Director and Master Instructor
A little bit about how I got to where I am now. . .
In 2003 blissfully unaware of cosmetic tattoo I was coaxed into attending an appointment with a friend who was getting some “tattooed” brows at an in-home studio of a prominent Toronto technician. One half hour and several hundred dollars later I was amazed at how natural my new eye brows looked and later even more so as I no longer needed to pencil them in. I did further investigating and found that cosmetic tattoo or micro pigmentation was very much a viable trade. I had no doubt this was something I could do but was not quite ready to commit to the substantial cost of a course.
A year later a huge shift in life circumstances startled me into action. Where could a 40+ year old get retrained as quickly as possible and reap a fairly hefty income in a fraction of the usual business plan sense? Permanent Make-Up! I had no esthetics training quite the opposite, with an undergraduate in Psychology and a background in Land Development and Planning I did however have a network of friends in the medical/beauty enhancement industry.
To be truthful I was initially inspired by thoughts of the potential income only from this business not realizing how many women and men’s lives I would have some small part in helping to better. It never occurred to me that I would come to love the job as much as I do now.
I started my company “About Face” in 2004 and not long after was offered a teaching position with the institution I trained with originally. I worked steadily in the the industry while teaching and representing the institution at various esthetic and medical trade shows. I also freelanced for many spas, clinics and derma-graphics (tattoo) studios performing countless permanent make-up procedures. Immediately I started to develop new teaching techniques which incorporated many of the tips and tricks from body tattoo artists I’d met and learned from and it was this sharing of trade and information which lead me to Toronto Tattoo School.
I had found a kindred spirit and body tattoo mentor in Rob Dela Cruz, owner of Toronto Tattoo School. I wanted to learn body tattoo and he cosmetic tattoo. What ensued was a multi faceted opportunity to develop and create a unique course for body tattoo artists wanting to learn permanent make-up. Originally the course was offered only to the body tattoo artists but numerous requests for a foundation course for those new to the industry lead to the development of a more comprehensive training program. The demand for this training was great enough for me to establish a school apart from my body tattoo colleague’s and Toronto Tattoo Clinic came into being.
There is and will always be a distinction between body tattoo and permanent make-up but I have made it one of my missions to soften and diffuse (body tat jargon) the border between the two. There is much to be learned from both sides. I am impressed by the number of hours a body tattoo apprentice spends by his mentors side and to be frank a little horrified by how little time is required to become a
permanent make-up artist. Very little in the way of mentorship is available to the new cosmetic technician and for this reason Toronto Tattoo Clinic is pleased to include it’s unique Mentorship Program with the Foundation Course.
More than a decade later I remain fascinated by the tattoo industry and continue to develop and re-invent the modalities used to teach cosmetic and paramedical tattoo to new students as well as experienced technicians wanting to stay progressive and renew their passion for the art.
Socrates said, "I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that, is that I know nothing".
I heartily encourage my students and colleagues when they wake up each morning, to ask: What can I learn today? And when something new is learned by them, I respectfully request they give me a call and tell me about it so I can learn too.
From the heart and hip.