We had the good fortune of connecting with Ariel Atkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ariel, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I’m originally from Shreveport, Louisiana the big 318 also known as “ratchet city” where talent is given at birth. Everyone out there has there own thing wether it’s music, art, sports, fashion, etc. Being surrounded by talented people whom either use it or don’t made an impact on my upbringing because everyone has their own struggle if you’re hungry enough you’re going to make a way by any means and The younger me saw too much potential not being used, & i personally struggled a lot out there so by any means i was gonna find a way but all i knew was art and drawing. I’ve worked many jobs but none were for me. So i went back to what i knew best and applied it in any aspect that i could. I sold drawings and paintings for a while but i needed something that was gonna take me off the bottom. So i got into tattooing and i never looked back since because it was everything i needed. The environment, the hungry artist, the money, it was just my calling even though i had bigger goals, educational wise.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I got to where i am today by not giving up even when i wanted to the most. It wasn’t easy to keep pushing, it wasn’t easy tryna support your living situation only making 100 a week but i didn’t give up, i wasn’t the best artist, still isn’t but i never gave up on trying to become the best at what i do. I stopped comparing myself to other artist on focused on what i can do. And down the line i learned from artist to put me where i wanted to be. There were so many things i had to learn and unlearn, I really enjoy every client that i run into. they have amazing story’s to tell or all around genuine people and i value that because those same clients come back to me they feel comfortable they appreciate everything i do and vice versa. And that was the biggest lesson i learned as a tattoo artist you can’t be afraid to network, engage with your clients because you never know who it is that you’re tattooing. They could bless your whole day simple because of the vibe you give off. They could introduce you to a brighter future. So much could happen simply listening to someone. If there’s one thing i want the world to know about me, is that no matter where i came from or wanted i made it happen and push through an obstacle i had. I know a lot of people say you have to work hard and you do, you have to want to eat at your own table, so you gotta grind when you don’t want to. You have to miss out on moments that might make people look at you differently. No one is gonna help you if you can’t help yourself.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are a plethora of things to do in my city, ranging from adventurous activities to sports. I personally am a huge football fan, but i love sports in general. I support my astros by goin to the games being as drunk and loud as possible interacting with the crowd which is amazing. You’ll catch me at the rockets game screaming my lungs out, I’ll be in the crowd with a boxing match is in town, and I’ll definitely be at every football game!! There’s already something to do out here

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family deserves a lot of recognition and credit because if it wasn’t for them i would’ve given up a long time ago. As bad as it might sound I’m grateful for the artist in my family that didn’t do anything with their skill because they motivated me beyond measures to want more from life and not settle like they might’ve. They didn’t follow their dreams as they wanted or got discouraged. Because of that, they didn’t want me to be in those positions because they knew i had potential to be great. Every chance they had they’d motivate me or help me out when i didn’t feel i was good enough to make it.

Website: https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTdwRACWk/

Instagram: @its.justarii @htown_inkjection

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