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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Student by day, tattoo artist by night

Fitting in two jobs, the workload of a part-time student and freelance work into a 24-hour time period is a daunting task capable of trouncing almost any individual.

This juggling act is performed every week by 21-year-old Pierce College student Chris Halawani, a music major.

Graduating from Sylmar High School in 2011, Halawani has been working at Subway and Foot Locker while attending Pierce. Along the way he has garnered a passion for something not offered on the college campus: tattooing.

Always having a passion for art, Halawani cites work as a reason for his involvement with tattoos. He also credits other people’s art work as a contributing factor to his love for tattoos.

“My main motive was money because work was kind of slow and then I just fell in love with it,” Halawani said. “It’s exactly like drawing.”

Starting only about seven months ago, the transition from drawing to tattooing seemed to happen with ease for Halawani.

He picked it up rather quickly because he had been drawing all of his life and first tattooed someone after very little practice.

He said it was second nature for him.

“Once I got my machine, my boy Baker was just like, ‘Tat me up,’” Halawani said. “Most people practice a lot; I didn’t.”

With support from friend Derron Baker, Halawani was given his first to show off his talents as Baker offered to be his canvas.

Since then he has gotten seven more tattoos, all courtesy of Halawani.

“I loved it,” Baker said. “I love all the work that’s on my body from him.”

A music major at Pierce for the past two years, Halawani is a part-time student taking classes such as sociology and psychology.

He splits his time between work and school, making it difficult to juggle everything at once, calling it “tiring.”

“It‘s super stressful,” Halawani said. “On Monday I was falling asleep in class and I got mad because I do not want to be sleeping in class. It’s real hard.”

With about 10 tattoos so far, Halawani’s body serves as an advertisement for his work as he is covered with his own symbolic artwork that he does on himself on his downtime.

Halawani said that the tattoos that are on his body are full of meaning.

“All my body is basically my story,” Halawani said. “Symbolism; all that. Everything on my body has to have a story and a real meaning.”

Monique Becker, a client of Halawani’s, says that she too was satisfied with her finished product, calling it “beautiful.” Becker said that she would definitely let Halawani give her more tattoos and is even looking into one right now, saying she feels he can definitely make it a career because of his passion.

“I had two sessions for my own and then I brought my brother to him as well,” Becker said.

“Both times he had a couple of sketchbooks that he was showing around and he was very passionate about them and his drawings.”


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