It wasn’t too long ago that society had a somewhat closed minded opinion when it came to tattoos. They were thought to be associated with gangs, bikers and a part of the ‘bad scene’. But, that is clearly not the case today. All walks of life are now sitting in the chair of a tattoo artist and getting forever works of art put on them. Some get symbols to remember a loved one that has passed, others a sign of something they believe in….and sure, some are merely looking for the shock factor. But regardless of your reason, tattoos are not looked at the same way as in years passed.
In May of 2014, Chestermere had its first tattoo shop open its doors. Obsidian Rose Tattoo, located in the plaza in Rainbow Falls, and with the addition of a few new artists since opening, it goes without saying that the community has embraced them.
When the owners of Obsidian Rose, Emma & Tim Ashman, were approached by 16 year old Miranda Gilbert about volunteering in their shop, the tattoo artist couple welcomed her with open arms.
“My interests have always been in art and I got interested in tattoo artistry in grade 9. This year my mom talked to me about volunteering at a tattoo parlour and we took the chance. Luckily, Obsidian Rose took me on as a volunteer right away,” said the grade 11 student from Chestermere High.
At the moment, Miranda’s tasks at the tattoo shop are to help set up and tear down stations, sweep the floor, help keep the shop looking nice and tidy and occasionally help at the front desk and answer calls. Aside from those tasks, she is getting some very valuable art lessons from some of the artists at the shop.
“I have been learning everything I wanted to learn there. My initial wish was to learn how tattoo artistry worked and what kind of cleanup was involved – as well as ways to improve my art work. All of the artists and managers have helped me immensely will all of this”, said Gilbert, daughter of Danny and Shelly Gilbert – owners of Canadian Tae Kwon Do College located in Chestermere.
When asked what she has her sights set on for after high school, Gilbert answered, “After I graduate, I would love to go to ACAD, just to learn some more art styles that you can do. I would also love to become a tattoo artist someday, and Obsidian Rose is helping me achieve this and hopefully, I will be able to apprentice with them someday”.
Obsidian owner, Emma, said, “Miranda is a true pleasure to have in the shop. It is a great pleasure for us to see and help a young artist like Miranda. Someone that truly appreciated art and all that can be done with it. She has also reminded the artists that art itself is an everlasting journey that never really ends. In teaching Miranda they artists learning and growing in small aspects themselves. We jumped at the opportunity to help her out and are excited to see her grow as an artist and a beautiful young woman. And who knows, there may be another tattoo artist in Miranda yet”.
“I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity for work among them, they are great and hardworking people. Emma, Tim, Rachel, Jenn, Chris Campbell and Chris Anjelikas. I thank them all for their help,”