Rockford reminds me a bit of Kenosha, most people think it's a shit hole but if you get past the rough edges (and the rather large population of Illinois Nazi's) there's quality people and a realness you don't often find in the slicked out environment of the big city. The pace is also a lot different, meaning it's slow as hell. Andrew Stickler runs his one man show real well in that environment though.
What I gathered from my visit was the impression of a tattooer who's self made in most all respects. A prolific painter with a skewed view of the world and tattooing's role in it. His manner is very methodical in his approach to dealings with people and his art as well.
I wish I could have gotten some better/more photos on my visit but I respected Andrew's wishes to keep most of the stuff in his shop off the internet. If you visit about 80% of the stuff on the walls is painted by him and almost none of it is on the internet, so going to the shop is like getting to see some stuff you can't see anywhere else.