Hi everyone! My name is Erika Jo Smith. I was born and raised here in Tucson, AZ. Growing up my Mom and Dad got tattooed, what I thought was a lot then… My Father has always been an amazing artist he had a flare for drawing and would draw his own tattoos. I thought that was awesome! In grade school I would draw little designs such as, hearts, stars, smiley faces, etc. I would take those little designs and draw them on my friends for like fifty cents/ a dollar. I learned this from my first trip in a tattoo shop, thanks Mom! I like to think of that as the beginning. My Uncle (Dads brother) is a high school art teacher. During the summers he would do arts and crafts with my siblings and I. We would paint, draw, paper mache, and make things like Katchina dolls. I really loved it.
I started to get tattoos from my mentors when I was 18 and couldn’t stop. I wanted nothing more than to be a part of this amazing culture. I started my apprenticeship in 2011, I was 21 years old. Although I had only a small art background, I had a passion and love for the industry. After about a year of drawing and learning, I did my first tattoo on myself. I took almost all of 2013 off to have my beautiful son, with my fiancé. They changed my life for the better. I resumed my apprenticeship in 2014. With the support from my patient fiancé I started tattooing again, this time with my new family as the force that drives me… This brings me to present day. I am now towards the end of my first year as an artist. I couldn’t begin to thank Kevin, Tony, and Jake enough for not only teaching me their skill, but also for believing in me and offering a job here at Trinity Art Collective. I still have a lot to learn, and will always focus on growth. The most amazing aspect of our team is that we share the same career and family goals, and work together to achieve them.