We had the good fortune of connecting with Joey Hull and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joey, what do you attribute your success to?
I think the most important factor behind my current “success” is my mindset. I believe long term goals are achieved by a lot of small daily accomplishments so I see the importance of every single tattoo I work on. Wether it’s realism or not, I genuinely believe there is something to be learned or better developed in every tattoo. When you keep this in mind, or at least for me, I kind of forget about what my long term goals even are and then one day I look up and they’re already here and I didn’t even realize because I was just so focused on doing my best day in and day out. Another equally important if not more important factor is actually loving what I do. When you love what you do, you’re usually willing to put in extra hours, extra research, and just extra effort in general. Those “extras” are what have helped me. When I combined these two things, the mindset I described above AND a love for tattooing, I think i became “present”. And being present and just doing my best and loving it everyday is all I need. The goal isn’t really success, it’s just that, loving it everyday and being focused everyday. It’s almost meditative. Maybe the most important factor of my “successes” is just not worrying about success.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have to say what I’m most proud of myself for is that I taught myself to draw realism. I started very young, 13, which may sound laughable but I’ve been serious about it from the jump. By 15 I was able to do realism and since then I’ve just been perfecting it more and more. I never took art in highschool, I did in college but I was extremely disappointed that they make you take drawing one two and three regardless of where YOU are at as an artist. So for three years I was drawing cubes and spheres before I finally said bye. Knowing to draw realism gave me a huge advantage when it came to tattooing realism because a lot of the knowledge transfers over. College was actually an “obstacle” for me. I was a lot more advanced than what we were being taught and even more so than some of my drawing teachers. But I felt pressured to get a degree. I don’t fully regret going because I think I did learn how to take critique really well because of school and I can also critique myself a lot better because of it, not to mention I can speak ABOUT art and design very well and that’s just something I personally think goes a long way when talking to clients. I also took art history 1,2&3, , color theory 1, 2, and 3, anatomy of type, tons of classes that help me day to day with where I’m at now. Unfortunately they just weren’t able to help me from a technical aspect with drawing and that’s what I was most excited for. That’s just a blessing in disguise though, even though I didn’t get what I went for, I got alot of other tools that still benefit me every day.
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.
I would have to say your first stop should probably be Lilac tattoo studio but maybe I’m a little biased. ;). I like to go down to oak lawn, my coworkers just took me to Sue Ellen’s for the first time and I have to say I had the best f*cking time. I don’t go out or drink often personally because I worked in the entertainment industry for a long time and so I just feel like it can feel like “work” sometimes but I loved it there. Other than that, paddle boarding at white rock, visiting Klyde warren, top golf, or even six flags. I know. Im an adult. I like rollercoasters though sorry
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mom, dad, and Lilac tattoo studio, specifically Dominique Ransom. I worked in an all male tattoo shop before I came to Lilac and I’ve never regretted leaving and starting over in the environment Dom has curated. My parents have supported me through all of my endeavors but especially as an artist. My mom used to come with me every Saturday to farmers market in my hometown where I would face paint for free just so I could hang up some art in a booth and get my name out. When I designed my first tshirts she helped me sell every single one. My parents have always been my biggest supporters and i appreciate it because 90% people would tell me that drawing wouldn’t get me anywhere and to come up with back up plans.