April Cornell is a tattooer and owner of Hidden Hand Tattoo and Altar Tattoo, both based in Seattle. From Aug. 18 to Aug. 20, Hidden Hand Tattoo hosts the annual Seattle Tattoo Expo, taking place at the Seattle Center and offering a showcase of tattoo culture and history, contests, live music, karaoke, burlesque and more. Learn about April Cornell…
Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT. Although, my entire family is from Texas. At 16, I left home and moved to Seattle.
First job: I got my first job at Pretzelmaker at Cottonwood Mall when I was 12 years old. I worked 25 to 30 hours of child labor at $4.25 per hour for three years until I moved onto my next job at Kinkos.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: On my 10 acres of property in the Olympic Mountains. Walking my dogs in my Seattle neighborhood. Spending time with my daughter and my closest friends enjoying nature and deep conversations.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Raising two talented, strong and incredible children. Nothing has tested me more or helped me to grow than being a mother to two powerful young women.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: The death of my business partner and husband of 23 years, Jeff Cornell. I don’t know that I’ll ever overcome his death but day by day, I keep moving forward.
Someone who inspires you and why: My late husband, Jeff. Jeff taught me to be fearless and not give a shit about what anyone thinks. He was true to his passions and was his most authentic self at every moment. He reminds me to listen to myself and to move forward with my goals and dreams.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Get tattooed and draw as much as possible. Find an apprenticeship the right way with someone who owns a reputable shop willing to teach you. Show up early, stay late and make yourself valuable to the shop and artists in it. Mediate, move and take care of your body. This career can be taxing emotionally, mentally and physically. It is not glamorous or for the faint of heart.
Favorite quote: “Be here now.” -Ram Dass
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I’m an intuitive energy reader and medium. I have a sacred relationship with spirit that informs everything I do as well as my artwork. I use this gift in creating Auragraphs for my clients. An Auragraph is an energy reading that is done while I read and draw for my client based on their intention for the session. Many people choose to get their Auragraphs tattooed or frame for their wall or altar space. One of my passions is helping others in opening up and developing their intuition and spiritual gifts to live their most authentic and aligned life.
What makes someone fabulous: Kindness and a willingness to be exactly who you are unapologetically. To live your most authentic life walking the beauty way of being and shining as you.
Photo credit: Dana Kae