We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Gilstrap and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sarah, why did you pursue a creative career?
Art has been the one constant my entire life, it’s always made sense and always made me happy. Being a full time artist allows me to have control over my schedule and it gives me time & emotional space to work on other creative projects like: Illustration, screen printing, and participating in art shows. Honestly, I never imagined myself working a regular job. I dislike people having power over me and the way that I manage my time.

Recently, I began an apprenticeship as a Tattoo artist at the Tatoo Dumond shop in Denver. Tattooing has been my dream job because it incorporates my love of art and allows me control over my time and the power to choose my clients.

In the tattoo world, safe spaces for queer people, POC, and women have been limited. I strive to create a space where all of those groups can be comfortable while also being vulnerable. The purpose behind all of my art is to build community.

Whether it be putting my art on someone’s body, art shows, or the Potted Peace Project (Plant and mental health resource for POC that I co founded with my close friend Kënya Stout), being my own boss allows me to pursue these goals.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe that nothing is truly original and that everyone brings something unique to the table. I try to make art that’s personal to myself and in doing that, it becomes relatable to others.

Art is a lifelong adventure so I’m most excited about my journey ahead.

I’ve gotten to where I am today by remaining patient and never giving up on my love for art. Im thankful that my tattoo mentor, Sandi Calistro, gave me an opportunity to apprentice in a healthy and nurturing environment. I learned that it’s best to hold out for better opportunities.

I want to be known for creating spaces within the tattoo world that allow POC and queer clients to feel comfortable.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite block in Denver is South Broadway. I used to live and work on that block, so I’ve spent a lot of time there. I’ve gotten to know some of the people who own these businesses and other people who work on the block & I enjoy the community.

Anytime I have someone visiting, I take them to the Denver biscuit company for breakfast, Sputnik for dinner and drinks, and sweet action for something sweet. I love stopping in my favorite little shops like Mutiny to browse through comics and records. Rosehouse for plants and good vibes. And Boss vintage, and Sewn for unique clothes. RIP Hope Tank & Famous Pizza, and all the other amazing small business that have been/are being pushed out by rent hikes.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have dope ass friends! The people I surround myself with hold me up & I wouldn’t be where I am without them. Sandi Calistro is my tattoo mentor. She has provided me with the opportunity, a gentle and caring work space, and all the loving support that I need to begin my tattoo journey. My partner, Josh aka RO$$A¥, has supported me in so many ways & it is an inspiration to watch his creative growth. And to all of my closest girlfriends, I appreciate them for being who they are and embracing and loving me for me. We love to see each other shine!

Website: www.catface.ink

Instagram: www.Instagram.com/_catface

Twitter: www.twitter.com/_catface

Other: www.sarah-catface.tumblr.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.