Tattoo Artist • Event Producer • DENVER, CO
Denver tattoo artist and entrepreneur, Andrea Sanchez, grew up on a ranch in San Luis Valley. She later moved to Alamosa where she went to college at Adams State with the intent to major in biology and minor in art. Drea discovered her creative talent while taking a painting and drawing class. In 2010, Drea moved to Denver as she continued her education at Metro, and made the decision that her career path was better suited towards art rather than biology. She worked as a bartender and server through her 20s but made sure to keep up with her art during this time. The network she gained during her years of bartending proved to be extremely valuable in her next endeavor as a tattoo artist.
The Art of Tattoo
What makes a successful tattoo artist? “Partially having a really good art background, the other part having confidence in yourself,” Drea explains. Her first creation was an original design done on a friend and supervised by her mentor. “It came out great!” Drea says. Her goal is to be well versed in all styles of tattooing. She wants to ensure that she can bring her client’s ideas to life. Drea has a portfolio of her work on Instagram. She primarily works in black ink but is starting to branch into more color designs.
Day in the Life
Like any art, tattoo takes time. Keeping a less hectic schedule allows Drea to take more time on design and not rush through appointments. Booking just a few appointments a day and maintaining happiness is far more important to her than cramming appointments back to back. A typical day is 4-6 hours, not including set up and clean up.
When it comes to tattoo designs, many clients come to Drea with a concept that she is able to draw up for them. It’s also common for clients to come in with a picture of a design they have found. In this instance, Drea will have that client get permission from the original artist or suggest changes to to create an original design.
The Shameless Squad is another one of Drea’s business/entrepreneurial pursuits that she founded with her friend, Jana Brown. Shameless Squad is a women’s networking and event group that empowers women to empower themselves to be more comfortable in their own skin. The squad gives women the opportunity to be in an all-female environment surrounded by like-minded women. In its early stages, the squad was a photography business that encouraged women to be more comfortable in front of the camera. While this idea was rewarding, Drea realized there were other opportunities for the women. The Shameless Squad is now at nearly 100 members.
Now that the squad has seen significant growth, business partners Drea and Jana have decided to create an official membership base.
Most Shameless Squad events are open to the public. The events are marketed to the public and are often free of charge. Events that are ticketed (about 20%), are done for charity. Drea tells us about previous events such as pool parties, a choreographed dance event at Stanley Marketplace, as well as a Grammy Gala. The Grammy Gala was a chance for everyone to get dressed up for this formal event. They recreated the Grammy atmosphere at Sip, Eat, Drink in downtown Denver, complete with red carpets, photography and specialized drinks. Themed parties are also common for the squad.