as well. Art has always been a passion that remained more of a self-taught hobby than a career in my life. Through the insistence of friends and family I began asking about for an apprenticeship with the shop. It took a year and a half of constantly asking and getting “no” for an answer, but in May of 2014 my persistence paid off and I became the shop apprentice of Elite Ink Tattoos of Myrtle Beach.

Through the next 2 years, I learned the art of tattooing. At the beginning, I did everything for the shop and all 8 of its artists, all but learn to tattoo. Working 7 days a week, if I wasn’t at work in construction, I was at the shop. If I any free time in between setting up stations, breaking them down and cleaning, or picking up around the shop; I was practicing linework and doing any recommended art exercises provided by the artists. It wasn’t long before I was given the chance to begin learning to actually tattoo. The first person I ever tattooed was myself, surrounded by all the artists teaching me. I progressed further by bringing in friends, that supported my art and new career path, and practicing on them under the supervision of the artists. Through my apprenticeship, I had discovered a unknown passion for an art form that had eluded me until now. Eventually I moved to working 6 days a week and learning through my mentor, Hank Spencer, until on the 28th of September of 2016, when I finished my apprenticeship and officially became a tattoo artist.

As a tattoo artist, my style has a very versatile nature. Pretty much, I do a bit of everything, which you can tell by my portfolio. I do, however, have my favorite styles. I mostly enjoy new-traditional and illustrative realism colorwork as well as black and gray realism with a touch of the abstract. And like any tattoo artist enjoys, custom work with the most artistic freedom has lead to my best tattoos. Thanks to having some great clients, I have had many opportunities to challenge myself and do some really enjoyable work so far. I look forward to many more opportunities in the years to come! Come by and get some ink done!

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