Episode 6 of 'The Tattoo Shop' serves up more of the awesome personal histories of the coolest clients and the most talented artists in the industry, as well as stunning tattoo masterpieces. Chris Garver tattoos his old friend Joe Vegas, an artist who has been tattooing for 35 years. “I started a back piece on him about a year and a half ago...and he waited until he was 50 to get his back done!” Garver talks about the importance of placement, and a balanced design using Vegas’ piece as an example. He explains, “The placement for me is like half of it...you could do a really beautiful tattoo but if the placement is not good, if it doesn’t move on the body nicely, then it’s not gonna look that great.”
'The Tattoo Shop' gets a well known visitor when Taiki Masuda stops by. He’s recognized not only as an awesome tattoo artist, but also for his campaign against Japanese laws surrounding tattooing. Tattooing is considered a medical procedure and Masuda was found guilty of violating medical law in late September of 2017. He is appealing the decision on the grounds that it is a form of expression, not medical procedure. The court ruling wasn’t the only unfortunate news Masuda received that year; his grandfather sadly passed during the trial. To memorialize this, Garver tattooed a running wild boar on Masuda. Although the law stems from old ideas about the lives of tattooers and clients, Garver explains, “We’re not gangsters, you know? We’re artists.”
“I hope meeting Garver can give me more insight into the Japanese style...I just get inspired by seeing him work.” - Henriksen
Later, Tommy Montoya goes to the shooting range with his brother and friend, and he talks about how he got into tattooing. “Never ever in my wildest dreams did I think I’d become a tattoo artist, it was just like something to do for fun...my brothers the one who got me into tattooing.” He talks about the importance of family, and how growing up he wanted to be just like his older brother, Mikey. And although they’ve gotten matching tattoos before, today they get another: the infamous cartoon Heckle and Jeckle magpies. While tattooing Mikey, Tommy says, “I’m blessed to have you as an older brother cuz you were always a good influence on me, you know?”
Diagnosed with Melanoma cancer at 23, Mary Ann Gerber comes to the shop to get a minimal piece from Ami James. While getting tattooed she opens up about her struggle. The facial scar left behind by the disease was really difficult, not to mention the damage done after two surgeries, “I couldn’t lift my head for two months.” She admits it’s due to tanning beds. Ami states, “In our industry we work around skin all day. I know healthy skin and I know bad skin...and its due to sun abuse...people tend to care more about the way they look than their health, thats for sure.”
Another exciting visitor is Christopher Henriksen who guest spots at the shop. Based in Denmark, his incredible tattoos are matched with his uplifting energy. “I just love tattooing. It’s a good way of life. I can do what I want and create nice stuff everyday and just make people happy.” He considers his work to be in the vein of Modern Japanese style but definitely likes to mix it up. “I hope meeting Garver can give me more insight into the Japanese style...I just get inspired by seeing him work.”
Jam packed with the tattoos you love, and the people you admire 'The Tattoo Shop' on Facebook Watch is the place to be. Tune in next week to hang out with guest artist Katie Gray!