We had the good fortune of connecting with Zoey Hunter Vick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zoey, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
As a young artist I was just like most, hungry – ready to do whatever necessary just to touch this dream. I jumped at the opportunity when the door was opened for me, without really seeing the person who was holding that door for me. The confusion set in, I was walking a path I had dreamed of so why was I not happy? An older tattooers took me aside and told me there is only two kinds of us, choose which tattooer you are – stand up with conviction and walk into your future. I listened to his words over and over , I did know who I was, I did know the person my father raised , I did know my integrity came before the money. That day I made my decision, I stood up and I stepped into myself, my future and I never looked back. 24 years later, nothing is perfect or smooth all the time but I can look in the mirror every day and know I am true to my decision of what kind of tattoo artist I am.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Nothing about being self employed is easy, it’s a hard walk that is the most rewarding thing one can do. Tattooing is more than the trends you may see or the stereotypes of days past, it’s an art form, an exchange of energy , a way to express your soul. I specialize in loud color an detail work, my style I feel is really my own, there is no label I fall into. I am most proud of over coming the obstacles of being a young owner, a female in a male oriented industry, opening in small town America and choosing a profession that is often viewed as less than by society. Holding true to everything I believe in an still making a good living is something I often stop to really reflect on . I got here with a lot of blood sweat and tears-literally. Never quitting, laughing often and just trying my best to bring pride to my father is how I tackled this career. I’ve really learned that many people teach us things, good and bad – the best way to keep focus in my art is too remember that when the chapter closes, keep the positive memories, lessons ,those that truly matter and let the rest go. When I think about how I got here or what I want the world to know , I guess the simplest answer is I got here through honest hard work and I want the world to know I am far more than type can show- my industry is far more than the stereo type .
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?
I would definitely want to catch a stars game, we prefer the suite rooms so we would start there and catch pizza at serious pizza after the game. Daytime fun should definitely include a trip to the Japanese garden to show them the beautiful koi in the river around the walking trails or a trip to the Fort Worth Zoo. Being foodies, we definitely would hit MKs sushi, Texas de Brazil and Papadouex during the week. There is an overwhelming amount of good food choices here , including Coopers, Bosses, , Eddy Vs, Capital Grille and so many more- id probably just make a lost an let them choose. Live music down in Deep Ellum would be on the itinerary and of course a stop off at Buckees would happen . Since I’m from another state when my friends/family come in to visit we always try to do things and eat at places that are not found where we are from.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Along the journey I feel like I learned from many , the most influential tattooer to help me was Jack Hammer John..I am thankful everyday for the kindness and love he showed me. My father is my hero, I spent my entire life working to be a person he would be proud of. Without my little brother by my side the success of the shop would never of happened, we have always been a team, in business and in life. My husband has been there through the good and bad even on the days when I choose my career over everything – they all push me to be a better version of myself everyday and I feel without the fierce loyalty of my clients I would be nothing. My clients make me want to learn more, work harder all to give them the best version of what they are seeing come to life on their skin.