We are happy to announce our newest Mantra crew member, Chance Isbell! We hope you like learning more about him through this profile interview as much as we did, or even better, come to the shop to meet him in person!
Chance is such an approachable guy and he gave us so much details about him and his work that we had to publish this great interview in two posts! Enjoy the first half:
Are you originally from Denver?
I’m originally from Jacksonville, FL, born and raised. I relocated to Denver to be closer to my son after he and his mother migrated out west. I didn’t want to miss out on the shaping his future and being a good father figure. I feel like it’s very important to be the best role model possible for him and experience the many joys that come along with just being a dad along the way. He’s a huge source of inspiration, motivation and positivity for me. I couldn’t possibly see my life being truly successful without us being present in each other’s lives.
What are your hobbies?
I like to paint or draw mostly in my free time. I like to thrift and search for interesting things to send friends and family back home. I play video games occasionally and I like to read as much as possible about art and culture on our planet. I’m fascinated by the occult and various religious ideals and practices. There’s so much to learn about life on this planet in textbooks and online I tend to immerse myself in it as much as possible. I also enjoy hiking since I moved here to Colorado. I find myself outside and exploring the outdoors more than ever. This is such a beautiful and inspiring part of the United States. I feel very fortunate to live here at the present moment.
Do you have pets? What are their names?
I don’t own any pets personally. Although my son does have a pet banana king snake named Piper. I’m not a huge fan of snakes, so I just tend to live vicariously through his interactions with it. I do own a human skull named Uncle Herbert I use for drawing reference, but he’s pretty easy to keep up with and barely asks for anything…
Do you remember getting your first tattoo? How old where you? What did you get and where? Did it hurt?
I do indeed. I was 16 or 17 at the time, I have an older brother who had been working on getting heavily tattooed. He happened to have a friend who tattooed in his social circle and set something up for my birthday. He somehow vouched for me although I was under age at the time. I picked a design that reminded me of a comic book character I loved named The Maxx. I got it in the center of my sternum and it hurt like hell from what I can remember! It’s still there, and I still love it just as much as the day I got it. Ironically years later I became good friends with the guy who did my first tattoo and he remains to be a constant influence in my tattooing to this day.
Which of the tattoos you have is your favorite and why?
When my son was born I got an elephant head tattooed on my knee like Paul Rogers had. I remember reading a story about how he gave his son “elephant rides” on it when he was a baby, I’ve always thought elephants were amazing creatures and I didn’t have any on me at the time. I was lucky enough to have an incredibly talented artist to tackle the idea, and it’s long been my favorite piece in my personal collection so far.
What is your artistic background and how did you become a tattoo artist?
I grew up on a small farm in Florida, I remember drawing animals on the porch with my mom at a young age. She was my first influence in the field of art as far as I’m concerned. I tried my best to always keep drawing or painting in rotation with other various hobbies throughout my lifetime. After seeing some sketches and being persistent with being interested in learning the craft, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to apprentice under Nick Wagner and Doren Clifford around 2001 at Inksmith & Rogers in Jacksonville, FL. After a three year apprenticeship, I’ve been at it ever since with expectations of upholding the integrity of all that I was taught. I hope the people who took the time to teach me ultimately don’t feel like I wasted their time and have faith in me to continue making it my lifelong career. I honestly don’t see that changing anytime soon, I absolutely love and respect what I do.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this interview!
Come get your tattoo designed and inked by a pro at Mantra Tattoo & Body Piercing in Denver
Come visit us to get your custom tattoo designed by one of our experienced tattoo artists in Denver, all of them do custom work and will create the design from the ideas you give them until your perfect tattoo design is ready to be inked. Or come by to pick up a nice piece of body jewelry and get pierced by one of our professional body piercers.
1695 Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood, Colorado
(303) 239-8282 / (303) 238-3736
Open: Mon – Sat 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sun 12:00 noon – 9:00pm.