Art has always been a constant in Max Henley’s life. Growing up in Columbia MO he spent a lot of time alone and found himself constantly making things. The act of creating helped quiet his mind and make sense of life; he loved being able to do something that was hands-on and tactile and vulnerable. It not only allowed him a way to open up his heart but also gave him a way to bring joy to others.
In his late teens Max was offered a tattooing apprenticeship in Columbia. Adorning his body with art was a powerful and exciting experience for him - it gave him confidence and a better self image. The tattoos themselves made him feel more attractive while the process helped him realize pain was something he could get through. He knew he had to pursue a career in tattooing, but he also knew staying in Columbia wouldn’t be right for him.
Max moved to Kansas City for school in order to get away from his hometown, where he met his mentor who helped pull him even more into the world of tattooing. After receiving his BFA in Illustration he saved up some money working as a cake decorator before starting his apprenticeship.
Today Max is pushing his work to new levels by honing in on his technical skills. He loves to draw creatures, which are becoming otherworldly from his technique of mixing the boldness of traditional tattoos with the texture and beauty of black and grey tattoos. On top of creating such unique pieces for his clients, Max puts great value into the importance of creating safe, comfortable spaces in order to allow joy and community to thrive.