Testimonial: Greg “Grease” Lehman – Tattoo Artist

Grease, as he’s known to his friends and clients, grew up in St. Paul, MN’s East Side and served in the U.S. Army from 1980 to 1986. He was stationed in Bamburg, Germany and Ft. Carson, CO and, afterwards, served 2 years in the Army Reserves. Greg was with 11 Bravo Company Infantry.

“When I arrived at Ft. Carson one of the Executive Officers was looking for a driver, so I volunteered. I drove a jeep for him, he liked my work ethic, and I then got a job driving for the Commanding Officer.”

“After my discharge, I wanted to continue my education, so I attended a graphic arts school. I guess art runs in my family, as my older brother is an airbrush artist, Dad was a woodworker, and my Mom was really crafty. I guess it rained down on us kids.”

“About that time, I wanted to get a tattoo, so I went to a guy’s shop and had a look around. His tattoo guns looked really rinky-dink so I decided to make my own, got into the business, and called it Tattoos From Grease. I began my tattoo career in 1989 and my original tattoo guns are still hanging on the wall of my shop.”

“One of the best things about being a tattoo artist is taking people’s ideas and turning them into something they can see. I use Sketchup to create tattoo patterns, which I use to apply the design outline to the skin. It’s a pretty good system, although for more involved projects the guidelines start to fade and then I just “freehand it” from there. I’ve been told that I have a good artistic vision and I’m known for my 3D tattoo effects.”

“I’ve been using CAD software since the early 90’s. At the time, there were only two programs and none of them were available to me when I was in Graphic Arts School. That would have been handy.”

“I just 3D print for hobby, making drones and quad copters. I’ve been flying them for 15 – 20 years, and now I can make my own parts after I crash. I’ve got a Sherine CNC machine that I’ve had for 12 years. Then, I decided to upgrade my shop and get an Afinia 3D printer.

When I was researching 3D printers, I found MAKE Magazine’s “Ultimate Guide To 3D Printing”. I selected the Afinia and found that it’s a really good machine and their customer service is top-notch. I’ve had the printer for a year and I love it, especially the small footprint. I’m also really happy with the Afinia filament. I’ve tried some others and keep coming back.”

I collect marbles and design and make display stands out of 3D printed and wooden parts. I’m building a Mario marble stand and I make the pieces and glue them together. Sometimes I paint the 3D printed parts to make them look like metal. I’ve posted a few pictures of my stands in marble-making group forums and have sold a few. I don’t want to turn that into a job, it wouldn’t be fun.

“Currently, I’m working on an 8” x 6” suitcase to hold and display some of my marbles. I’m incorporating 3D printed fixtures in wooden box, which I make on my CNC.”

“It’s really interesting to see how my interest in graphic arts, CAD, tattooing, woodworking and 3D printing have come together.”