We had the good fortune of connecting with Kris Gatta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kris, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Balance in all aspects of life is important. It took me a long time to figure out exactly what that meant for me. My work doesn’t stop when I leave the shop for the night, I’m constantly drawing, replying to clients, and setting future appointments regardless of where I am. All of this can become overwhelming and I end up feeling like I am always on the job. On a daily basis my balance comes from going to the gym and a solid meditation practice. On a larger scale travel helps me decompress and inspire me in all new ways, allowing me to come back to work refreshed and fired up. Early in my career I wasn’t aware of how much I needed to take time away, even if it was just to relax. I would work 7 days a week and not take care of my physical or mental self. Always working led to irritability and a serious burn out.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Stepping away from tattooing and into other creative outlets, I love to paint and work with wood burning. The last couple years I have played around with wood burning on multiple surfaces but I am most proud of the longboards I have created. Getting to where I am today was not easy and I still have a lot to learn and space to grow. Creating in these different mediums outside of tattooing has helped me stay sharp and come up with new concepts for my work. There is nothing easy about making a living off of your creativity. There is a constant push and want that you must have to better yourself and your craft. Sometimes you have to get uncomfortable, step outside your limits, to learn and grow and get better. I have learned that it takes a great mental push to keep climbing to where I want to be in my career.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people in my life have pushed me to follow my heart when it came to tattooing. Friends and family supported my craft from the beginning which I am truly grateful for. After tattooing for 12 years now there have been many ups and downs especially when moving to different states. Even when I thought about giving up in the past my wife would not let me. She pulled long days and countless hours to support us while I got my feet on the ground and built a clientele. I owe a lot of my success to her sacrifice.