BLADE LIFE: Phoenix, AZ’s Diversion Tattoo

New ONE contributor Ben Karris told us about a tattoo shop in Phoenix that a rollerblader recently opened. We thought it sounded pretty cool, and like a good story for an eager young journalist to tackle, so we let him have at it. Check out these pics and words about Derik Fenstermacher’s new shop to learn how he’s turning his passion into a business. — ONE

As the old saying goes, it is never wise to mix business with pleasure. The results could be catastrophic. Yet, what is one to do when pleasure is not mixed with business, more so, gained from the business itself. No, I am not referring to the multi-billion dollar pornography industry, what I am talking about is finding something in your life that you love and are sincerely passionate about and turning it into a career. That is exactly what rollerblader and tattoo artist Derik Fenstermacher is doing with Phoenix, Arizona’s newest ink spot and first fully rollerblader owned and operated tattoo shop: Diversion Tattoos.

Aaron sketching… possibly tracing that ONE logo?

Derik and his head apprentice Aaron Johnson — regulars at the Revolution Thursday Night Skate sessions — are immersed in Phoenix’s thriving blade scene, and it’s not uncommon to find some of their work donned by many of the local skaters.

Derik outside the shop, rocking some Valo threads.

During my time speaking with the guys, Fenstermacher himself recommended a skating break, mid-interview (the shop is located directly across the street from a local street spot). He told me the only thing he has been doing longer than blading, is drawing, and while he loves both, he says they each bring him a different kind of happiness. Whether this meant he was getting caught for doodling instead of taking notes in school, or working in various tattoo shops around the country; as you can tell, art has remained a steady constant in Fenstermacher’s life.

Whoa, nip slip! (Aaron’s chest piece.)

It is apparent that we skaters seem to have a knack for funneling our creative talents through many forms other than rollerblading. That being said, when many of today’s top skaters unstrap their boots, they step into a completely different role. Some of us are writers, cinematographers, artists, photographers, students, or like Derik Fenstermacher; entrepreneurs running their own businesses. This story and many others like it are living proof that rollerblading still has a fighting chance. With genuinely good hearted and level headed people representing us to the world, why shouldn’t we succeed? — Ben Karris

Photos © 2009 Ben Karris

Leave A Comment

chadhornish - Friday, June 5th, 2009

great read

ilikesports - Friday, June 5th, 2009

i here that ben karris kid smells like old tacos

kaytek - Friday, June 5th, 2009

ben karris is an old taco ;)

Sean T. - Friday, June 5th, 2009

It’s all he eats, so yes, it’s safe to say he smells like old tacos…

TheTomCat - Saturday, June 6th, 2009

wawawewo. Next tat is getting done here. Sick piece Ben, good read.

andrew frieling - Sunday, June 7th, 2009

i got mine done there, then so did all my friends, and their friends. derek is the man! aaron also took first for his category at AIL AZ this year.

Future Of Rollerblading a.k.a. your buddy Joe - Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Can’t really find a reason 2 not support this artform we like to associate with rollerblading. The more you think about it, in every way possible, tattoos have influenced rollerblading. In order to truely appreciate tattoo

art one must immerse himself into the culture entirely. Roll on, its ok 2 be a t-dog, but remember young one, if u bite the hand that feeds u, u’ll end up in a gutter. Now rep ur city, and rep like a soldier high on life and maybe a tree or 2.

Derik - Monday, June 15th, 2009

I’m crazy flattered to have my name in such a well written article.

Good job Ben. Thanks ONE. Keep rollin’ everyone!

Tam Karris - Saturday, July 4th, 2009

You are the best writer. Keep it coming!

Tam Karris - Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Great article! I know there will be more!

Lexii - Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Aaron is my older brother(:

Ted Piirala - Friday, April 22nd, 2011

i love this heart tattoo!! would their be any way you would be willing to give a sketch of it to me?