We had the good fortune of connecting with Stefan Kluver and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stefan, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think risk is one of the biggest motivators for my life. I always think of at least 10 best and worst possible cases that could come from it, but still follow through. I rather be prepared to all scenarios before executing. I think it puts your body in a fight or flight scenario and that’s when you can push through your comfort zone and achieve what you can dream of. Taking risks is literally how I have been able to achieve a life in which I’m proud of.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I wouldn’t say it sets me apart, as artist we all achieve to create beauty wether it’s on canvas, paper or skin. The way i approach my art and what inspired me to begin my tattooing profession was making people happy. Let me elaborate. I love making people confident, sometimes a tattoo just isnt a piece of art but an enhancement to someone’s insecurities. To be able to flaunt a part of your body that you’re typically ashamed or shy of. To see someone be happy with their body and let them love themselves more is what drives me to give it my all every time. Overall this career has been a long time coming, from dreaming it at 14 years old, to attempting it at 18 and achieving it at 26, it definitely hasn’t been easy. I’ve learned that everyone has their time to find their passion and that my came when i needed it the most. Ultimately i want people to think of tattoos as a positive way to express one’s self love and excitement for art. The negative connotation that tattoos have is not my favorite, although it has been getting better over the years. There’s beauty in the body and how to make it your own.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d say my favorite places to venture out to are restaurants and craft cocktail bars honestly. Besides that i golf and go to the gym. For night live i would go see my buddy Jordan Chandler over at Brickyard for some awesome drinks and appetizers. Then probably head to Top Golf to get a few more drinks and get an activity going. A different day i’d head over to Bourbon and Bones for a nice steak dinner and then Main Event for some bowling. During the day i’d probably go hiking and drive around downtown gilbert to bar hop or just see what it’s about. I’d definitely bring him into Next Wave tattoo so i can give him a quick tattoo. I’d also visit Fox Cigar Bar in Gilbert and pay my buddy Ben a visit. At every place i like to go, there are some awesome people and of course i cant leave out Blue Wasabi for some great sushi.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shoutout Jim Moran, owner of Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini bar. This man, not only has had a big hand in my restaurant knowledge but if it wasn’t for his help, my transition to my dream would have been almost impossible. Since i first started working for him as a salad cook 8 years ago, to him teaching me how to manager a restaurant, to him catering to my schedule and life so i can follow and achieve my dream of becoming a full time Tattoo Artist. Thank you Jim.