HALES PHOTO
Atlanta Commercial Photographer

state of the art project | atlanta commercial editorial photographers

state of the art project is a personal photographic project featuring local atlanta creatives in editorial style photographs.  the goal is to show the subject creating in their space, portraits of the subject, and the final creation.

state of the art: ryan weaver - kingdom tattoo

this week we're featuring ryan weaver, a tattoo artist and the owner of kingdom tattoo in decatur.  i have been following ryan's work on instagram (@ryanweavertattoo) for a couple of years after he was mentioned to me by a few of my friends.  i was immediately impressed by his tattoo skills, and ryan will be inking my next tattoo.  he has been tattooing for 17 years, and has owned kingdom tattoo for over 3 years.  

jh: why did you decide to start kingdom tattoo?

rw: [working long hours for someone else] "i didn't feel like i could be a very present dad or husband.  i kinda set it up to make it where i could be available to them."  

jh: so now on top of tattooing you are running a business, do you feel like have more time for your family?

rw: "i have a lot more time."

jh: how did you get into tattooing?

rw: "tattooing chose me.  i was in bands growing up, and just kept getting lots of tattoos.  the more i hung out at this one particular tattoo shop the more they seemed interested in me.  historically as apprenticeships go you are asked to apprentice.  it's different now.  the more i got tattooed the more i enjoyed the process."

jh: how would you describe your style?

rw: "american traditional is the broad category that best represents what i like to do.  i drive an old car and live in a mid century house.  i'm real nostalgic about vintage things; it speaks to my soul.  to me old mid century sailors getting hearts, anchors, roses and stuff; just simple readable images; to me that's what tattooing is.  and that's why i do the things i do.  this is the stuff that best represents the feeling i get tattooing."

jh: how do you think tattooing will change over time?

rw: "today everyone kinda shuns flash, but i think it's going to come back around.  most of this stuff in here is originals that i've been collecting from tattooers all around.  'cause i want to have the most unique collection of flash around."

ryan does impressive work, but i am more impressed with the man behind the work.  as a small business owner with a child on the way i hope i can prioritize my life as well as he does.  ryan, thank you for taking the time and sharing.  thanks also for the advice, a good time, and great work.

to see a gallery of images from my time with ryan click here.  you can follow ryan on instagram @ryanweavertattoo or on facebook.

Jason HalesComment