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Bone Collector During The Day, Tattoo Artist At Night: 10 Questions With Rob Harriman, Tattooist Extraordinaire

Last week I was in the Lake George area and decided to get a tattoo in memory of my father. I decided to go to a local tattoo artist I trust and knew, Rob Harriman. While I was there I thought: why not pick his brain and ask a few questions?

Rob works at Extoria Tattoo and Piercing in the Lake George Village and is a very well known tattoo artist in the area. I asked him to do a detailed piece on my back to remember my father while representing my German heritage. After the first hour of work, I started asking him a few questions and learned some very interesting things…..

1. When did you start your career as a tattoo artist?

I first started my professional career when I was 30.

2. What is your favorite tattoo on your body?

I have many favorites but if I had to pick one I would say my sea turtle skull held in my hand on my sternum by Stephano Alcantara. He is a legend in the tattoo industry and I am honored to have his art on my body. It took over six hours of sitting in the chair and hurt like there was no tomorrow. But in the end it was well worth it.

3. How many tattoos do you have?

I have between 40 and 50

4. Who or what influences you?

My influences are wide from other tattoo artists, painters, creative people in general, also by nature and its never ending details. Everything I look at that a creative person has done can influence me in some way.

5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not tattooing people?

When I’m not tattooing I like to kayak, take photos, hang with my family and i have just found my newest obsession: articulating animal skeletons. With that i can combine my love for nature and art. I can buy animal skeletons that have died from natural causes and then put them together into different positions and poses. I just picked up articulating animal skeletons this year and have a monkey finished. The next animal on my list is a baby zebra and it should be hear soon. It’s a great obsession and is new side of art I love venturing into.

6. Who is your favorite tattoo artist of all time?

I don’t have a favorite tattooist of all time, but I am inspired by the incredible artists i work with everyday.

7. What has been your favorite moment in your career, so far?

My favorite moment so far was probably giving my mom and brother their first tattoos. It was one of those great bonding experiences I will have for the rest of my life and memory I’ll never forget.

8. What is your favorite part of being a tattoo artist?

My favorite part of being a tattooist is meeting people and giving them something they will always have and the look at with pride it is a phenomenal feeling to do so. Plus, it’s pretty funny to say “I went to work and put people in pain….and some enjoy it!” Not many people can say that when they get home from work.

9. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself tattooing in 5 years and traveling to exotic places. It has always been a passion of mine to travel to exotic places and understand their culture. I recently went to the Galapagos Islands for a month and had the chance to see some amazing things. I saw lizards and blue footed birds on a daily basis, nothing like things you see all the time in upstate New York.

10. If you could describe your art in one word, what would it be?

Tough question, but in one word it would have to be honest.