I’m noticing the really terrible tattoos on a lot of my brown skinned fb buddies. You know I love you so, Id like to give you a couple words of FRIENDLY advice.

1. Dont assume that because someone works in a shop they can tattoo. When I worked on hollywood blvd they didnt even look at my book before highering me. Some of the worst tattoos in Los Angeles come out of the blvd and venice beach. Be careful!
2. Look at your artists book. If they dont have the style of work you are interested in, try one of the other artists. Its okay to be picky. Some artists are better at lettering others are better at portraits. Be careful!

3. Can your artist draw? Ask to see some of there drawings. If you are getting something custom you should KNOW they can draw.

4. Look online. Try educate yourself on what good tattoos look like. Your favorite sports heros and rappers are NOT good examples. Repeat they are NOT good examples.
5. If you are dark skin and the artists suggest bright green or blue, RUN!
6. Look around the shop is it clean? If there are no bags on the cords coming from the machines, plastic wrap on the power supplies and tables. RUN!  Hepatitis anyone?

7. If your artist tries wipes a deodorant stick directly on you to apply the stencil STOP him or her and RUN. That same stick was touching someone else’s body before yours. Hepatitis anyone?
8. Are there children sitting on the floor near where tattoos are being performed? RUN! Would you let your child sit on the floor while you were being operated on? the Cleanest tattoo shop is dirtier.
9. Does the shop offer 20 dollar name tattoos?  Its a safe bet that you will end up paying 200 dollars to have it cover up.
10. Does your shop or tattooer advertise on Craigslist? See number 8.
11. The swap meet is NOT a place to get tattooed.

12.  For Gods sake dont haggle and please tip. You WANT your Tattooer to be happy. The standard 20 percent is fine.
13.  You get what you pay for. Quality tattoos aren’t cheap . Invest in yourself. Would you rather have one really great tattoo or 5 shitty ones?

This is not in any way an advertisement to come to me. There are a lot of really amazing artists in LA, NY and just about ever City. A tattoo shop should be clean and  free of drugs. The artists should be respectful of you and the art they are doing.   Do a little research. If all your friends look like little wayne, ask out side of your immediate calling circle.

Black and Brown people CAN have beautiful tattoos.