Alumni Stories: Devon O’Keefe

Knowing where alumni end up gives current students a boost of confidence. They are the hope that we can become we wish to be. They are also proof that no matter our path we will find our way to doing something we love. An alumnus who inspires current students is Devon O’Keefe.

Devon's Headshot

Graduation year: 2012

Major: Illustration

Minor(s): Graphic Design

Marywood Clubs/Activities: Society of Illustrators

Current Occupation: Tattoo Artist/Freelance Artist

How long at current job: Tattoo Artist: 2 years, Freelance Artist: 8 years

Heres what Devon had to say about Marywood and his work.

  1. What was your favorite part about studying art at Marywood? First and foremost: the art professors. They created an environment that fostered individual creativity, and instead of focusing on the negative in your work, they nurtured the positive. I also loved the extended classes, it gave time to think, plan, and create something beautiful.
  2. Any advice for current art students at Marywood? TAKE CHANCES. Especially while you’re still a student or fresh after graduation, take every opportunity as it arises. You never know what that will do for you. Be kind and generous ALWAYS and that will get you farther than you know. Building great relationships is key to acquiring and maintaining good clients. Unlock your creative potential for every job you get, when people see what you are capable of, they will line up for you.
  3. How did your art education at Marywood help your career? Being well rounded in multiple art forms helped me tackle a variety of projects over the years. The skills I learned in the art business side of things made the professional world easy to cope with. The graphic design program provided me with the skills I needed to work with businesses all over the country. The illustration program gave me a creative edge for uniquely illustrating books, and bringing something completely new to the tattooing world.
  4. What is your favorite thing about your job? I love everything about what I do. My favorite thing about tattooing is giving people a piece of my original artwork, for life. There’s something special about that. Once you develop your voice and style of work, people come to you for just that, whether it’s an original painting, a logo design, mural, or tattoo. One of my favorite applications I perform is live speed painting. Being pressed for time in front of an audience sharpens skill, and can be very rewarding. And probably the best part for me is showing my original work in a gallery or art show setting. I love to make people wonder and get lost in imagination.


I had the privilege of viewing some of Devon’s work in person at first Friday event last semester. The illustrations were truly breathtaking. I even called my mom to talk about my first tattoo because I was so blown away by the artwork. If anyone is interested in Devon’s work to be sure to check out his website for more.

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