“Looking back now I feel like I was training myself to be a tattoo artist without even knowing.” That’s how Tim Sena views his high school and college years of painting and drawing. Having grown up in a Catholic home, Sena had enjoyed drawing a lot of black and white Catholic imagery, a skill essential in tattoo art as well. But while painting and drawing can be formulaic in the canvases and materials used, tattooing has the added challenge of a unique canvas for every piece.
Sena became interested in tattooing after living in Phoenix, where he had a tattoo artist roommate who taught him the tricks of the trade. When he moved back home to New Mexico six years ago, Sena purchased his own equipment and began tattooing.
About two years ago, Sena and his wife had the opportunity to move to Nashville. Feeling that the city had a lot to offer people with artistic talents and an appreciation for art culture, the two were happy to make the move to the South.
Upon moving to Nashville, Sena heard about Ian White, a local tattoo artist, and decided he wanted to grab coffee with him. However, before he even had the chance to look him up, Sena bumped into White at Ugly Mugs in East Nashville and their friendship grew from there. Sena and White discussed their faith and their trade and White, who was in the process of opening a private studio, knew that he wanted to work with Sena. Sena and White now work together at Safe House Tattoo Studio in Edgehill Village, which is also home to one of Sena’s favorite coffee shops, Edgehill Café.
Because Sena is drawn to the creative aspect of tattooing, one of his favorite pieces was a tattoo that allowed him to start from scratch and build an image from sheer inspiration. In this instance, a customer emailed Sena a verse from scripture and asked him to draw up an image that would capture the verse. Sena developed a realistic hand of Jesus being nailed to the cross.
When it comes to the business side of his craft, Sena knows that when people choose him for a piece, it is about more than just the tattoo. People come to him for the experience. “I feel like I respect clients’ ideas,” Sena says, “but I also give good insight on what makes a good, lasting and quality tattoo.” This artistic mind and personable nature is what makes Sena a local artisan that we feel is worthy of a feature!
Sena and his wife live in the Two Rivers area and love the peaceful, yet active neighborhood. They enjoy taking their two labs to play in Lock Two Park every morning and Sena likes to spend his Sunday afternoons fishing at one of the community ponds nearby. When we asked Sena if there was anything we should know about him, he made sure to share that, first of all, his wife is beautiful and secondly, they are expecting twin boys! Congratulations to the Sena family!
Be sure to stop by Safe House Tattoo Studio in Edgehill Village to say congrats (and maybe look into getting a tattoo there as well, if you’re in the market for one)!