You are hereHome ›
Tattoo Artist: Tim Senecal
Spending his time drawing robots, guns, tanks, carnage and destruction while growing up, Tim Senecal realized that he had talent for art. When attending technical school he did not take any art classes, Tim continued drawing through classes instead of working on his assignments. Being told that only dead artists make money and that he was wasting his time, Tim began believing in their words instead of believing that he could make a career out of a talent that he loved doing.
After high school, Tim worked in the manual labor force doing jobs like being a butcher. Upon viewing some of Tim’s artistry, one of his friends encouraged him to consider tattooing. “So I saved up, studied up, and started tattooing him. Once the passion for tattooing was started it kept growing, and continues to.”
Never having a “proper” apprenticeship, Tim first began tattooing when it was illegal in Massachusetts, where he lived. Tattooing friends at in their homes, he tattooed a few tattoos a month. Keeping it low key for about a year, it finally became legal and studios began to appear. It was during this time that he lost his “real-world” job and decided it happened for a reason. Pounding the pavement with portfolio in hand, Tim landed a job by Rafael Rivera who was a successful comic artist and “cutting his teeth” at a local shop. Helping guide Tim in the right direction by requiring a lot of heavy drawing, Rafael taught Tim a lot, instilling ideals into him that helped him to never stop striving.
Tim finds inspiration in many things every day, but his customers help create an intimate piece of art that “is the only thing that they will never part with and all will carry to their graves.” Proudly showing their tattoos to everyone, and enjoying it brings Tim all of the inspiration that he needs on a daily basis. “And if that wasn’t enough inspiration, I also work at the best tattoo shop out there for finding that inspiration. Off the Map sees a guest artist roster of many of the best in the business.” As many as fifty artists a year pass through their shop, all sharing inspirations and experiences. Holding two major events every year at the Paradise tattoo gathering and retreat help provide inspiration as well. Some of the most influential artists for Tim include Rafael Rivera, Tony Ciavarro, Joe Capobianco, Jimmy Lajnen, Jesse Smith, Kelly Doty, Jon Von Glahn, and Phil Young.
Tim uses Neo Tat machines almost exclusively to create bold expressive tattoos, and believes that tattoos should be overly strong and read crystal clear without having to stare intently at them. Since they age with us, Tim’s desire is for his work to look good fifty years later. “I’m not into dainty delicate tattoos; I’ve seen how they age. Real tattoos need black, anyone who thinks otherwise is simply wrong.”
It is important for Tim to inject the most of himself into every tattoo he creates, while having fun in the process. He believes it is important to always have fun with your art and let loose. “If you don’t enjoy yourself and create with all of the emotions that compose you as a person, then it will show and your art will lack emotion.” This is a mantra that we should all live by regardless if we are a tattoo artist or not. Putting his all into every piece certainly has paid off, at a recent tattoo convention that he attended, he received the most inspiring compliment from Philadelphia Eddie. “I can’t think of anyone else who I would be more honored to receive a complement from.”
Tim’s advice for anyone who wants to begin apprenticeship is simple: “Strive to find the things that are unique to your art and make you happy. Don’t strive to be like someone else.”
Tim and his shop know how important it is to show unity with the community and strive to help charities. They recently did a Harry Potter day where they all did themed flash designed especially for the event, donating all proceeds to the summer library to pay for a summer reading program. Before this event, they raised money to help with the gulf coast spill cleanup efforts. “Food Tattoos for Hunger”, is their latest benefit, scheduled for November and looks as though it will spread a lot of good will as there has already been twenty other studios enlisted to help. So if you would like to help out, see Tim at Off the Map tattoo studio.