• Louisa Kleinert

Five years with Ink



I have come to call Bluebird Ink, my “business baby”, I actually have the additional weight and stretch marks to prove my labors with it, and it has changed my life forevermore.


Talk to any tattooer or piercer, and they will be able to tell you exactly how long they have been living the "profession". I exchanged my paint brushes for needles and ink 5 years and 3 months ago for doing permanent makeup, roughly 3 years ago I decided to dedicate myself to body art, 2.5 years ago I opened the Bluebird Ink location, 1.5 years ago started growing our team, and 4 months since Covid-19 and the pandemic hit. Lessons, ya’ll….there have been soooo many life lessons.

In light of celebrating now over 5 years on this journey, these are the top 5 lessons I have learned.


1. Push your limits and discover “your unknown”.


The road of artistic self-employment (especially tattooing), has made me repeatedly step right to the edge of what I think my personal boundaries and limits are, an forces me to take 5 more steps past that limit into “the known”. That “unknown”, is where I have found myself and what I really want. There was a time when a challenging mentor pushed me to a point where I truly thought I should quit artistic endeavors entirely, but a little angry voice in my gut said “hell no”, and I decided right then and there I wanted this career more than anything, and I would sacrifice anything to do it.


To this day, I still make daily sacrifices to make the business successful. That’s what it takes ya’ll. Turns out J.M. Barrie author of "Peter Pan" was right when he wrote: “You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”


2. Fear will only cloud your judgment when you run from it.

I was scared for YEARS; experiencing all the sides of fear and getting to know its foundations helps strip it down. Now when I am fearful or anxious, it still makes my heart race and my hands shake, but I recognize it for what it is, and I can strip it down much faster than ever before.


Once that fear is naked in front of me, it’s demystified, more understood, and more touchable. I can now tell the difference between the healthy fear that should be leaned into because it’s gonna help my ass grow, and the debilitating anxiety that will freeze me in place like a dear in headlights.


3. Automate your life's complexities that suck your soul dry.


Even in the WTF year of 2020, I still believe in the balanced flow and grace of universal "magic" if I can just keep my eyes, spirit, and mind open.are on the right "track". The longer I live, the more I respect my "gut" and what it tells me about people, situations, drawings, etc. It is rarely wrong IF I JUST LISTEN HONESTLY TO IT. My gut has helped me build my shop team aka my "work family", connected me with the right clients, and helps me evaluate my own capabilities. When I ignore that little intuitive voice, the wrong people are allowed into my life and I make decisions that are not in my best interest.


I have found when my focus is constantly pulled away from the client/s in front of me, I become absolutely depleted, consequently becoming a less efficient artist. The more I grow as an artist and shop of four, the more I realize the importance of letting technology work for me, so we can serve and connect with each person to the best of our ability.


4. Boundaries and Sleep are necessary.


I still to this day have a hard time saying “no”. The crazed overachieving artist in me genuinely wants to grab 90% of the opportunities presented to me, and I genuinely get so much pleasure from making people happy.


This career can be physically and mentally, and emotionally exhausting. I slept for nearly a month when orders to shut down were issued to KY businesses. Tattooing is a demanding mistress, and artist’s HAVE to be “ON” all the time if we are working at all, if we aren’t, mistakes happen. Coming back from COVID shutdown, I am taking steps ensure I prioritize myself more, even if it’s just to sleep and recharge.


Tattooers may have more homework than most other professions. My home time is spent preparing for upcoming tattoos, client communications, and business programing, even when the day with clients is over. This demanding profession is teaching me to pick my battles, choose where I put my efforts, to be selective about the people I surround myself with, and to prioritize like never before.


5. Trust your gut, and watch out for the mystifying universal “magic”.


Even in the WTF year of 2020, I still believe in the balanced flow and grace of universal "magic" if I can just keep my eyes, spirit, and mind open.are on the right "track". The longer I live, the more I respect my "gut" and what it tells me about people, situations, drawings, etc. It is rarely wrong IF I JUST LISTEN HONESTLY TO IT. My gut has helped me build my shop team aka my "work family", connected me with the right clients, and helps me evaluate my own capabilities. When I ignore that little intuitive voice, the wrong people are allowed into my life and I make decisions that are not in my best interest.


Even in the WTF year of 2020, I still believe in the balanced flow and grace of universal "magic" if I can just keep my eyes, spirit , and mind open.


As long as 2020 doesn't bring the zombie apocalypse along with the murder hornets, and the pandemic, I can't wait to see what happens in the next 5 years.



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