Written by Tom Knighton
Albany, Ga - Some would say that if you touch someone’s life, you’ve lead a good life yourself. If that’s true, then it would be hard to have lived a better life that local tattoo artist Steve Martin did.
Martin died suddenly Monday morning leaving family and friends behind to mourn. Martin leaves a wife, Rachel, and two children, named Steven (21) and Tristan (10).
Martin was a devoted family man. Friends describe him as “a quiet soul until he got to know you, and even then you could find him quietly sketching something out on paper”. Born in Albany, he attended Monroe High School, and his first love was heavy metal music. He was in a band in his younger years, and opened his first tattoo shop in Albany in 1990. His favorite quote was “The older I get, the smarter my Father gets”, a sentiment shared by many men as they age.
An amazing self-taught artist, his original works, sketching and tattooing brought art to life. From realistic portraits to his own line of flash artwork, he had a rare gift and talent. His wife always by his side, they had a love and partnership that stood the test of time. She welcomed customers, and anywhere they went he always drove, it worked successfully for them. The art on the wall at their shop consisted of his love of music, from Slayer, and Kiss to Kid Rock, and you could barely hear it, but the background music was of the same genre. On his Facebook page the comments and posts are mostly from customers speaking of their wonderful experience with Steve, and the blessing of having his tattoo work.
Since the word and shock of his death, many of his loyal customers of 20+ years have stepped up to help. Mostly they are spreading the word, supporting a grief strickened family, and trying to find ways to bring financial assistance in this desperate time of need. During store hours and seven days a week, Bio-Buzz Botanica at 612 N. Slappey Blvd. is taking collections of money, non-perishable foods, and gift cards for the family. Owners Stephen and Siryn Bradford have been friends of the family for a long time, and for several years Steve had his shop within the Bio-Buzz store. Siryn has been a tattoo client of Steve’s since she moved to GA in 1992, and they have been friends and family ever since.
“Rachel called me at 8 am, and told me she lost her Steve. I said Steve who, what Steve, and she told me what happened. All I kept saying was No, no, no. I lost it emotionally and just kept telling her I was sorry and would do whatever to help and be there for the family,” Said Siryn Bradford.
This Saturday March 16, there will be a Memorial 1pm, at Inked Images Tattoo on 2315 E. Broad ave. in East Albany. Many will gather in a celebration of Steve’s life, with family and friends. This will be a time to remember and enjoy Steven Martin’s love of life, family and metal. Steve’s nephew Kevin Martin will be the Pastor leading the ceremony, several friends, and former band mates will speak. It is asked that everyone wear their favorite metal shirt! Donations will be taken to help pay for funeral services, and the family’s needs. Collections for family will continue being accepted at Bio-Buzz until further notice.