Tattoo Artist Bret Bloom Talks Balance and Positivity | Painful Pleasures Community

Tattoo Artist Bret Bloom Talks Balance and Positivity

Tattoo artist Bret Bloom is a self-made artist and social media star with a lot of passion.

by Danny Tress Last Updated: May 16, 2021 1

Tattoo artist Brett Bloom framed by his bold, colorful tattoos

When you get the opportunity to chat with a tattoo artist like Bret Bloom, you can’t help but feel inspired. Passionate artist, social media star, and shop owner of FullBloom Tattoos in Fort Wayne, Indiana to boot, Bloom has plenty to say about achieving success in this industry. Yet, for all his accomplishments, his down-to-earth attitude makes talking to him a real pleasure. As a result, you can wind up with a transcribed interview that goes on for pages and pages of glorious insight – insights we are more than happy to share. 

On Social Media  

“It’s as simple as positive or negative. You got to pick one.” 

Taking a look at Bret Bloom’s Instagram, it’s clear to see he’s a talented artist with a portfolio chock-full of masterful realism, pop culture pieces, nature-inspired scenes, and more. With over 65k followers to support his talent, it could be easy to collapse under the weight of big-headedness or become responsive to the often-negative side of social media commentary. But Bret Bloom is strongly rooted to the ground, focused on community, hard work, and other positive aspects of the industry. When asked about how he copes with negativity, Bloom has this to say: 

“There's a lot of artists unfortunately in this area that aren't like a strong-knit community. It’s just saddening to see such a community get lost in that social media negativity drain where you can go down the rabbit hole of negativity on social media and really get consumed by it and it becomes your excitement […] when it comes to the end of the day, it's either as simple as [choosing] positive or negative. You got to pick one.” 

Naruto tattoo by tattoo artist Bret Bloom

Lion tattoo by tattoo artist Bret Bloom

So, as a tattoo artist with a busy schedule, how does one handle 176k followers on TikTok and nearly 65k followers on Instagram? Bloom asserts that making the best of your social media presence is dependent on finding a balance between self-promotion and tattooing. 

“So, I think the ease of availability is a massive positive from [social media], to help you be able to stay booked out, but also that communication aspect. I mean, [social media] is opening opportunities that would be a lot more difficult to achieve. Had that social media aspect not been there, […] you'd be forced to have to travel and get out there. […] I feel like social media has made it to where you can just grind and be able to still push yourself and meet new people.” 

Bloom certainly utilizes plenty of techniques for self-promotion from home, including geotagging, paying for promotions, and engaging with his followers through comments and giveaways. Just this past December, Bloom offered a sizable back tattoo as a giveaway to a lucky client. Bloom is also sure to post videos and content that promotes self-worth, determination to dream big, and challenges to overcome adversity.  

Perhaps most importantly for his own mental health, Bloom makes sure that his social media space is entirely his own motivational world, so he can focus on positivity and all that inspires him: 

“I follow a very small amount of people and there are people that either make me laugh hysterically or motivate me […]” 

On Creative Pursuits 

“I have goals to keep pushing myself and getting to a higher level of success.” 

 But for Bret Bloom, the grind doesn’t just mean tattooing. 

“The next thing in succession with my goals is definitely fitness stuff. […] That's definitely the next thing in line that I've been working on in the background and kind of sprinkling [fitness] in all my stories and stuff like that, too. It's just fun to help motivate other people if they're interested in that kind of stuff […] the next [interest] that will come into play is definitely music-related stuff as well.” 

Octopus tattoo by tattoo artist Bret Bloom

Jeepers Creepers tattoo by tattoo artist Bret Bloom

As a tattooer who’s talented in realism, it’s great to know Bloom is just as authentic as his artistry. Authenticity is, of course, a key characteristic when it comes to realistic tattooing; and just as realism requires plenty of room to breath, Bloom demands plenty of space for all his creative pursuits.  

“It wasn't until this year that I've even separated time for breathing room to focus on other things that I want to do as well.” 

It certainly took time for Bloom to get to a place where he could create such breathing room, having spent four years cultivating his place in the world of tattooing. A self-taught artist with a ton of wherewithal, Bloom began as a factory worker with a practical-but-daring plan to become an artist.  Gleaning respect, a client list, and a place to tattoo was a pursuit that took risks, sacrifice, and a trust in destiny. 

“So I was like, why don't I spend $34,000 in a year on supplies and equipment, and the highest end stuff that I can possibly get, and just start tattooing?  

So, I took that same mentality and just busted my ass practicing on family [and] close friends that would be like, ‘Hey, dude, I trust you.’ […] my goal in one year was to look like I had been tattooing for five years to most people […] towards the end of that year that I was doing that, people at the factory would be like, “Dude, you're that tattoo guy, right […] it looks like you've been tattooing for like five years!’  

And when I heard that five times in a week, I was like, ‘Alright, it's time to quit my job. I guess I hit that goal that I planned.’ Like I said, I believe in signs and what-not. So, that was like the world telling me, ‘Hey, dude, it's time to chase your dreams full, full blown.’ So, I'd saved a bunch of money to give myself a cushion. [I] quit my job. [I] actually started at True Think Tattoos, which is here in Fort Wayne; it was the only shop that would give me any kind of respect.” 

Neotraditional lion tattoo by tattoo artist Bret Bloom

Raven tattoo by tattoo artist Bret Bloom

On to the Future  

“I always think there’s something new to learn.” 

Wireless tattooing is the latest trend in our industry to mixed reception from artists worldwide. So far, Bloom is all for the wireless innovations. A Peak-sponsored artist, he is also an avid user of Peak needles. 

“Cleanliness is gonna make a lot more sense with wireless and ease of use. […] just like anybody in this industry, you should try plenty of different things and be always open to learn, [but] I still stand by the Peak needles 100% […]” 

We’re excited to see what comes of Bret Bloom's other creative pursuits, and especially excited to watch him continually expand both as an artist and a social media presence. 

Stay tuned to Bret’s Instagram and TikTok for all he has to offer. 

Check out more work by Bret Bloom on Instagram, @fullproof.bloom

Anime tattoo by tattoo artist Bret Bloom

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