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Life and Work with Uncle Bree

Today we’d like to introduce you to Uncle Bree.

Uncle, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My story starts In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A place where for some reason people are surprised black people live there lol.

I was the weird and quiet middle child that could always be found sketching people that inspired her. I continued to be that way from elementary to high school where my passion for tattooing was sparked.

My mom took me to get my first tattoo at 15. Unfortunately, it ended up being a flash tattoo that I picked off a sheet in a folder at the tattoo studio but this memory is one of my favorites because it was then that I realized I wanted to be a tattoo artist.

Fast forward through many failed attempts at learning how to tattoo, working pointless jobs to stay afloat, and my introduction into motherhood, I am now in Atlanta at Peters Street Station pursuing my dreams and constantly being inspired by amazing artists I’m thankful to be surrounded by on a daily basis.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Whoooah, nothing about this road has been smooth.

There have been many struggles I’ve transitioned through but I’ll share a few.

I became a single mother at 17 and wasn’t supported as such so I’ve always had to go hard which shaped my work ethic into what it is now.

There is no 401k, pension, health benefits in a career as an artist or tattoo artist. Many people will not understand why you would choose something that seems so unstable as a career path. It is not for them to understand or for you to explain. Remove anyone around you who can not see your vision.

I come from a city that is easy to be complacent in because there are plenty of opportunities for people who don’t mind working for other people. The difference here is monumental. The only way to survive and eventually thrive in Atlanta is to have more than one hustle. Never depend on one income.

Lastly, be ready to sacrifice for your dreams… I’ve lost everything. I’ve been broken down many times and every time I’ve put myself back together I’ve been stronger and more resilient since. You are going to go through some pretty incredible things on this road, you will be put in situations you’d never thought you’d experience, feel heartbreak you’d never thought you could take, and feel like giving up more times than you’d expect but never lose focus. These experiences are here to mold you into exactly who you’ll need to be. I know things have been rough for me because of the gravity in what I have to share and the responsibilities I have to my ancestors, and the world. So regardless of how many distractions come my way I never lose focus. Be present in the experience, take the lesson, and keep going.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I am a visual artist and tattoo apprentice under Miya Bailey at The Peters Street Station Art and Design Community Center in Atlanta.

I create in different mediums but as far as painting goes I would say my style falls more into Afrofuturism. My perspective, the energy and intent I put into my paintings sets me apart. Along with that, what I paint always comes with a feeling. It’s cosmic, intense but inviting, distant but familial, ancient but futuristic. It’s a lot of different emotions at once.

As far as tattooing goes, I’ve been diving more into mastering my linework within my apprenticeship. So far my tattoo style is pretty abstract and that’s what I’m currently known for. That style is a huge contrast to what I paint and I love the flexibility of it as an artist. It’s freeing. My perspective of my client’s concepts and the experience I provide at our sessions together set me apart.

The connections I have been able to make with people at Peters Street Station is what I’m most proud of. When I say connections I do not mean networking, I mean getting to know the people that come in, life experiences they have, the things they desire in life, being a listening ear to them. Along with that being in an organization that strives to cultivate the community it is in. Being apart of Peters Street Station has been a huge catalyst for my growth as an artist and a person, and I look forward to seeing many more young artists experience that within themselves with the many classes and mentors they’ll have access to when PSS officially opens.

Who are some women that have inspired you along the way?
Out of all the women that inspire me definitely my mother first and foremost. She taught me, unconditional love, encouraged me in all my weirdness and showed me strength.

Black women as a whole. They are the most complex beings on the planet. I am constantly inspired by them, supported by them, and thankful to have them in my life.

A few female artists I’m inspired by what I thought of immediately would be super dope visual and tattoo artist named Cake, an amazing sculptor named Ellex, and Miryam Lumpini a tattoo artist breaking barriers in the tattoo world. They all inspire me to elevate within my craft while being authentic to who I am.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Peters Street Station
    333 Peters St SW
    Atlanta, GA 30310
  • Phone: (404) 948-2946
  • Email: unclebreeexperience@gmail.com
  • Instagram: Ig@unclebree

Image Credit:
Photographers Jackie Bradley and Max

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