Tattoos are a way for people to express themselves creatively using body art.
As a Black tattoo shop patron, it is important to find artists who understand the nuances of creating the best results on melanin. From realism to watercolor, you need an artist skilled whose skilled enough to not just get the job done, but create a lasting piece of art that the client can enjoy for years to come.
If you're looking for all of the above, these Black-owned tattoo shops are guaranteed to get you right.
Enigma Tattoo — Los Angeles
Enigma Tattoo is headed by Katrina Jackson, known as ‘Kat Tat’, who starred in Black Ink Chicago at one point in time.
She is the first Black woman to be an owner and operator of her own tattoo shop in Beverly Hills, Calif. According to Rolling Stone, she has tattooed a plethora of celebrities including Idris Alba, Faith Evans, and Young M.A. According to Kat, the most important part of picking a tattoo shop is choosing one that prioritizes professionalism.
She tells Refinery 29: "In the past, the tattoo industry was very hard for Black artists to break into," she tells Refinery29. "There was a stereotype tied to Black artists, where many of us were considered untrained. Now, thanks to social media and reality television, the industry is knocking on our door."
So the next time you’re in Los Angeles, stop by Enigma and get inked.
Follow the shop on Instagram @enigmabeverlyhills.
City Of Ink — Atlanta
Miya Bailey, an artist who has decades of experience, is the owner of City of Ink. His shop is an Atlanta staple where patrons can not only have an amazing tattoo experience but buy Black art, too. Bailey has experience tattooing celebrities — one of which is Big K.R.I.T.
“K.R.I.T. called me up and was said, 'Yo man, I’m a major fan of your work.' Like law of attraction sh-t," Miya said of his interaction with K.R.I.T.
"He just wanted to pick my brain, he respects me as a businessman," he added. "We have some good conversations every time he comes over. I turned him on to some blacksploitation movies and all these films he's never seen before and we just became real cool from that."
Bailey uses new-age methods of tattooing in his shop like relaxed tattooing — a technique that does not cause trauma to the skin. The shop also offers a unique selection of colors that work well on darker skin tones. Make sure to visit the next time you are in Atlanta!
Follow the shop on Instagram: @cityofink.
Twenty Five Twelve Collective — Tucson, Ariz.
Former “Ink Master” competitor Anthony Michaels has a tattoo shop in Tucson, Ariz. The tattoo artist makes sure to look out for the best interests of his patrons. In the past, he notably turned down a first-timer who wanted an extreme tattoo.
In a viral TikTok, Anthony explained that it was a red flag for people who have no prior tattoos to want their first tattoos on a delicate place like their face, hand, or neck. He specializes in many different tattoo methods such as photo-realism, portrait tattoos, and script tattoos.
Hit up Anthony to add to your ink collection the next time you are in Arizona.
Follow the shop on Instagram @twenty_five_twelve