Welcome to The Tattoo Shop on Facebook Watch! Ami James, Tommy Montoya, Chris Nunez, Darren Brass and Chris Garver are all back together again for this in-depth look at tattoo shop life. From sweet ink to enthralling personal backgrounds, Tattoodo brings you this slice of tattoo culture. To celebrate the new shop, the guys head over to Kyu to enjoy a reunion dinner and Nunez remarks, “It’s good to be back with the family, back with you guys.”
“It’s good to be back with the family, back with you guys.” - Chris Nunez
The first client of the series is Tommy Montoya’s long-time buddy, David Prieto. He has a bodysuit comprised of realistic portraits and each body part has a different theme; portraits of mobsters, inventors, music heroes, vintage TV shows, horror movies cover almost every square inch of skin. His collection of pieces from some of the best artists is astounding; he’s clearly dedicated to this art form. “I’m an art collector, I guess!”
While Magnus, Ami James’ sweet pup, greets guests, the artists get to work. We meet Inika Mcpherson, Nunez’s client and a 2016 Olympic finalist high jumper. Coming from a rough background, she rose up to find happiness and strength through her sport and now she’s interested in exploring her spirituality. After receiving an 18 month suspension for testing positive for recreational use of cocaine, she recognized the need for change. For the next two years she trained hard, using that time to hone her skills, “Let’s just get stronger, faster, and wiser...came back 2016 and we kicked ass. You can come back from such a hard hit...you just keep going and have faith.” To honor this commitment, Nunez gives Inika a diagrammatic form of a Sri Yantra tattoo that symbolizes focus and balance of mind.
The shop also gets a visit from Oscar Åkermo, a 23 year old tattoo artist from Sweden. His tattoos are known for their incredible amount of detail, but also for the blend of realism and graphic arts that he seamlessly merges together. Oskar’s visit is also a perfect embodiment of the current progression in the tattoo artist community: new meets traditional. While he designs the Dali-inspired piece he’ll be tattooing while at the shop, Oskar uses Photoshop which Tommy admires and mentions, “I have to get on Photoshop...that’s your generation. It’s hard to be good now. With your generation, the norm is amazing, you know what I mean? It’s harder to be an artist now. It’s easier to get in, but harder to make it...if you ain’t doin’ work like you.” Oskar agrees but adds that the older and newer generations need to work as a team rather than as competition, “Both should learn from each other, ya know?”