That just because it’s always been done one way doesn’t mean it can’t be done another. I feel like a lot of people stick to the idea that if it’s been done before it can be done again and if it’s never been done before not to try it and I just really want to make a difference so I don’t think people should create their own limitations for their goals.
As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Nessie Blaze. Nessie is a tattoo artist, painter, muralist, and lyricist. Coming from the small suburb of Bristol, PA, Nessie moved to LA where she is now an artist on VH1’s “Black Ink Crew Compton” !
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in a small town called Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania, the suburbs of Philly. I went to St. Mark Catholic School for 8 years and then for high school I went to BCTHS which was a technical school, half the year we did academics and the other we just focused on a career, kinda like a major in college.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve always loved art but my uncle actually introduced me to tattooing. I just took it and ran with it!
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Aside from the struggles and things I went through to get here I just recently became a member of black ink crew Compton Aside from the struggles and things I went through to get here I just recently became an artist on a show called Black Ink Crew Compton.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest mistake I made when I first started tattooing wasn’t exactly funny because of the seriousness of tattooing itself but I joked around and made an expression to pretend that I messed up on one thinking it would be a funny moment but it actually just scared my client. Even though I didn’t mess it up, it was still one of those times where I misjudged the response I would get! Haha.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Aside from being on the show, I’m working on a clothing line, I’m working on my music and I plan on speaking at different schools to motivate!
I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I think it’s really important to have diversity so we can learn different perspectives. More diversity creates more understanding. I’m mixed and so being both black and white has allowed me to see from both sides of those two races in different ways as I was growing up. I know it would definitely push the culture forward just to start combining different experiences that bring people together in the entertainment industry all together.
From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?
I think I would recommend for people to try to understand before they decide to judge a situation and maybe for them to ask questions before they make statements just because I feel like a lot of misunderstanding ( I’ll even to go as far as saying “hate”) comes from misunderstandings and people just simply choosing to be wrong or be negative towards things they don’t even know enough about to begin with. I think we could all learn something new everyday so that we can consistently expecting our mindsets.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- I wish somebody told me not to doubt myself and my ability but to keep believing and push forward regardless of the doubt you have. I only say that because I spent a lot of time questioning myself when I could’ve been using that energy to just really believe in what I was doing, wholeheartedly.
- That you should focus on self mastery and not what other people think of you because you can’t control how other people perceive you… you can just be yourself and hope they love you. And if they don’t, they just aren’t your people and that’s okay. What’s not okay, is not being content and confident within yourself.
- That just because it’s always been done one way doesn’t mean it can’t be done another. I feel like a lot of people stick to the idea that if it’s been done before it can be done again and if it’s never been done before not to try it and I just really want to make a difference so I don’t think people should create their own limitations for their goals.
- That if I focused on my gift 100% I probably could have started what I do now years before I actually did. This kind of just relates back to my last answer because I went to college only because I was doing what I thought would make me monen, but life is about so much more than that.
- Focus on working hard and being happy, the rest will come. Life is all about balance, you have to take the good with the bad- it’s the reason it’s worth it in the end.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
To do what you’re passionate about and stay happy, once something doesn’t make you happy or you feel like you’re investing more than you’ll ever get back it doesn’t mean “give up” but it becomes draining and you always have to have that little light at the end of the tunnel that reminds you as long as you get there, all the sacrifice is worth it. Take your risks wisely.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I just want to inspire people to work and create their own movements. feel like as long as we all have the same goal of a better world, it will only make our process easier to have a bunch of different people doing what they love to create the same goal at the end of the day and then it’s just like a entire culture shift for people from every different direction.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Of course I owe it to my uncle for helping me get into tattooing where I first learned to monetize my art every artist to ever reached out to me and gave me any piece of advice that help me grow my mom my family my sisters for believing in me and helping me push forward when times were hard and of course to my supporters and my team because without them I could never be successful, you need people to love you and support you and value you in order to be successful so there’s no way anyone has done it on their own, including me.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.” For me it just meant to believe in yourself, and to stay flexible in your approach on how you fulfill your purpose. Just have faith.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to sit down and have lunch or dinner or even coffee with Jay Z.. and just learn as much as I can, I’d let him do all the talking- speaking of geniuses! 😉
How can our readers follow you on social media?
@Nessie_Blaze on IG and @NessieBlaze on Twitter