We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Tyler Ciarlanti a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Tyler, appreciate you joining us today. We’d love to hear about when you first realized that you wanted to pursue a creative path professionally.
Thank you for the opportunity, I’ll get right into it here. I had a good idea from a very young age that the typical 9-5 life wasn’t ever really gonna be an option for me. I never did well in school, and wasn’t able to “conform” to the normal learning experience we’re all force fed through the public school systems. I found myself day dreaming and drawing a lot in class, I had a healthy distrust for authority figures. In an effort to save face and keep my Pops happy I ended up leaving regular school and going the independent studies route. I went to class once a week and worked the rest of the time painting houses. I graduated and continued working, but it was pretty clear to me early on that this job wasn’t gonna workout long term for me. A lot of the same patterns from high school were repeating, the job was a way to pay bills and buy enough alcohol and drugs to forget that I wasn’t doing anything I actually cared about. Fast forward a few years, my drug addiction and fast paced lifestyle led me to a 6 year sentence for sales and transportation of narcotics. The jails were packed so I didn’t have to serve all 6 years thankfully, and it was during that time that I was able to get sober and rekindle my love of art. I knew I had to make some changes if I were to stand a chance at not returning to that hell hole of a place, and that was the moment I realized that my art was gonna be my way out. I was 22 at the time I was sentenced and 25 when came home. I did everything in my power to pursue art and a career in tattooing and never looked back.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your background and context?
My name is Tyler Ciarlanti, I’m 31 years old and I’ve been tattooing for 7 years now. I started in San Diego, California and now live and work out of Austin, Texas where I have my own private studio, Black Saint Studios. I do black and grey tattoos that can be best described as dark realism/surrealism. Over the years I’ve come to realize that what I’m able to do and provide for clients is much more than just a tattoo. Often times I will create a piece for someone based solely off of a story they have, or an emotion they are trying to convey with no visual reference given at all. These are the pieces and people I enjoy working with the most, and have felt the most connection with in recent years. I’ve found that tattooing is a sacred energy exchange for those involved on both sides, and through the magic of this craft we can often change the course of people’s lives, leaving a positive impact when given the opportunity. I provide a way for people to open up more to their true selves and live their lives a little more authentically. A way to step into your own power as a human if you will. My studio serves as a sanctuary for all walks of life. A space to create and collaborate with artists from all different mediums. We work with everyone from tattooers and painters, to private chefs and tarot readers. We host a wide array of events such as art shows for charity benefits, private dinner parties, and seminars from various artists. I created this space to bring people together and show the world that no matter how different we look on the outside, at a fundamental level we are all going through struggles and we can all relate to one another if we take the opportunity to do so. My goal is that through the work performed, and energy exchanged here people are left with a sense of self empowerment and an elevated spirit.
In your view, what can society to do to best support artists, creatives and a thriving creative ecosystem?
There are obvious answers to this one such as buying their art and/or booking their services. In todays day and age though, social media is definitely running the show as far as exposure and reaching be audiences. One of the simplest ways to support artists and creatives now days is to share our art on social media platforms. Repost, share it to your story, leave a comment. These are all easy things to do that actually help out a lot and cost nothing.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
One of the most rewarding aspects of being an artist for me is hearing from those I’ve inspired. There’s a ton of artists I look up to and am inspired by, and to be in a position to do that for others is awesome. It’s new to me and really rad to know that I’m able to provide that same feeling for others. If you’re reading this and you’re just starting out on your creative journey, whatever it may be, just know that the world is yours for the taking. You just gotta get up everyday and put the work in, good things will happen along the way and before you know it you’ll be exactly where you dreamed of.
- Website: www.Tylerctattoos.com
- Instagram: @Tylerctattoos &. @BlackSaintStudios
- Youtube: The TCT Show
- Other: Spotify podcast The TCT Show