Anomaly Lifestyle Art & Tattoo

A Modern Take on an Ancient Art

Like the name suggests, Anomaly Lifestyle Art and Tattoo isn’t what one might expect. It is an artist’s refuge, brought to life by the inspiring artist and owner Rodney Carrera.

Rodney Carrera, owner at Anomaly Lifestyle Art & Tattoo // photos Erica Wieting

Rodney grew up painting on paper, canvas – anything he could use as a creative outlet. For him, art was a way of getting out of his own head when he felt like an outcast. The name Anomaly comes from an artist’s acceptance of who he is and how he is different.

“Instead of running the race, I stepped away, to do my own [thing],” Rodney says. As a reminder, the word “anomaly” and its definition (someone that deviates from what is standard, normal or expected) pour onto the studio’s black walls in a daring bright white.

Anomaly emerged in Plano recently as one of the few tattoo shops in the area. It is considered a retail shop under city guidelines stating that only 10 percent of the space – what Rodney calls his “dance floor” – may be reserved for tattooing. The rest is filled with artwork, t-shirts, journals, tattoo care products, free trade jewelry and other handmade items to admire and purchase.

Tattoos aren’t always accepted as art. Some people come in with stereotypes and forget that tattooing is more than just a machine and ink, Rodney says. At Anomaly, he reminds everyone, “We are artists. A good tattoo, a good piece of work [allows] the artist to be an artist.”

As a tattoo artist, the hardest part can be making that connection with clients and really understanding what they want from the tattoo. “People are hard to read, and not everybody is the same. We have to figure that person out first, and then go from there,” Rodney explains.

Every time a client walks in, Rodney assumes three roles. In the beginning, he is a psychic, attempting to read minds and predict what his clients are looking for. While tattooing, he becomes a therapist, listening and making sense of why they are getting that tattoo. At the end, he is like a doctor, advising people how to care for their new tattoo and skin.

Tattoo artist working on sketches in Anomaly’s art workspace.

One of Rodney’s all-time favorite tattoos to create was a portrait of a young man’s father who was a fireman. The young man was getting the tattoo for Father’s Day because he was so inspired by his dad.

The first tattoo Rodney himself got was the heart of a tiger, representing strength. As he grew older, his tattoos became more symbolic of where he was mentally and physically at that time, and of where he was heading.

After a hard time in his life, he got a big ship on his stomach, representing his father’s time in the Navy. “He told me they never knew when they would hit land, they just always knew they would get there eventually,” Rodney says, relating to how his dad must have felt then.

Original artwork on display and for sale at Anomaly

Rodney lived in Plano for seven years with his wife and two kids, when he saw an opportunity to open this shop. Several of his tattoos paint his love for family. He has his wife’s name imprinted on one arm alongside the word “respect,” and his children’s names with the word “patience.”

Rodney’s most recent tattoo is the phrase “Die to self daily,” and this tattoo, as well as his others, reminds him of who he isn’t anymore, and what he has left behind.

They are his new beginnings, like Anomaly.

Rodney working on a custom tattoo

At Anomaly, Rodney says he wants customers to feel inspired: “I want them to feel like they can come in, sit down and just do art” without feeling intimidated. There are couches for relaxing, books for reading, paper and pencils for drawing, lots of light and inspiring messages. Even Rodney’s five-year-old daughter sits down with a book, admiring her dad’s art.

Rodney’s goal for Anomaly is “for us to be known as what we are.” He hopes the art at Anomaly will reveal the passion behind it. The point is to take in the art and “to get lost somewhere in the middle of it.”

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