The GYPSY was born James Alan George in Topeka, Kansas in 1956. Of Romani Heritage he exhibited his artistic talent at 18 months old when he drew a picture of a cow on the inside cover of a coloring book. He never had another color book after that time. His Mother, recognizing his natural talent, kept him well supplied in crayons and newsprint paper. The GYPSY'S Grandmother also recognized his early artistic abilities and at 6 years of age enrolled him in art classes at Washburn University where he soon out surpassed the other students in his class. His instructors moved him quickly from beginner to intermediate classes and soon into an advanced adult class where he was discovered by famed portrait artist Harry Roth. Mr. Roth took The GYPSY under his wing and gave him private lessons for the next 3 years. In 1964 The GYPSY won a City wide art contest with a crayon and water color drawing of a space walk. This picture went on to win first place for his age group in State competition and later in National. It remained on display at the Smithsonian Institution from 1964 - 1965. It resides in the museum archives.
In 1974, while still in High School, The GYPSY started doing freelance art for the Nazarene publishing House in KCMO. That same year he started college courses for Forestry & Wildlife Management. The GYPSY graduated from High School at Mid-Term in 1976 and immediately was called for an interview from a major greeting card company (at the time he was taking college classes for Technical Illustration & Mechanical drafting). Turning down the contract that the company offered The GYPSY stopped by a tattoo studio on his way back home and he was hooked. He started his 18 month apprenticeship the next day and the rest is history.
The GYPSY had the first professional Tattoo Studio in St. Joseph, Missouri which opened in 1977. He has also had studios in San Angelo, Midland, El Paso and Abilene, Texas. All except El Paso being the first of their kind in those cities.
In 1995 The GYPSY was operating two studios, one in Baxter Springs, Kansas and one in Independence, Kansas which he closed a year later due to lack of competent help. The Baxter Springs Studio operated until Christmas Eve of 2002 when, due to lack of community support and the overly liberal tattoo and piercing laws in Joplin, Missouri, which has caused the market to become flooded, the studio was closed. The GYPSY reopened the Independence, Kansas Studio in November of 2002.
The GYPSY has won World wide recognition and numerous awards for his artwork as well as being involved in community affairs and civic organizations. The GYPSY is the first tattoo artist to ever run for a Political office campaigning for a City Council seat in Baxter Springs, Kansas and in 2006 ran as the Democratic Candidate for the District 12 Representative seat for the Kansas House.
In August 2010 The GYPSY retired from the Body Art Industry and closed the Independence studio. But you can't keep a good Tattoo Artist down and in October 2012 The GYPSY opened a new studio in Clyde, Texas. He also, with his wife D. Kay, heads Artist Alley a gallery and instructional studio.
D. KAY was born Debra (Debbie) Kay Peck in Lancashire, England in 1957 and spent her early years in the Detroit, Michigan metro area. In 1978 Debbie joined the US Army and traveled overseas visiting Germany, Spain and Switzerland. Upon receiving her honorable discharge in 1983 Debbie settled in the Dallas Metroplex area of Texas where she had family. Later moving to Norfolk, Virginia and then to Austin, Texas. In 1992 Debbie moved back to Dallas, Texas to be near family.
In November of 1997 Debbie found an online profile for The GYPSY and wrote to him. On New Years Eve of 1997 Debbie and The GYPSY met in person for the first time and two weeks later Debbie moved to Kansas where she took over Management of his Skin Art Creations Tattoo Emporium Studio. July 4th, 1998 Debbie married The GYPSY at Eagles Landing outside of Coronado's Camp, Texas. In October of 2001 Debbie and The GYPSY opened Spunky's Tavern of Baxter Springs, named after her Dog of 14 years who had passed away the previous October.
Debbie continued to manage the Tavern, until it was forced to close in 2002 due to the illegal actions of the Baxter Springs, Kansas City Government aimed at the business. The Skin Art Creations Studio closed at the same time and that is when Debbie and The GYPSY moved to Independence, Kansas to open a new studio.
One spring day in 2004 Debbie was watching The GYPSY create a new painting and said; "I wish I could do that." The GYPSY responded; "You can!" Thus was born the artist D. Kay, the moniker with which Debbie signs her paintings. With the true soul of the artist awoken within her D. Kay is never completely satisfied with her work. She has developed an insatiable thirst for her art and is constantly striving to learn more and perfect her technic.
D. Kay, along with her husband The GYPSY, now calls Clyde, Texas home where they both run and maintain Artist Alley, their Gallery and Instructional Studio.