The GYPSY’s BIOGRAPHY
The GYPSY was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1956. He exhibited his artistic talent at 18 months old when he drew a picture of a cow on the inside cover of a coloring book. He never had another color book after that time. His Mother, recognizing his natural talent, kept him well supplied in crayons and newsprint paper.
The GYPSY’S Grandmother also recognized his early artistic abilities and at 6 years of age enrolled him in art classes at Washburn University where he soon out surpassed the other students in his class. His instructors moved him quickly from beginner to intermediate classes and soon into an advanced adult class where he was discovered by famed portrait artist Harry Roth. Mr. Roth took The GYPSY under his wing and gave him private lessons for the next 3 years.
In 1964 The GYPSY won a City wide art contest with a crayon and water color drawing of a space walk. This picture went on to win first place for his age group in State competition and later in National. It remained on display at the Smithsonian Institution from 1964 – 1965. It resides in the museum archives.
In 1974, while still in High School, The GYPSY started doing freelance art for the Nazarene publishing House in KCMO. That same year he started college courses for Forestry & Wildlife Management. The GYPSY graduated from High School at Mid-Term in 1976 and immediately was called for an interview from a major greeting card company (at the time he was taking college classes for Technical Illustration & Mechanical drafting). Turning down the contract that the company offered The GYPSY stopped by a tattoo studio on his way back home and he was hooked. He started his 18 month apprenticeship the next day and the rest is history.
The GYPSY had the first professional Tattoo Studio in St. Joseph, Missouri which opened in 1977. He has also had studios in San Angelo, Midland, El Paso and Abilene, Texas. All except El Paso being the first of their kind in those cities.
The GYPSY has had several careers in his life including Army Enlistment, Psychiatric Nurse, Senior Zoo Keeper and Truck Driver all while still maintaining numerous studios all under the Skin Art Creations name. In 1990 The GYPSY opened the first tattoo studio in the 4 State region of Southeast Kansas, Southwest Missouri, Northeast Oklahoma & Northwest Arkansas.
In 1992 The GYPSY received formal training for advanced piercing procedures and became the first professional piercer in the region.
In 1995 The GYPSY opened a second studio in Independence, Kansas which he closed a year later due to lack of competent help. The Baxter Springs Studio operated until Christmas Eve of 2002 when, due to lack of community support and the overly liberal tattoo and piercing laws in Joplin, Missouri ($50.00 and a blood test will get you a license), which has caused the market to become flooded, the Baxter Springs studio was closed.
The GYPSY reopened the Independence, Kansas Studio in November of 2002 and now operated full time from there until August of 2010 when The GYPSY went into semi-retirement. The GYPSY lived in Texas until October 2013 and now, once again, calls Topeka, Kansas home.
The GYPSY has won World wide recognition and numerous awards for his artwork as well as being involved in community affairs and civic organizations. The GYPSY is the first tattoo artist to ever run for a Political office campaigning for a City Council seat in Baxter Springs, Kansas and the Democratic Candidate for the District 12 Representative seat for the Kansas House. The GYPSY is currently writing his several novels with various publish dates. The GYPSY has 1 Daughter, 3 Sons, 2 Granddaughters, 2 Grandsons and a Great Grandson.
WE ARE PROUD OF THE AWARDS WE HAVE WON. HERE ARE A FEW OF THEM.
TATTOO RENDEZVOUS – 1992, CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION FOR PARTICIPATION PRESENTED TO THE GYPSY
SKIN ART CREATIONS TATTOO SHOW – 1993, “BEST TRADITIONAL TATTOO,” COLLECTOR – LINDA BEAVER, ARTIST – THE GYPSY
SKIN ART CREATIONS TATTOO SHOW – 1993, “BEST BLACK & GREY TATTOO,” COLLECTOR – CHRIS FRIEND, ARTIST – THE GYPSY
SKIN ART CREATIONS TATTOO SHOW – 1993, “BEST OVER-ALL TATTOO MALE,” COLLECTOR – NORMAN FISCHER, ARTIST – THE GYPSY
TATTOO RENDEZVOUS – 1993, “BEST OVER-ALL TATTOO – MALE, ” COLLECTOR – BUBBA SCHMIDT, ARTIST – THE GYPSY
TATTOO RENDEZVOUS – 1993, CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION FOR PARTICIPATION PRESENTED TO THE GYPSY
THE GATHERING PLACE – 1994, CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION FOR ARTISTIC TALENT PRESENTED TO THE GYPSY
LION’S CLUB INTERNATIONAL – 1994, CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION AS GUEST SPEAKER PRESENTED TO THE GYPSY
SKIN ART CREATIONS TATTOO SHOW – 1994, “BEST TRADITIONAL TATTOO,” COLLECTOR – MOTEL LEE, ARTIST – THE GYPSY
TATTOO RENDEZVOUS – 1994, CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION FOR PARTICIPATION PRESENTED TO THE GYPSY
STURGINK – 1995, 2ND PLACE “BEST COLOR TATTOO,” ARTIST – THE GYPSY
STURGINK – 1995, 3RD PLACE “BEST TATTOO OF STURGIS,” TATTOO ARTIST – THE GYPSY
HAWG HAWLER – 1996, 2ND PLACE “BEST TATTOOS,” COLLECTOR – RICK MOORE, ARTIST – THE GYPSY
SKIN ART CREATIONS TATTOO SHOW – 1997, “BEST FRONT PANEL,” TATTOO ARTIST – THE GYPSY
25th ANNIVERSARY REUNION CONVENTION – 1/19/2001, 2nd PLACE “BEST TATTOO OF THE DAY,” COLLECTOR – M.L. BRADY, ARTIST – THE GYPSY
ABATE OF TULSA MOTORCYCLE & TATTOO SHOW – MARCH 2002, 1st PLACE “BEST PATRIOTIC TATTOO” COLLECTOR – DARREN HENSLEY, ARTIST – THE GYPSY
ABATE OF TULSA MOTORCYCLE & TATTOO SHOW – MARCH 2002, 3rd PLACE “MOST REALISTIC TATTOO” COLLECTOR – DARREN HENSLEY, ARTIST – THE GYPSY
MAYFIT 2009 PAWHUSKA, OKLAHOMA – MAY 2009, “BEST OVERALL TATTOO – COLLECTOR LESLEY JACKSON, ARTIST – The GYPSY