We had the good fortune of connecting with Sabrina Yvonne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sabrina, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I think the most important factor behind my success is the faith I have in me. I have faith in who I am and who I am becoming. And that’s not just for me, but for everyone in my life.
I know that sounds cheesy. But as a younger woman, I really struggled with depression and anxiety. And I didn’t have any confidence to go after what I wanted. I was very lost for a long period of time.
After I got into tattooing that really did change. I had to believe in myself to get the results I wanted. And I had to take care of myself and really approach myself with kindness to do this as well. Nobody can make your dreams come true, besides you. So the first step to becoming successful is taking care of you. And that’s what I choose to do everyday.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being an artist for a living is hard. I can’t stress that enough. Hearing “you’ll never work a day in your life, if you’re doing what you love” is the worst! Not true. You work hard for what you want. Everyday you wake up and you work. But you do enjoy it when you’re doing what you love.
Hard work and dedication got to me where I am professionally. And I’m still working hard to get to where I personally want to be, professionally and individually.
Becoming a tattoo artist was extremely challenging. I started really going after this dream when I was about 19 years old. I worked day and night to get my portfolio together. Seriously, I would bring art supplies everywhere. Work breaks, drawing. At dinner, drawing. At the bowling alley, drawing. I was dedicating my life to becoming a tattooer, before I even got my real apprenticeship.
Once I got into an apprenticeship, around age 20-21, I quit my job and was at the studio full time. I didn’t make any income for about a year. It was stressful. I was given gas money from my grandmother to make it to the shop and just to have some money for food besides racking up my credit card. It was crazy. And so scary. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.
The shop I was at didn’t bring in a lot of walk ins so it was up to me to find clients to tattoo. So I went to social media, Facebook and Instagram. And promoted my art, so I could get my name out there to start learning how to tattoo.
Sky Gibson had started working with us and we became really really close. Seriously, my right hand lady. I knew we had to leave this toxic work environment, it had to happen. But I wanted Sky to come with me.
With the help of my friend, Ienn Chacon, I had the opportunity to open up a private studio. I brought Sky with me to look at the space and we decided we were gonna risk it all and open this studio, for us and our growth.
We put in all our savings to keeping one shop open, and opening OUR studio. We would tattoo during the day, come to the studio at night and build it up from the floor to the ceiling. Go home sleep, wake up and do it all again. This went on for about a month. Again, Lenns and my boyfriend Joshua, helping us with that as well! It was scary, and a lot of work. We got everything brand new, worked hard to make it a comfortable and welcoming tattoo environment for our clients. This was our first time doing anything like this. So of course in the back of our minds, we’re thinking to ourselves, are we really going to succeed?
I remember the day we finally got the go from the health department to start tattooing in the space, we cried. We worked so hard to do this and it’s finally happening!
We’re still a work in progress but dang the progress is really good! We’re super happy and healthy and thriving in this space we made ourselves. I’m super proud of sky and I for doing this. It has changed our lives forever. We also named the studio Elder Gibson, our last names.
As a tattoo artist now, I still push myself on the daily to grow in what I am doing. If I’m going to do this, I will do it good. And it’s not just for me, but for my clients. My clients are wonderful people and they deserve the best art they can have on their body. And I want to be able to do that for them. I want to make my clients proud to wear this art that I get to give them forever. It’s a really powerful force that drives me to keep pushing myself, work hard for this. The results are proven to be beautiful. I love tattooing. It’s changed my life. I have found peace in what is and what isn’t because of this job. I was introduced to my boyfriend, my best friends. I’ve been closer to my family because we can bond on this art that we get to share together. Tattooing is everything.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend was visiting the area and I went to show them around I would take them EVERYWHERE. I would definitely take them to the studio, give them a tattoo.
I would take them to manitou so we can check out all the local owned businesses! Watch them try the spring water, as I would never. Pick up some food at 503 w, and end the night with drinks at Mother Muffs.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shoutout my coworker Sky Gibson, for pushing me everyday to be a better artist and business owner.
Shoutout to my boyfriend, Joshua Lingelbach for always encouraging my dreams and believing in me, especially when I don’t believe in myself. For truly being the rock in my life. Dealing with the ups and downs of this career with me. Showing me what a happy life is. And teaching me to step back, and enjoy the process.
Shoutout to my brother Daniel Herl, for getting me into this career in the first place. Taking the risk of being my practice skin. And always believing in me. And never doubting that I can do this. This dude did more than he knows for me. And I couldn’t ask for a better big brother.
My nana, who I am named after. Yvonne. For buying me art supplies my entire life. Seriously, every time I saw her I got a new sketch book. For always allowing me to be my full self and create. and definitely creating with me. For showing me what a strong independent woman can do. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her. She heavily shaped me into me. I take her with me everywhere and I am very proud to be her granddaughter.
To my clients. Thank you for the endless trust and dedication to getting tattooed. For being understanding that I am also a person, not just a tattooer. Who work with me, who give my life a purpose. I wouldn’t be able to do this without you. When I say I appreciate you, I do. You’re all so great. Thank you for everything.
And of course my parents. Who accepted that I will forever be this tattooed woman. Who has loved me every step of the way to becoming who I am. Who told me I can become whatever I want, I just have to go for it.