Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Elliott.
Brittany, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m 32 years old, born August 11, 1987 and I’ve been tattooing since I was 18 years old. I knew since I was an early teen that I wanted to make tattooing my career and life.
I remember walking into a tattoo shop at 13 in San Antonio, Texas, called “Phoenix Graphics” with my Mom. My mom was heavy into drugs when I was younger so I rarely saw her. Anytime we did something together, it left a lasting impression on me… this day forever changed my life. We walked into the shop to get my belly button pierced and I saw Shawn Michaels, the WWE wrestler, getting tattooed, the artists were jamming metal and cursing like pirates. I immediately knew that this is what I wanted to do with my life. Since age 16, I asked around town for apprenticeships and finally started getting tattooed heavily at age 18 in 2005.
After going through an apprenticeship in 2006, I began tattooing full time and never looked back. Tattooing is my life and has given me so many opportunities through my hard work and dedication to the craft. I owe my life to tattooing, it has given me a purpose on this earth and has put so many incredible people in my life. Putting my art on people for life and having the ability to impact people’s lives daily is what I live for. I am practically a counselor as well as a tattooer…I care. I care about doing the best tattoo I can possibly do on every single person that walks through my door and I care about them. Tattoos are the only thing you can take with you to the grave and I have always been enamored with the art of tattooing since a young age.
In 2012, I appeared on the Oxygen series Best Ink Season 2, which was a crazy and cool experience. TV has never really been my thing. I’m a metalhead… music freak, I would way rather put on records and create art than sit down and mindlessly watch television… it’s just not for me, so I initially turned them down when they approached me about doing the show. They approached me at a tattoo convention right after my Mom passed and I just knew that this was something that was happening because of her… she told me something was about to happen to me, she just didn’t know what… so I took the bait.
After appearing on the show, I went on tour with a few bands doing Merch for a few years in between my tattoo schedule. My specialty in tattooing is heavy metal imagery and band logos… so I had the opportunity to tattoo the legendary WINO and then started touring with his bands Saint Vitus and Spirit Caravan for a few years.
I also refurbish antique furniture. I love the challenge of taking something old and worn out and turning into a new piece of art. Same with tattooing, I love doing reworks and coverups because of the satisfaction I get seeing before and after photos. I use old rock n’ roll posters for my tabletops and they’re all 100% handmade and one of a kind.
In 2014, I opened my own heavy metal record store and tattoo shop in Fort Worth. I worked tireless days and nights for three years until I voluntarily left the business due to personal issues within the shop. I now do guest spots at Saints and Sinners Tattoo in Carrollton every other month to accommodate all of my DFW clients.
I moved back home to San Antonio in late 2019 because my dad fell ill with lung cancer out of the blue and passed soon after I moved. My dad meant the absolute world to me and now my work is what keeps me going. Like I said, tattooing is my life. It has saved me in my dark days where I feel sad due to my parents’ tragic fates… it gives me a reason, a purpose… making others feel good is my purpose on this earth. Spreading positivity and making rad art is what I live for.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely not been an easy road. It took me years to find an apprenticeship because in this business, you really have to prove that you respect the craft of tattooing… and the way that you do that is by getting tattooed. I always knew I wanted to be heavily tattooed, so I immediately started my sleeves upon turning 18, then my mentor began teaching me after he felt that I had earned it.
Both of my parents died tragically which causes me a great deal of depression that I battle daily. My mother died of a pharmaceutical drug overdose when I was 24 and my dad, my best friend, of stage 4 lung cancer last November. My dad died in front of me… gasping for his last breaths while looking into my eyes. So needless to say, I’ve definitely had it rough the last ten years, but I try to overcome my depression by healing others through tattooing and making them happy… which heals me too.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I work both at Saints and Sinners Carrollton and Rose of Texas Tattoo in San Antonio, Texas. I specialize in most types of tattooing and try to be as well rounded as possible, but I love American traditional, old school biker stuff, and heavy metal style tattooing… old logos and challenging cover-ups are my favorite. I’m kind of known for my heavy metal tattoos… which is how I met the love of my life, Johnny Araya.
Johnny found me on Instagram because he saw a Megadeth tattoo I had done. He said that Slayer had announced their last tour and being their main roadie for the last 30 years, he knew he finally had to get a Slayer tattoo. He said he looked tirelessly for an artist and as soon as he saw that Megadeth piece, he knew I was the one to do his tattoo. He emailed me, I flew out to a Slayer show, tattooed him… and the rest is history. Slayer is my favorite band of all time and the singer’s brother somehow found me, got tattooed by me, and we fell in love. Pretty frickin amazing… so I would say I’m known for my heavy metal tattoos. I like clean, bold and bright tattoos. Crisp lines are super important to me.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
A great attitude goes a long way in this industry. I have been tattooed by a few people who did great tattoos on me, but since the experience was less than favorable, it tarnished my image of the tattoo. I truly feel like your experience with your tattooer is half of it. You can get an amazing tattoo from some jerk and love the tattoo, but you’ll always think about the bad experience when you look at it. So I try to make sure everyone has an awesome, fun experience getting tattooed despite the fact that they’re getting stabbed… hehe.
- 150 per hour
- Phone: (210)824-0188
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @roseoftexastattoo @bzelliott
- Twitter: @bzelliott