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Meet William Thidemann of Mammoth American Tattoo in Whittier

Today we’d like to introduce you to William Thidemann.

William, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In short, I started out in the early 90s as a poor punk rock kid in Richmond, VA who wanted to do art and not fall into a job that was just going to pay the bills. I figured I was already broke, so I might as well take a chance. After a bit of struggle (and brokeness, and more brokeness), I got lucky with having a chance to tattoo and sell a few paintings. Several years later, I took another chance and moved out to Colorado in ‘97. I initially worked in Boulder, then moved down to Denver in 2001 where I’ve been tattooing and painting since.

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?
There are always struggles running a studio, of course. Staying relevant in any art context can be a challenge, as well as staying driven creatively. Operating a small business has its ups and downs based on factors that are out of anyone’s control, such as the economy, people’s moods, and the weather. Since we just had to move our shop, I should probably also mention the challenges of running a business in a rapidly developing city. There is no smooth road for artists, creative people or small business owners. Having said that, I consider myself very lucky and we have been able to thrive in Denver.

Mammoth American Tattoo – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Overall, we focus on being a neighborhood shop. We make sure to treat people well and simply make good tattoos and paintings. To be honest, it’s simple. We love this neighborhood and being a part of it which is why we chose to be here. In fact, I’ve lived in this neighborhood for about seventeen years.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I define success as freedom. Freedom from doing something you don’t love, and freedom from having to deal with people you don’t enjoy dealing with. I also define success as being able to make a living off of art in any way and working with and for people you care about.

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