I got to be a fly on the wall for a day in the life of Russ Hickman and it was a real treat. Not only was I able to observe him at work, I was able to share breakfast with his family, walk his son to school, and walk to work with Russ. This level of intimacy is different from my videos in the past. It was a healthy reminder that as I strive to tell someone's story, sometimes I need to focus on their life outside of their profession; that a person's identity isn't found in what they do, nor does what they love limit itself to an activity. Russ is more than a talented tattoo artist, he is a loving husband, a caring father, and I'm confident he plays many important roles outside of these.
What's more than that, Russ's love for tattooing can't be distilled down to just a "love for tattooing". He loves sketching, creating, interacting with people, serving his community, learning from others, and getting to meet a wide variety of people. His humility towards each customer is deep as he makes an effort to not only serve them but also understand them. He goes beyond just simply sketching and inking an idea that someone has: he makes the effort to understand who they are, why they want that tattoo, and creates a version of that vision that best suits them.
Although I currently don't have any tattoos, watching Russ work and seeing both his love for what he does and the level of skill at which he does it made me want to get one. If you want to find out more about what Russ is doing, you can find his website here or follow his work on his instagram @russtattoos.