Sam Sheinin was born in Calgary, Alberta on November 22, 1972. While he was growing up, his family moved around a lot, settling in places such as Spokane, Washington and Anaheim, California. His artistic abilities became apparent at an early age; it has been said that he was spotted with pencil crayon in hand even before he was able to walk. As a child, Sam was most inspired to draw by his favorite superheroes and his favorite rock band, KISS. Their colorful characters and old-fashioned rock n’ roll inspired him to emulate KISS on paper. His drawings of KISS then evolved to comic book, science fiction, animal, and life imagery. He always enjoyed giving his many drawings a humanistic quality, and drawing portraits soon became one of his artistic specialties. Though he experimented with everything from acrylic on canvas to watercolor on paper, his most challenging medium was that of ink and skin.
In his early teens, Sam settled in Edmonton, Alberta and took a year of fine art at a local community college once he finished high school. He decided not to return after completing his first year because he found that the classes were based too much around theory and not enough around practical application. By the end of 1996 he had started apprenticing in a prominent Edmonton tattoo shop while working at another job to support himself. After finishing his three-year apprenticeship he worked for another four years at the studio as a full-time tattoo artist, refining his skills and building a large clientele. He tattooed everything from nickel n’ dime tattoos to full custom back pieces. Sam worked at the studio for around seven years, but found that the last two years were becoming stagnant and repetitive. His work weeks consisted of six to seven ten-hour days, and he soon found that this affected both his inspiration and his creativity. He decided to take a break from tattooing and do some soul-searching while traveling throughout the western United States. After the end of the busy season, he drew up a few sets of flash, packed up his car, and started looking for the inspiration that had first drawn him to the world of tattoos.
Check out more of Sam Sheinin's tattoo designs here
Sam toured the western United States for five months; this allowed him to take a well-deserved break while still keeping his feet wet in the industry. Because he was never able to draw much flash and get much exposure when he was working at the busy studio, Sam was thrilled to finally have to chance to talk to people and have his work critiqued on many different levels. Seeing the variety in tattoo studios was a tremendous learning experience; he saw everything from busy street shops on Hollywood Boulevard to world-famous custom shops in Seattle, Texas, and Las Vegas. He even got a chance to visit a few back-alley shops in Tijuana, Mexico. When not sight-seeing and selling flash, Sam spent his time continually drawing new sets in order to cater to the various needs of shops around the country. He also attended a couple of tattoo conventions which he found both intimidating and exhilarating. He found a great feeling of satisfaction knowing that other artists were excited about tattooing his designs. The trip opened many doors for him and he made a lot of new friends along the way.
Upon returning home, Sam was contacted by many of his old clients and realized that his client base and the demand for his work was still thriving. This has prompted him to begin planning a studio of his own, which he hopes will be up and running within the next year. Until that time, he will continue to share his work with people around the world with the help of Flash2xs.com. He is very excited to have this opportunity and hopes to see future sets of his flash on the site as well.