An Interview with Tattoo Artist – Cale “Truckstop” Turpen
Posted on January 26 2012
Tat2X: How long have you been in the tattoo business?
Cale: I have been tattooing since 2009 but I have been in the business for five years now. I started my apprenticeship five years ago and unfortunately, after a major falling out with the artist I was learning under, I was given a job at one of the most well-known shops in Tulsa, and in all honesty had to relearn how to tattoo. Big huge thanks to The Ink father Jose Sanchez for all his help and guidance.
Tat2X: What made you decide to become a tattoo artist?
Cale: I was going to school for graphic design and working the bar scene locally and got to know some of the artists and I was tired of the corporate BS so I actively started looking for an apprenticeship.
Tat2X: Has anyone in particular influenced your career?
Cale: The Ink father Jose Sanchez, The old angry man Shawn Ryan, and Jime Litewalk for the guidance and criticism when I walked in off the street in Vegas.
Tat2X: What would you say is your favorite part of the job?
Cale: All of my clients, and friends, in this industry. Actually the whole industry, from being able to go to conventions and learn from the greats, to being able to educate people who think that kitchen magician tattoo artists are just as clean and sterile as a shop. There is no other industry I would rather be involved in.
Tat2X: What style of tattoos do you do?
Cale: Everyone says I do my best work when doing a photo realism piece, but i like doing traditional and new school work more than anything else.
Tat2X: Do you have a funny tattoo story to share?
Cale: No, but I did take a bullet for my craft one time.
Contact Cale @
Nicole Bodem is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to the Tat2X blog.