Becoming a tattoo artist is different from most career paths: it requires not only creativity, but also willingness and determination to find, then complete, an apprenticeship. Creating art for a living means finding the balance between expressing personal style and incorporating the client’s vision. Tattoo artist Devon Plopper navigated these waters, and on February 7, 2022, he reached the milestone of 10 years in the industry—an accomplishment that, in the beginning, he didn’t realize was possible.
Devon joined the Frenchtown Tattoo team when we opened our doors in October of 2021, which was one of the many decisions he’s made throughout his career to move closer to his goal of supporting and spending more time with his family. His goals haven’t always looked the same. After receiving a tattoo at the age of 16, he had the inkling that tattooing could be the career he’d been looking for. With the support of his family, he began to research how to become a tattoo artist.
School was difficult for Devon, but his father—someone who influenced his creativity—showed him how to draw, how to replicate imagery, and this became an outlet for him through the struggles he faced during his teen years. Devon found a tattoo apprenticeship at the age of 18, but ended up trying three different apprenticeships before finding one that fit.
He was licensed in 2012, but the style that is so well known today—his large scale flowers and animals and characters—took years to discover and perfect. He was attracted to neo-traditional, new school, and illustrative; he liked their bold lines and bright colors. Those of us who follow Devon on social media can see the influence of all these tattoo styles in his work.
Outside of getting paid to create art, Devon enjoys the company of the people he meets, and loves the flexibility and control that being a tattoo artist affords him. From this point, he wants to continue to grow and avoid stagnation. He wants to continue to be inspired.
Devon thanks his parents for their support. His family and his daughter are his biggest motivations today. He also thanks his clientele, who are one of the most important elements to his growth and inspiration.