October 5th: Tattoo Flash Event 12-8pm
October 6th: Panel Discussion 2-4pm → Tickets Here
It’s not a secret. The tattoo industry has been white cis-male dominated for decades. But, as things progress, so we too must help to progress them. This means a healthier, more inclusive, and diverse community for all. Ink the Diaspora and Welcome Home Studio, located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, have come together to produce an event that is the epitome of direct action. Bringing together black tattoo artists who represent strong empowered voices within the community, the weekend celebration will be completely focused on directing attention to black artists and clients.
As Tann, founder of Ink the Diaspora, and Welcome Home described it earlier last month, ““The Experience of a Black Tattooer” is a two day event with a flash day to encourage an audience of black and brown skinned people to get tattooed by Black tattooers, and a panel discussion to speak about the modern complexities and historical tokenization in the tattoo industry. The panelists are all Black tattooers currently working in the industry, and they will be discussing representation in tattooing, their experiences in a predominantly white industry and most importantly their creation of art and a career authentic to themselves and social history.” While the focus is on tattoo artists, and the clients who love their craft, the general public is welcome to join. In fact, spreading the word and being involved is one of the first steps to evolve the tattoo community. Everyone needs to do their part.
In a recent article with Jaylind Hamilton, also known as Jay Baby Tattoo, I asked them what they thought about the current landscape of tattooing. “Getting into tattooing was hard. I had a serving job I worked 40 hours a week and after work I’d just draw flash and post it on my instagram. I posted it on my page in hopes that an artist would find me and teach me! I wanted to learn so bad. My apprenticeship was not a traditional one and I had to teach myself mostly. It was so hard... I don’t see real diversity in tattooing. It's a very white industry.” Unfortunately, it’s not a unique perspective.
During another interview with Cake, she told me that getting an apprenticeship was rough. Speaking specifically of modern American Trad tattooing studios and artists Cake says, “...they didn't want to help...they didn't care to help. It's like, 'Don't even come in here asking about that shit,' you know? They just made me feel so intimidated. I was just like...if I'm gonna do this, I have to do it on my own.” And tattoo legend Jacci Gresham mirrors the same sentiments, but from a generation stemming from around 30 years ago, “They didn’t want any of us. They didn’t want women doing this, period. Nobodies talking to me. Nobodies talking to women.” In the end, like many others, she mostly had to teach herself.
It’s things such as this that the panel will be discussing. As the name of the event literally reflects, artist’s will be talking about their experience, how to challenge the current status quo, and how to continually support a diverse community. Tickets are still available, and for those who are not in the New York area, or cannot attend due to scheduling difficulties, the panel will be live streamed and available for 30 days after the event. There are also tickets comped for those with disabilities who cannot access Welcome Home due to the stairs leading to their studio.
If you’re in Brooklyn this weekend, take the time to involve yourself in this awesome opportunity. We’re not only stoked to be a sponsor for this event, but we will also be there filming for future cool content to spotlight these incredible artists. We hope to see you there!