Bill is a rare gem of a person. He is hands down, one of the nicest people involved with the tattoo world you would ever want to meet. I first heard of Bill and his magical tattoo pigments years ago, early into my tattoo career, and he was almost talked about in code and hushed secrets on message boards. There was a guy out there making small batch pigments, and they were the best on earth I deciphered. I had to find out what they were all about. This is over ten years ago. Since then, every so often I will make an order from Bill and like clockwork, the order comes quickly and filled with his little bits and pieces of love. A quick email exchange or phone call are as close as we get, but it doesn’t take any more than that to know he is a genuine guy. Orders from Bill are fun, and he always tosses in a little something extra, because that’s the kind of guy he is. He is a man that loves his family and craft both deeply, and is passionate about loving and protecting them. Not once does Bill look for fortune or fame in a way to exploit the tattoo craft that he loves, but he puts his blood, sweat and tears into it asking nothing in return. When you make the best tattoo ink on earth, you don’t need ego, you don’t need flashy advertisements, and you don’t need to be a jerk. Even those who don’t tattoo can appreciate Bill for his all encompassing appreciation love for the world, and being able to find beauty in almost everything. His morning flower pictures on instagram are almost like clockwork, and really brighten my day. Get to know one of my favorite people, Bill Stevenson.
1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?
Hey Everybody! I’m Bill Stevenson from Baltimore, Maryland. I am a tattooer at Have Fun Be Lucky Tattoo and I also run Waverly Color Company, LLC. Waverly Color makes small batch handmixed colors and paints for the tattoo craft. My wife, Leslie and I have a 6 year old son named Xan. She owns a home furnishings store called In Watermelon Sugar in our neighborhood here in Baltimore City and Xan is a soontobe first grader! I came to love, marriage and fatherhood not long after I started tattooing and there were definitely some challenges. It takes a huge commitment to be a tattooer (as well as date one.) and I am lucky I met a woman who gets it. She knew from the beginning that we had to make the best of our time together as tattooing as well as the business aspect of running a tattoo shop (at the time) can really wreak havoc on a relationship. These days I no longer run a tattoo shop. I work by appointment at Have Fun Be Lucky and I run Waverly Color. I also have a few new projects on the horizon. This doesn’t make my life any less busy but it certainly gives me more freedom to spend a lot more time with my wife and son. I now get to enjoy dinner with my family regularly and they have noticed not only my ‘presence” more but that I no longer carry the stress of being a babysitter for grownups in a tattoo shop. This brings about spontaneous outings and field trips that we have have gotten used to very quickly!
2. What does being a modern day dad mean to you?
It means having an incredible opportunity to help raise and shape another human being into an awesome person with something to offer this world.
3.How did becoming a father change your life?
Aside from being responsible for another life it’s been pretty neat to revisit a lot of the things I did growing up. Learning to ride a bicycle, skateboarding and very soon, fishing, among others. I have flashbacks to my own childhood constantly while hanging out with my son. Some memories are great and some are not but it’s the best example of being able to learn something from every experience. If it was a bad experience then I do the opposite in the present day. This concept is a powerful thing in my life. I’m there to protect my son but also give him the dignity of risk at the same time!
4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
Every generation of parents wants their kids to have a better life than they did and my wife and I are certainly no exception to that. I’m aware of the gifts I have in my life and I work to become more mindful every day. I want my son to get this as well. He is one of the gifts.
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
Seeing my son grow and discover this world has been amazing for me. To hear his logic astounds me. I’m so fortunate to be able to spend more time with him now and I love seeing him change day to day as he finds out more about his world. The other day he dropped his snack bar on the floor and picked it up and took a bite. I looked at him and he immediately responded, “It’s okay, Daddy, five minute rule!” His ability to overcome fear so quickly and go for it amazes me as well.
6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
I had always heard that you can never really be ready to be a parent. With this in mind I had hoped to attempt to at least be financially ready to have a child. In the end I figured out it doesn’t really matter. You are going to make due with the money and resources you have and in the end this is really the least important issue of fatherhood to me. I would suggest to new fathers to work on their patience as well as their flexibility. It will be tested again and again for years to come but the sense of unconditional love that grows from fatherhood makes itworth it!
You can find Bill out in the internet world here:
Thanks so much Bill! I’ll let you know when I run out of Dark Black. We wish you tons of success and keep on doing what you are doing!