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

Hi Chauncey, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think taking risks is essential to success. You have to have skin in the game, something on the line to really drive you to step up and give it your all. In order to build a successful business or brand you have to step out of your comfort zone and not only make a financial risk, but also risk your reputation and personal relationships.

I think taking risks has played a major role in my life and career. Every opportunity has its pros and cons so it essential to look at the risk to reward ratio and base your decision off the information at hand, rather than going off a gut feeling. Not that gut feelings and intuition lead you down the wrong path, but having hard data to back that gut feeling will save you a bunch of headaches in the future. I can honestly say that if I had never stepped out of my comfort zone to take a risk I would not be where I am today. Whether you fail or succeed, you will certainly learn something that will benefit you in future, even if its “what not to do”.

As the old saying goes, “Fortune favors the bold” so take that risk and give it your all.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve always had a passion for the arts, in a variety of mediums: music, painting, sculpting, digital media and most notably tattooing. I was blessed to have an aunt who is a professional artist and guided my siblings and I along the creative path. Needless to say art has always played a huge role in my life for as long as I can remember.

As a professional artist, the first few years of your career you’re kind of jumping around from style to style to find out what you enjoy most. Other than the technical side, finding your style is probably the most challenging thing to do. It wasn’t until I stopped being influenced by the work of others that I was able to really discover who I am as an artist. Saturated colors, large gradient blends and a realism/surrealism twist is how I would best describe the look of my work.

I think one of the most important lessons I’ve learned along the way was to stop caring so much what others think and to just focus on what I enjoy creating.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had a friend visiting the area the first thing we would do when they got in to town would be hit up Gilhooley’s Restaurant and Oyster bar in San Leon, TX, and order a ridiculous amount of their famous “Oysters Gilhooley”. By far the best oysters in the area. After that we would probably head on down to Galveston and check out all of the awesome pubs, stores and art on the Strand, finishing the night up at Market Station, a historic building that is home to my favorite local bar. The following day we would for sure be up in the Houston area. There are so many things to do it would be hard to fit it all in in just a week, but we would would probably start at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, they always have amazing exhibits and is never a let down. Another thing on the list obviously is NASA, you can’t come to Space City and not visit NASA! Other than the normal “mainstream” attractions, we would most likely go to Scout Bar to check out some awesome live music, they always have something cool going on! Before they left town we would make it back down to Galveston to check out Moody Gardens. Specifically the aquarium. If you have never been, it is worth checking out! We would finish the trip with an offshore adventure to enjoy the fruits of the Gulf.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve always been a jump in head first type of person, particularly when I was younger, so I had to learn a lot of things the hard way. I think our failures are important in building character and work ethic, but having a good support system is crucial for long term success. I’m extremely grateful to have the support of my family who always stood by me and pushed me to do the best I could no matter the outcome. Also the support of my clients, sponsors and fans of my work over the years has been essential in the development of my career.

Website: www.vonstriga.com

Instagram: CkTattoo

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.