I found it
I had been pursuing my (false) business dream for all those years but what I love turned out to be something way simpler.
A tattoo artist in the mountains and his tattoo studio that's like a friend house
The beginning and Mirror foundation
“What you want to be when you grow up?”
Many kids might happily tell their dreams while many kids might have a blank idea and say “I DON’T KNOW”.
Yeah, I was a “I DON’T KNOW” kid too. Not really know what I want to be but I knew I loved to draw.
However, drawing for living was quite beyond imagination at the time, so I chose to study business instead.
I did surprisingly well in university though. That made me left the pencil-drawing behind, and started drawing my new fancy dream which was being some kind of a top-player in a big company.
I was going to Canada to level myself up a bit more after I graduated. But while I was waiting for my VISA, I took a journey to the mountains in Chiang Rai and volunteered with the Mirror foundation.
One night, my good friend and I talked randomly. Then she came up with “What are you excited about or what you like to do?” So I was like “Hmmm, drawing maybe”. Then she asked me to draw something and turned out that she liked it a lot. Enough for her to get it tattooed.
I felt excitement from drawing again, and a pencil was back to be my best friend. This “Mirror” time turned out to be one of the best moments in my life, and it created who I was about to become...
Studied in Canada but graduated from a farm in Japan
I fell in love with drawing again and usually spent weekend drawing at the time I was in Canada (what an exciting thing right?).
When it got towards the end of my study, and I realized that it was almost time to go home and work my dream in a business world….but “hang on a minute, is that really me, a business man?”.
Luckily, I was allowed to stay for a few months in Canada after finishing my study. So I re-accessed my “DREAM” folder in my head.
Actually I did have a (fun) dream when I was a kid. It was to do farming. You know…big barn, horses, pigs, and chicken.
So I went to do farming in country side in Canada, and did many fun farming stuff. And instead of going back home after Canada, I went extra time and extended my journey to Japan.
Journey in Japan was pretty eye-opening. Home cook was incredibly delicious. I got to eat (raw) house and deer meat. The owner took me to On-sen, plus handed me cold beer every day. I broke his bicycle going down hill but he said it’s fine. Then the epic experience was I hitchhiked through half Japan 2 times. I took 3 days going South and 2 days going back to the farm with sleeping at rest areas and zero Japanese speaking skill. It felt like a national hero, haha. Then the party was over, it was really time to go back….
No work for 6 months
Back home and It’s time to work babie!!
I started writing down all fancy experience gained from the past few years in resumes, and whispering to myself “I got ya babie. Imma be a ma-na-gerrr”
Then hit “send bottom”, got interviewed and ....... ”thanks for coming but you’re not matched”.
That’s fine. Sent again, got interviewed and .......”sorry but we’re looking for someone else”.
Well, sent sent sent, got interviewed interviewed interviewed and .......”no sir, no thanks, and some not even responded”
What the heck!!!!!
I had to admit that I was quite confused and desperate. But then after 6 months of mastering my resume and interview skill, a glory knight came to save mine. I finally got a job in an E-commerce company. Alright now, the (false) dream began.
“I knew it”
I was working an office life in Bangkok and it was going well. Then they sent me to Vietnam to help the manager over there.
It was a new branch, and working was intense. I gave them all until the last minute (almost missed my flight), and came back to Thailand. Then things had changed.
I couldn’t see myself climbing the ranking and thriving in office environment anymore. I thought maybe “ART” the thing that I always love, could be my new path and hopefully the right path.
What art then?, I thought. Hmmm, because I was doing tattoo designs at the moment as a freelancer, so maybe a tattoo artist? That’s it, let’s give it a try then. So I went to my supervisor and said to him “Hey Alex, I think I’m done with the office work, being a tattoo artist is next”. And surprisingly right away he replied “I knew it….I saw you as an artist all along. Go do your thing, mate.”
Like it but not love it
Finally landed in Chiang Mai. I went to a local market next morning, had some “laab” and then started my tattoo student life.
From a student became an artist, then had an opportunity working in a good studio in Chiang Mai city for awhile. Life was good. Got to do art for living and earned some money. Then after awhile (I bet you can guess that this dude will change something again….that’s right 😅), I felt like something was missing. I liked the job at that time, but not totally loved it. What was it that’s missing?
I found it
Graduated in Business in Thailand….then went to volunteer in the mountains.
Graduated in Business in Canada….then went to work with cow shi*t in the farms.
Supposed to go home after Cannada….instead I bought a ticket, and went to hitchhike in Japan.
Hmmmm…..I think I actually like simple lifestyle and living with nature.
Alright then, let’s go to the mountains.
I had decided to burn the Business 101 book, and started my tattoo business on the mountains which was Baan Khagee in Mae Wang, Chiang Mai.
get to live a simple life in nature, away from the pollution and stress in the city
get to do my favorite tattoo artwork which is animal and nature with flow
get to cook by myself
get to welcome everyone that comes as a friend
and get to do projects sharing smile to others in the mountains
Now I can say that finally
I found it.