ABOUT

started drawing on everything, including myself, as soon as I could hold a pen.

 

imzi Po’Alima Makana Awtry, (née Muñoz)

Born into a family creatives, I quickly embraced my artistic calling. I started drawing on everything, including myself, as soon as I could hold a pen. 

I never saw alot of people with many tattoos, or any tattoos at all, really. But I remember my grandfather had a rose tattooed on his forearm that first sparked my interest.

Much of my childhood was spent playing outdoors and exploring new worlds. When we weren’t adventuring the five acres my family and I lived on, my siblings and  I were always creating. I dont remember a day we weren’t drawing something.

Throughout my childhood, I was encouraged by my parents to pursue any creative outlet I liked. There were things I gravitated towards like painting, sketching, and taking photos, but I very much loved to just draw. 

I filled notebooks and sketchbooks with doodles and masterpieces. In the 5th grade, I got in trouble at school for showing up with a full “sleeve” I had unsparingly sharpied onto my entire left arm. 

I had discovered  my calling.

Mimzi, age 3

My first apprentice tattoo on pig skin

My first apprentice tattoo on a human (Wills leg)

Fast forward to the day I turned 18 and for my birthday, my mom took me to get my first tattoo. That settled it. A few days later I got my first tattoo machine (Rest in Peace London Rock!) and began practicing on myself, my brothers, and our friends. 

2009 was my last year of highschool. I started working a retail job at the mall and it was there that I met my future husband, Will. It was basically love at first sight, as we started dating two weeks later. We dated for two years, got married in 2011 and now have two little boys!

Will has always been my biggest fan and has encouraged my art since the day we met. He has alot of my OG pre-apprentice tattoos, I would not be where I am without him! 

In 2014 we moved to Bend, Oregon for a few years and there I landed my first traditional tattoo apprenticeship at Iron Elephant. 

My mentors, Andrew and Chris, taught me the history and foundation of tattooing. I got to scrub tubes, clean and set up each station, make needles, make my own clip chords, tune and rebuild my coil machines, and design a good tattoo. After a year I started making my first apprentice tattoos. 

During this time, I discovered that it’s not only talent, but hard work and perseverance needed in order to become a successful tattoo artist. Literal blood, sweat, and tears. And ink. 

Literal blood, sweat,    and tears… And ink. 

We eventually moved back to California and in 2018, I officially became a California Body Art Practitioner. In Sacramento I met Benji Wilson. He is an amazing tattooer, and the best American Traditional tattooer in Sacramento. He owned Boxcar Tattoo Company and gave me the opportunity to jumpstart my career as a tattooer.

In the year 2020, I had a creative vision to open my own private studio in Old Roseville. It seemed like a crazy thing to do, but I put my mind to it and made it happen. All this happened just before having mine and Wills first baby, Owen, in 2021. 

In late 2021 after some time off to adjust to life as a new mom, Nic Westfall brought me in at The Skull Museum. The talent at this shop is incredible and I’ve had the honor of working with some of the greatest black and grey realism artists you can find. 

I am forever grateful to my mentors, coworkers, and clients for teaching me and trusting me. I have learned so much from my (both good and bad) experiences that have led me to this point in my life and career. 

I was on maternity leave for half of 2023 with our newest son, Otto, but now I’m back and I have more motivation than ever to push my art and tattooing to the next level. 

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