Living the Dream: Debbi Snax


23 year old artist Debbi Snax is a humble Georgia Peach based in Atlanta, Ga. She is pursuing her dream of becoming a tattoo artist and currently tattoos at West End Tattoos. Having been an apprentice for not even a year and a half, Debbi Snax’ artwork has left TGC dumbfounded in her skill, talent, creativity, and passion as both a tattooer and an artist. Check out her exclusive interview with Goddess Isis:

The Goddess Column wants to know…

How long have you been fostering your passion for art?
Oh man , I feel like I’ve been an artist forever. My uncle Jimmy is an artist as well; I think that’s where I get it from. I use to see his paintings hanging everywhere in my grandmother’s house. Since I was a young girl I’ve always been painting or drawing or just doodling stupid shxt on the side of my notebook pages. Even on the desk in every one of my classrooms–(I think I had in-school suspension for that a thousand and 5 times). Art has been a part of me since day one.

What influences your artwork?
Seriously, EVERYTHING influences me; it just depends on where I am at that time and what kind of mood I’m in . When I’m walking home, its the graffiti on the walls and on the trains that pass by. When I’m riding around downtown it could be an emblem engraved in a building structure or an advertisement at a bus stop . When I’m grocery shopping I like to go to the wine cellars and look at the boxes the wine comes in, not only because I love wine, but because nine times out of ten the logo or graphics on the box are ham. But my emotions are probably my biggest influence though–when I’m terribly sad, extremely angry, overwhelmingly happy, hella drunk or completely stoned I think I produce the best work. I literally pull from everywhere. 

When did you begin following your dreams of becoming a tattoo artist?
I just recently started to truly pursue tattooing. Its been about a year and 4 months now. I’m finally in the last few stages of my apprenticeship–well, I hope I am anyway, my mentor won’t tell me when it will be over. I think he just likes having me around. 

What words of advice/encouragement do you have for others who are pursuing a dream similar to that of your own?
Nike said it best, “JUST DO IT.” You will never know if it’s going to work until you try it and sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do, but once you are over the initial fear everything else flows like water, baby. And if you do what you love… the money will follow. 

If you could do a tattoo on anyone in the world, who would it be? What piece of art would you want to do on them?
Hmmmm, that’s a hard one. I think if I could tattoo anyone it would have to be my mother [she would never sit for a tattoo though, she’s such a scary little lady]. But if I could I would put a traditional diamond on her ring finger because she’s my rock and she deserves one. 

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your journey so far?
The biggest challenge that I faced in the beginning was learning how to change the way I draw so that it can be tattooed. I had to turn my sketchy outlines into crisp, precise line work. I’ve finally mastered it and now it’s second nature. 

Who is your favorite artist?
WOW, another hard one. I have so many artists that I admire, but I think I can narrow it down to two–ok no, maybe 4. My favorite female tattoo artist at this moment is Emily Rose Murray in Australia she’s brilliant. My favorite male tattoo artists are Tim Hendricks, Trevor Lightsy & Juan Carlos. Juan and Trevor are my mentors and probably Atlanta’s best kept secret. I believe Tim is based out of California and he’s just amazing and super hot! 

Do you have a favorite piece of art or tattoo that you’ve created so far?
I don’t have a favorite tattoo just yet; I love them all the same right now. But I do have a favorite painting. It’s a self portrait I did… [of course, it would be of myself right?] I went through a phase recently where I wanted to be a stripper, so I decided that I would paint myself as one dancing instead of actually doing it. I’ve had a few people that offered to buy it but I love it too much to sell it. 

Would you say that art is a passion of yours?
Art is definitely a passion of mine–so much that it has become a part of me. As cliché as it sounds, art is my heart and soul. 

How does fostering your passion for art by doing something you love affect your daily spirit and life?
Oh man… being able to do something that I love brings so much joy to my life. Tattooing brightens my dull little world. I love that I can leave a piece of me on someone else permanently. I can’t wait till I have enough clientele to where I can survive solely off of tattooing alone. And I know that day is coming… just wait on it. 

We love watching your Instagram videos where you show you’re progress of the art. What’s the longest time frame you’ve worked on a sketch?
Honestly, I don’t spend too much time on sketches–a day or two at the most, because if I don’t get it out of my head and on paper right then… I’m going to lose it–and I hate when that shxt happens. So, I try to pump it out as quick as I can. 

What’s the most meaningful artwork you’ve created to date? What inspired it?
So far my most meaningful work of art is this angel piece that I have yet to finish… I started on it for my best friend Mauri after she passed last year. But it’s waaayyy too emotional for me and it’s so hard to finish, I need it to be perfect like she was to me. But I can never get it right. Love it nonetheless and when I do finish it, I know it will be dope. 

What are your views on people who choose to follow their dreams instead of getting a degree right away?
I think that those who choose to follow their dreams are the smartest people of all, because if you know exactly what you want to do, why waste time and money on getting a degree? Now, don’t get me wrong, if you want to be a doctor or lawyer or something like that, take your ass to school. But I personally wasted so much time in school learning pointless things and partying way too hard. Some of the world’s most successful people are college dropouts–Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Frank Lloyd Wright, James Cameron and Mark Zuckerberg–just to name a few. I’m so anti-school though, I should have followed my dream a long time ago. 

What aspirations do you have for yourself as an artist?
Honestly, the only aspiration I have for myself is to be undeniably amazing. I don’t want to be famous or anything like that. I just want to be able to create lasting works of art that are just jaw-dropping. My goal as far as tattooing goes is to be a well-rounded tattooer. And when I say that, I mean I’m going to be able to do ANY and EVERY style of tattooing there is. Japanese, traditional, realism, new school–whatever it is my customer wants–with my own unique twist of course. I want to be able to do it all.

Do you have any exciting moments/funny stories you’d like to share with TGC Readers about your journey so far?
Ok so, maybe it’s not that exciting to you guys, but I tattooed myself. It was my very first tattoo and my boss wouldn’t let me tattoo anyone else until I did it. I should have told him to go screw himself, but I kinda didn’t want to lose my apprenticeship so I did it. I put the Braves ‘A’ on my left leg above my knee and it was probably the worst decision I’ve ever made. I was freaking out the entire time, sweating, and screaming out an occasional “FXCK” every few minutes–all while everyone in the shop laughed at me. I finally finished like 4 hours later and it healed up pretty good. I fucked around and forgot how bad that hurt and decided to tattoo a sugar skull on my leg about a month ago… let’s just say I never finished it. I only got the line work done and vowed [never] to do that shxt again. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with TGC Readers?
Nope , keep it cute you guys.

 We know–inspiring, beautiful, incredible creativity–she’s top notch! Follow more of Debbi Snax work via Instagram. Goddess Isis is looking forward to getting her custom Debbi Snax tattoo on her next visit to Georgia. [To Debbi Snax] Your light shines so brightly. You’ve inspired us. We wish you the best in all of your future endeavors! Goddess Isis is serious about getting her tattoo! Always know you’ve got a fan and supporter in us. -TGC

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