Episode Two of The Tattoo Shop on Facebook Watch takes a deeply personal tone when Bryon Widner, an ex-Neo Nazi, and Michael Morrison , aka Bullethead, visit the shop. Each are trying to move on from their past experiences with the addition of a new tattoo and The Tattoo Shop is the perfect place to do it.
“I’m trying to close that chapter in my life.” - Bryon Widner
Kicked out onto the streets at age 14, Bryon Widner, a Neo-Nazi for 16 years, admits he fell in with the wrong crowd at a very young age. “I enjoyed the violence, I enjoyed the negativity, I enjoyed the confrontations that I got into while I was getting the tattoos on my face.” Although he’s worked very hard to remove the tattoos from his face and hands, there are a few past reminders he’d like to remove. Coming to Ami James, Bryon requests that his SS Bolts be covered, explaining that “I’m trying to close that chapter in my life.” Putting a skull over the old tattoo, Ami says: “Seems like in my life I’ve covered up a lot of swazis, a lot of bolts. It’s really ironic to come to a Jewish guy to cover up Swazis.” Bryon agrees and thoughtfully remarks, “Well, maybe that’s the expression that we’re serious about the change, ya know?”
Bullethead, Michael Morrison, is another hard hitting client this episode. He tells his story, “I was shot in the face at point blank range in 1998.” Shot by someone who was trying to rob him and his roommate, Michael miraculously survived his ordeal, and asks Tommy Montoya to memorialize his experience with a tattoo. Tommy draws up a skull with a rose growing out and explains, “The rose kind of represents him moving on. And I’m gonna do it growing out of the crack in the skull. It kind of represents new life, you know? And him moving on and getting past it, surviving it.”
Another awesome client to stop by The Tattoo Shop is Johan, CEO and Founder of Tattoodo, the greatest tattoo community out there! In this Masterpiece Session Ami bestows Johan with an impressive samurai head filled in with bold reds, greens, and yellows. These colors, as Ami explains, are very recognizable to traditional Irezumi style, as is the concept. Ami states, “To me my favorite imagery is Japanese imagery...I think it’s timeless, classic.”
While Tommy and Ami are busy with their clients, guest artist Sasha Unisex stops by. Originally from the Ukraine, she is a world traveller well-known for her colorful, stand out style. “My style is kind of watercolor style but it is more graphic.” She studied art at an academy but decided to learn a new technique, tattooing. She thought it would be fun but adds that “It makes art closer to people.” She only tattoos her own artwork and Ami agrees that this is key to being a successful tattoo artist, “Original style is very important.”
In Episode 2, we also get another Street Story. These quick moments take a look at the fascinating culture and people that surround the Wynwood shop. Pulling people from the streets, we look at their tattoos, the meanings behind them and their stories. A perfect glance into the colorful and diverse lifestyle of Miami, Florida, Street Stories show that everyone has a story to tell. Tune in next week to The Tattoo Shop on Facebook Watch to see more of the in-depth, ultra interesting world of tattooing.