Tattooing wasn’t always a huge part of Joe Winkler’s life. By degree, he’s an engineer that graduated from The Citadel, in 2008. He then started working for a firm in Myrtle Beach shortly after. In 2010, the firm laid off 3/4 of the staff, including Joe, due to the state of the economy. He went back to work with his father in residential construction while looking for more opportunities in the field.
He was getting tattooed at Elite Ink during this time as well. Through the insistence of friends and family Joe began asking about for an apprenticeship with the shop. It took a year and a half of constantly asking and getting “no” for an answer, but in May of 2014 his persistence paid off and he became the shop apprentice of Elite Ink Tattoos of Myrtle Beach.
Through the next 2 years, he learned the art of tattooing. At the beginning, I did everything for the shop and all of its artists. If he wasn’t at work in construction, he was at the shop. If he had any free time in between setting up stations, or picking up around the shop, he was practicing line-work. It wasn’t long before he was given the chance to begin learning to actually tattoo.
The first person he ever tattooed was himself, surrounded by all the artists teaching me. He progressed further by practicing under the supervision of the artists. Eventually, in September of 2016, he finished the apprenticeship and officially became a tattoo artist.
As a tattoo artist, Joe’s style has a very versatile nature. He says he does mostly enjoy new-traditional and illustrative realism colorwork as well. And like any tattoo artist enjoys, custom work with the most artistic freedom has lead to his best tattoos. Thanks to having some great clients, he has had many opportunities to challenge himself and do some really enjoyable work so far.
Check out Joe’s Portfolio for more!