Los Angeles is home to some of the most interesting people in the world and with over 150 tattoo studios, one can see that body art is very popular among the locals. If you’ve had bad experiences getting tattoos or you’re not fond of what you currently have, you have options.
Need an artist or shop recommendation?Give us a description of the tattoo you're looking for and we'll try to match you up with a great local artist or shop! Not too long ago I saw an exchange between tattoo artists in an online forum that I found to be bothersome.
A young, very talented tattooist was belittling the work of an old-timer, talking about how crude it was by comparison to what they were doing. I got involved in the conversation, and found myself growing irate with this young artist, and more so when a couple of his friends joined the exchange. My intention is simply to, with a certain amount of humility, put myself and my experiences on the timeline with my predecessors and my peers, to consider how many tattooists who came before me influenced me, and in doing so, stress the importance and the virtue of MODESTY.
Each generation of tattoo artists have pushed the boundaries of our art form, some by small measures, some in great bounds.
I encourage all tattooists to get in touch with the history of our trade, because in knowing who came before us and what they contributed, we expand our understanding of what it is we are doing now.
Well, we’ll never know, but we must admit that those who blazed the trail before we came along have likely had vast impacts on what brought us to become tattoo artists, and in how we ply our trade.
Scores of prominent names in the industry have made big changes in the way we practice our trade, but at the same time, many more lesser known or little known tattooists have affected the development of the industry which now is so big, and so mainstream. Would our customers sit at home watching Tattoo TV and getting excited about tattooed rock stars if it weren’t for Lyle Tuttle? It was refreshing and liberating, and affirming, to say the least. I began to feel like all that mattered was where my generation of tattooists were taking the art form, and failing to give credit to all the unseen influences in my tattoo process, style, and technique.


At a convention in 1992, with butterflies in my stomach, I stood up in front of a room full of my peers, young and old, and I gave a seminar using tempera paints and a color wheel, and talked about a classical approach to coloring as it could be applied to tattoos. After the show, my friend Paul Booth stayed on and worked a guest spot at our shop, finishing up some work he couldn’t get to at the convention and to my good fortune, tattooing a couple of the artists at the shop. The point: Information has been shared and spread though the industry by hundreds and thousands of tattooists who came into the business and brought something with them that applied to the art of Tattoo. You never know who influenced who, or what tattoos might look like today if some of those guys who came before you had never picked up a machine.
Our main and (long-term) mission is to give TrueArtists a new home far away from those irresponsible & untalented SCRATCHERS! There are laser removal businesses and you can even get a cover-up from your tattoo artist. Wiser and more patient men than myself have cataloged all the prominent names and milestones of the art form.
From the crude scrawling of such fellows as Martin Hildebrant onward, artists have pushed pigments into the skins of their friends and customers, and passed the art form along to their successors. What if Captain Cook hadn’t been an adventurer and an explorer, but had become a carpenter? Before the easy exchange of information that is our internet came about, tattoo artists rendezvoused at conventions and expos, and they talked about their art form. While hundreds of tattooists were following a somewhat slow-moving timeline in the evolution of the medium, some guys were bringing big new influence into the business. Certainly it was nothing new in the world of art, but the vast amount of tattooists at the time were stuck in an old tradition of laying down black undertones to make colors darker. It took me several years of working at scores of tattoo conventions to come to the realization that no matter how amazing any of the next generation of tattoos may seem, the artists owe it all to those that came before them.The evolution of Tattoo is a cooperative effort.


They didn’t post photos of their work online listing the fancy name brand tattoo inks they used. If you’re looking for the perfect piece of body art, you can’t go wrong when you’re in the City of Angeles. They gathered in small groups and discussed how they *made* their tattoo inks from scratch.
Tuttle helped bring about the popularity of Tattoo, not because of his mastery as a fine artist, but through the visibility of what he did. We know that certain figures helped lift tattoo out of the underground and into the mainstream. We couldn’t stock hundreds of shades of tattoo ink on the shelf, because batches of ink took time and storage space, so we were limited to primary and secondary colors.
If you wanted Chartreuse or ocher or mauve, you damn well better have known how to mix it on the fly. What if you took a few little known tattooists out of the timeline, where would that put us today? Who brought this artist and that artist into the business, and what if that guy hadn’t done so? Appreciate the tattooists who came before you, each and every one.



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