Mike Salay

My style of tattooing is a spin off of the old school Traditional style of tattooing.

I started tattooing back in 2000 after the whole Y2K thing. Literally. Two days after. I bought some tattoo equipment from a pawnshop, and as soon as I got it back to my house, I began making a lot of my friends really ugly.

I’ve been interested in tattooing for as long as I can remember. Growing up in Woodbridge, Virginia, I recall sneaking across Jefferson Davis Highway to go skate the Woodbridge Ditch. There were these older dudes ripping who had tattoos all over their arms and legs, and I thought to myself, if you want to want to be a good skater, you have to have tattoos.

I started drawing my ass off to a point that it’s all I was doing in school and at home. I started taking art classes and started getting tattooed.

I went to get my stomach tattooed by my friend Gary Clark, watched his every move and just tried to copy what he did.

That didn’t work.

However, I did land an apprenticeship, and I worked at two shops in Virginia for almost a year. In between working in a kitchen and tattooing on the side, I was ready for something new and different. So, I left Virginia and moved to Florida.

When I arrived in Florida I started working in kitchens again, hangin’ out, doing the bar thing and met an amazing women named Samantha (who in a whole other story becomes my wife and the mother of our two boys) who helped me get my head on straight and got me focused on our future.

I was then offered a job at Bodytech working under Eric Carlson who showed me a few tricks to hone my skills. I stayed at the Tech until 2009, and have been here at Anthem ever since.

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