Computer Sciences major Dorian Gray is a professional tattoo artist who works at Ace’s Tattoo and Body Piercing located at 2737 San Mateo NE, she said.
She has been a professional tattoo artist for three years and believes it is one of the most rewarding experiences she has ever gotten out of life, Gray said.
“I absolutely love my job because it is really creative, I get to meet thousands of new people, and I get to cover the world in beautiful art,” she said.
The style of art she is best at and loves to do the most is Japanese, which she would do all day if her clients would let her, she said.
The name Dorian Gray comes from a joke that someone made about her never aging, and is a reference to Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” about a man who never ages while a portrait of himself ages more and more, she said.
Gray already has her Bachelor’s degree in illustration that she got from the Northern Illinois University and she is currently attending CNM courses in order to knock out all of the coursework that she can before transferring to UNM in the fall semester of 2014, she said.
CNM has helped her in both her pursuit of a Master’s in Computer Science and also helped her with her career in tattoos, she said.
Gray said her time at the Montoya campus has been surprisingly very educational and she has been taking math and a couple programming classes, which have helped her learn how to create databases, and as far as tattooing goes, the people that she has met around the campus community have been very cool and interested in what she does which has inspired her to keep up her hard work.
“I think CNM is a really great school. I went to a community college outside of Chicago where I am from and I thought the educational quality was pretty bad, but CNM is actually really good and I was really surprised and happy. The math classes are actually really great,” Gray said.
After Gray graduated with her first bachelor’s degree she said she moved to Japan for three years where she apprenticed and started to study the way that tattooing is done there. Then she went to Melbourne, Australia where she also did a year-long apprenticeship in tattooing which was hard work and required some serious dedication and toughening up.
Gray said she is responsible for doing everything and anything that needed to get done around the shop like cleaning, getting other artists food, scrubbing everything, and when the artists eventually had free time, they would teach her how to tattoo.
“It is pretty hard work and is kind of like boot camp where everyone is hazing you and it really toughens you up, but it is really good training and you do all your medical certifications too,” she said.
Gray said that with her apprenticeship and her three years of professional tattooing, she has probably done around 2,000 different tattoos and she believes it is an honor and privilege to help so many people along the transformative process that is tattooing, she said.
Ace’s Tattoo and Body Piercing is open from Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays are also available by appointment and the shop can be contacted via email at info@acestattooabq. com or by phone at 872-8287, Gray said.