Photo above by Al Weems Photography

Steven Tefft


How long have you been tattooing and how did you start your tattooing journey?


I’ve been tattooing now for approximately 29 to 30 years. I got my start around 1989 after reading my first tattoo magazine and then I was hooked. I did a bad thing and I bought some equipment out of the back of the magazine from a place called Spaulding and Rogers and started tattooing my friends even though I knew almost absolutely nothing about how to tattoo. Lol Luckily four years later I apprenticed at a real tattoo shop and the rest is history.



Do you remember what was the first tattoo you did? If so, tell us what it was and for who.


My first tattoo was a Flash Koi fish and I did it on my brothers best friend.



Please, tell us about your current tattoo style and how it has changed over the years.


My current tattoo style is probably horror surrealism I do mostly black and gray sometimes with hints of color.

My style hasn’t really changed over the years I’ve kind of modified it here in there to match what  some new artists are doing. I’ll try that little flavor for a little while but mostly I’ve stuck to the Paul Booth style because he is the godfather of black and gray horror and evil tattooing.



Does anyone or anything inspire you?


I Find inspiration almost weekly I’ll see a new artist come out I really like what they’re doing I’ll get inspired to maybe try some of that in my style I’m inspired by even going back and look at all the old guys have been doing it forever and just you know find love again and just keep revitalizing myself.



Are there any tattoo artists who are extremely admirable to you? If so who?


The oddest I admired most was Paul booth he is the guy that started my complete style but there’s new guys out like Steppan Negur, Brandon Herrera, EDiablo, and my old favorites like my friend Bob Tyrell , Evan Olin and Marshall Bennett.



Do you have any memorable tattoo story or a customer that has stuck with you through all the time you have been tattooing?


Yes one time I designed this demon head with spider legs because my customer said his uncle died from a spider bite. He showed the tattoo to his grandmother she had a heart attack and had to go to the hospital so that was pretty memorable. lol



Is there any art form that fascinates you also except tattooing? Maybe do you have any other passion or something that you really enjoy doing?


I’m really fascinated with sculpting. I’m fascinated with how you have to keep everything so symmetrical and even in yet think three-dimensional and proportion I think it’s amazing how people can do that I’d really like to try that someday.



Do you like visiting or exhibiting at tattoo conventions? Would you recommend any of them?


I actually like exhibiting and going to Tattoo Convention’s. I like working Tattoo Convention’s because I get inspired by the other artists around me and I put out a lot of good work that way. I also like going as a spectator because I get a lot of time to talk to new artist and talk to my old friends have been tattooing forever I just love the whole atmosphere in the vibe of tattoo conventions.

I would recommend all of the Tattoo Convention’s go there support your local artist and get the sea otters from around the world and just check out great work.



Any artist you planning to get tattooed by? Who has tattooed you already?


I would love to be tattooed by Steppan Negur.

I have tattoos done by Paul Booth, Liorcifer, Eric Merrill, Tom Berg, Mike Rubendall and Shane O’Neill.



What are your plans and dreams? If you think about yourself in 10 years, what do you see?


My plans and dreams are to get more tattoos by some of my favorite artists. I want to be able to travel the world tattooing and meeting more people.

I see myself in 10 years being a really cool old tattoo artist covered in really cool tattoos by some of the best in the world and just passing my knowledge on to a generation below me and keeping the art and the love of tattooing alive.



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