“I started drawing on everything, including myself, as soon as I could hold a pen.
My name is Mimzi Po’Alima Makana Awtry (née Muñoz)
I was born into a family of creatives. So naturally, 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. My grandfather had a couple sailor tattoos which he rarely ever showed. But my uncle was covered head to toe in body art. In school I was always doodling or drawing in class and then one day in the fifth grade, I got in trouble at school for showing up with a full “sleeve” I had sharpied onto my entire left arm.
Most of my childhood was spent outdoors and hanging out with my 4 brothers. When we weren’t adventuring the five acres my family and I lived on, I was encouraged by my parents to pursue any creative outlet I liked. The things that sparked my interest most were painting, sketching, taking photos, and singing, to name a few.
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, 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 most of my OG pre-apprentice tattoos and is now my manager and business partner as well. 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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