by Trent Wyczawski
I have always been an artist. When I was growing up, I would spend hours sitting by myself and drawing whatever I was into at the time. Dinosaurs, animals, flowers, even comic books showed up on the pages of my sketchbooks. Little did I know, all of these curiosities and the hours spent would prepare me for a career in art.
I had an interest in tattoos at the age of 15. I began to draw designs and read tattoo magazines, more daydreaming than moving in any direction. It was fascinating to see the art in the skin and how the masters of the day were pushing the artistic boundaries, raising the bar to new heights. The years during and after high school I worked on the fine art side of the tracks receiving a classical education and learning the ropes. I didn't begin tattooing until the age of 25.
The first couple years I worked a few different places, but things really changed for me when I began to work for Little Vinnie Myers. There was an opening at the world famous West Side shop near Baltimore, and I was lucky enough to have an introduction. The day I interviewed for the job was the first time I met both Vinnie Myers and Paul Bessette. As a busy street shop, West Side was a great place to cut my teeth and hone my skills. Over the next couple of years I had the opportunity to make a couple thousand tattoos and gain the experience I needed.
I was aware of the new direction Vinnie had been moving. On the side lines I watched his business and notoriety grow into a steady climb. He would return from trips tattooing at hospitals and drop by West Side to talk or hang out on his way home. This was when I first became interested in hearing about the work and the information he was learning. I was again fascinated with this new direction and use for our craft. Vinnie began to get very busy and soon realized the volume of people in need of this service. I must have had the right stuff for the job and one day I received a phone call.
I spent many months shadowing and training with Vinnie. I sat in on a lot of appointments and discussed at length the techniques and theories he had regarding this process. Since those early days I have developed quite a few of my own theories and techniques in order to push the limits of what is possible and achieve the best results for women. Having a solid base and many years of experience tattooing helped immensely while learning the subtleties of color selection and the variables that are inherent in tattooing breast reconstructions.
I have now been working alongside Vinnie for over 4 and a half years. Paul Bessette joined forces with us just over a three years ago. He has worked with Vinnie for most of his illustrious career. Spending the two years prior working at another shop in Baltimore, he was asked by Vinnie to come and ply his craft with a new purpose. It is an extremely rewarding service that I am honored and proud to be a part of.