Tattoo Artist Loves His Work, People He Works On
Photos and story by Carl Marchiano
If you wanted a tattoo, you’d want to get one from a guy who always wanted to be an artist and who really enjoys the people he creates with.
Eric Hornung is that guy. He recently opened Anti-hero Electric Tattoo in Andover after several decades as an artist. He left home at 17 to attend art school, but wound up working for a sign company creating graphic designs and lettering trucks, while bartending on the side.
That became uninspiring after awhile.
“I wanted to be in a place where art is created,” Eric, age 37, said. So he went into the art of tattoos– an area he loved – and became hideously underpaid. In 2006 Eric landed an apprenticeship at Eternal Grafix in Newton.
“I ran up 4 credit cards during my apprenticeship, and lived from tattoo to tattoo,” he said. If he did no tattoos that week, he wouldn’t have money to eat.
As an aspiring tattoo artist, he was discouraged many times, but he kept improving and remained diligent in his endeavor to succeed and obtain his dream job. “The only way to be good is to do a million crappy tattoos,” he said.
After four years of apprenticeship, he realized he was just an employee. He was getting good at his craft, and he was ready to be an artist with his own studio. So, Anti-hero Electric Tattoo was opened in 2010.
He now specializes in color tattoos with nature themes. In his studio are depictions of fish, deer and all kinds of other animals.
“Nature is perfectly imperfect,” he said describing his passion. “A spark plug is manufactured to be certain dimensions, but no two deer antlers are the same, like fingerprints.”
After a few years, and several hardships, Eric has achieved his dream of being his own boss, and owning a tattoo parlor. Meanwhile he gained some local popularity by being featured in the New Jersey Herald. His business expanded by means of social media and by word of mouth, a result of his exceptional customer service.
No matter what, Eric has never compromised himself as an artist.
Eric will do any tattoo, however he likes to add his own touch to all of his work, making it unique from others of its kind. Currently, he loves his “cool job” where he makes his own hours, is his own boss, and gets paid to make art and chat with people.
His busy months are usually in the summer. When business slows down in the winter months, Eric also works for a multitude of graphic design companies.
He prides himself on the fact that his tattoos are all hand drawn. Every image, creation, and idea is original from the moment of conception; there are no stencils or printed images.
the attachments to this post: