While many piercers feel alienated by tattoo artists, I have always felt included in their shops, their jokes, their worlds. In a small province with a dearth of professional piercers, this has been a blessing to me. And in an industry that often feels like a family, Erin Pettipas was one of my closest cousins.
Erin was a talented artist and devoted mother who could sell designer body jewelry like no other tattooer I know. We had a lot of fun together on the road, having spontaneous dance parties, making fun of the menfolk, discussing our teenagers. She was saving to take her son to Europe, and she had just opened a studio on her property to help her really be there for his last years at home. She had just gotten another tattoo for her late father, who had encouraged her artistic pursuits. She had just dyed her hair another amazing colour. She was the definition of “full of life”
How shocking, and maddening and unfair that on Saturday we celebrated her life. Her passionate, fragile, fleeting life. Find joy in each day my friends.
Erin loved this photo, taken during her last guest spot with us, May 2015.
Nap time at the carnival for the SD road crew (circa 2011), Erin in the front seat.