In December 2016, the world said goodbye to US tattooist Clint Cummings, who lost his battle to cancer, aged 36.
Owner of Sparrows Tattoo Co. in Mansfield, Texas, Clint was not just known for his appearance on tattoo TV shows, but for his quality work and the positive effect he had on those around him.
Towards the end, his poignant reflections on Instagram were deeply moving…
This is one of the last pics I took with my love before things became worse. Ive debated over the last two months on wether I should come out about what’s going on with me. I want to be inspirational, helpful, hopeful, and give everyone hope. So two months ago the cancer took a turn for the worse and has spread to my liver, lungs, kidneys,and has really damaged my colon majorly. So I’ve been hospitalized again. I am still fighting but this is a lot of pain. More than any person should have to go through. Worst is laying here in my hospital room with all these leads and fluids and everything else and I’m so sad that there’s a chance that I might have to say goodbye to my love before I’m ready. I can’t walk anymore, can’t draw anymore, I’ve lost about everything that was me. And I’m ok with it cause I have my Kate. As long as I have you I promise to fight everyday and never give up. I love you baby. Funny how at the absolute worst part of my life, the most painful part, knowing just how close I am to leaving I find you. You are worth every moment of pain & suffering. I love you Kate. With all I am. Wish my luck with my surgery tomorrow. 🌹
“We are saddened to hear about the passing of Clint Cummings…” Ink Master paid tributes to Clint on their Facebook page late last year. “The world has lost a talented artist.”
Clint was diagnosed in early 2016 and announced his difficult discovery to the world through an emotional and personal Instagram video…
So, before I get started, I want you all to know that this is not a joke. This is not some stupid ploy or stunt in any way to get attention or recognition. Unfortunately it’s as real as it can get. I was diagnosed January 3rd 2016. I had a lot to deal with mentally these last few weeks on wether I should come out about this. Then I remember how hard it was to hide being sick. I am not ashamed by this. I want to help others who might be. I want to be a spokesman for this. You see, cancer isn’t just something old people deal with. It does not discriminate or play favorites. It strikes with very little warning. And maybe if I was better to myself I would have seen this coming. Nevertheless, here we are. I will not be tattooing much anymore considering the amount of pain and location of the tumor. However I do still need to pay the bills. So I have set up a gofundme.com account that you can donate anything ( gofundme.com/clintscancerbattle) and I will try to do artwork with other Inkmasters and artist from the industry to raise anything we can. I will be setting up a store soon so look for the link, and even though I can’t tattoo, doesn’t mean I can’t draw up ideas for you guys. I will post on here just how I will get the site up & running and I hope to draw up some tattoos for you all until I can do them again. As far as my personal wellbeing goes I will be keeping tract of my journey & treatment via social media sites in hopes that it might inspire and help others out there suffering like I am. With all of your support I know I have a great chance of beating this. A very special shout out to my studio family who I can never thank enough for having my back, my brothers @curtiscarr817 @high_noon @codydresser @davyjones666 for caring for me and checking in on me. To @rusrasm and his wonderful girl Cris. For making me meals, helping me around the house and keeping company with me through out the day. And a very special thank you to my girl @pjjuijuu for sticking around when most wouldn’t. You love me unconditionally, take care of me and when I beat this it will be because of your dedication to me. Your the best, and I love you for it. Thanks again. #fuckcancer
A video posted by TheArtofClint@gmail.com (@thesurvivorclintcummings) on
Despite the difficulties of fighting this personal battle with colorectal cancer, he was dedicated to spreading optimism by raising money and encouraging awareness. He generated more than $16,000 on his funding site in total.
Words on social media throughout his struggle broadcasted messages of hope and strength, and Clint’s complete selflessness despite everything: “I gotta beat this, and represent every person who’s fought for their life because of cancer,” he said on Instagram.
This week, I chatted to Isobel Juliet Stevenson, Birmingham-based tattooist and good friend of the Ink Master star. She wanted to share some words for Clint:
“Clint was very dear to me and gave me an opportunity to better myself, not only as a person but as a tattooer. I know many people who followed his journey right to the very end. He’ll never be forgotten. He was such a massive loss to the industry. I know wherever he is now, he’d still be biting people’s ears off about tattooing. Really, I just wanted to share this with everyone. He did so much, not only for the tattoo industry but also raising so much money and awareness for colorectal cancer. He had such an impact on everyone’s lives. He was an amazing tattooer and an amazing friend.”
Rest in peace, Clint.
You touched those who met you, and will clearly be missed by so many.
Words: Beccy Rimmer
Photos: As credited