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The Monitor

The Student News Site of Marymount Manhattan College

The Monitor

The Student News Site of Marymount Manhattan College

The Monitor

Mikhail Anderson: Tattooing to success

Reading Time: 2 minutes

  Picture this: you are strolling down the vendor-filled sidewalks of Canal Street. Through a vortex of flashy shades and counterfeit designer purses, you manage to stumble into a world of art and community.  The bustling streets of Downtown Manhattan which now surround you are fulcrums of life, culture, food, and some of the best tattoo shops in the world. First Class Tattoos in big white letters catch your eye. You imagine it’s time for some new ink.

Mikhail Anderson, owner and founder of First Class Tattoo, started his tattoo journey in 2008. After finishing graphic design school, he discovered a greater passion. The graphic design world was too transitional and tedious to get consistent work.  Surrounded by a plethora of artists and tattoo artists, Anderson took to this newfound passion and ran.

Anderson seeks much of his inspiration from classical artists, doing tattoo work that reflects their detail and precision. In a city oversaturated by competitors, this makes his work stand out amongst the crowd.  Anderson has found great joy in amalgamating a close-knit team he describes as a family. Together, they continue to grow alongside their business. Although things run smoothly now, Anderson’s endeavors have not always been so rewarding. 

In the beginning of the business, Anderson was putting everything he had into the shop. Having poured out every penny he had to his name atop a hefty load of personal loans, Anderson was flatbroken by the time he opened his shop.

 “In my first year all money that was made was put right back into the business,” He noted. This was truly an undertaking,” Anderson noted.

 “I knew that opening would only result in losing money and risking the business, but the drive was too intense to want to fail. It’s like Jumping in the water and drowning.” 

    Now, with a thriving storefront and business built upon hard work and determination, First Class Tattoo has transformed the neighborhood’s atmosphere and made its presence known on Canal Street. 

  Deciding what you want to do for a living can be daunting and tedious. Anderson had strict parents who wanted him to follow a specific and proven path to prosperity, but that is not what excited him. Anderson attributed passion as the key to success. Hours upon hours of hard work and practice is just the iceberg. To truly flourish, you need to fall in love with your craft. 

Now that business is booming, Anderson anticipates many bright things in the future. The pandemic has pushed a lot back, but soon enough we could see a bigger shop, more appointments, and the same amazing work from the community he has created. Seeing people on the street who recognize him or his work, and running into clients, friends, or fans has built confidence and realization in his success. Building those relationships with clients and artists is what drives Anderson and his goals. 

“Keep pushing, keep practicing, and be broke for a bit if you have to,” He declared. 

Passion will always prevail in the end.

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Elliott Case
Elliott Case, Editor in Chief
Elliott Case is the Editor in Chief here at the monitor! Studying Journalism and Communications, she can’t wait to see where this year takes us. She is passionate about hearing from you guys and what you want to read about in our school community!

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