Hey there, I'm Chris, and I want to take you on a journey through the evolving landscape of Los Angeles, both as a city and as a tattoo artist. The last 3-5 years have seen significant changes, yet some things remain constant, including my passion for art and ink.
Back in 2017, Los Angeles was a thriving hub of creativity. Musicians and artists painted the town with vibrant colors, turning every street corner into a canvas of expression. I was living in a music studio during those times, crafting tunes and painting in between. Everything felt alive until the day my favorite rapper, Lil Peep, tragically passed away.
Life took an unexpected turn when my older brother, a musician himself, helped me secure an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist under the same hand that had inked many of Lil Peep's tattoos. The journey was challenging, and over the next few months, I faced my share of struggles, eventually losing everything. So, I packed my bags and left for New York.
In the bustling city that never sleeps, I found myself selling tacos at a restaurant and later stumbled upon a Craigslist job posting offering $100 a day for tattooing in Queens. Just as I was beginning to find my footing, the pandemic hit, and the world came to a standstill. People were falling ill, and businesses were shuttering. But I found a sense of belonging in New York and continued honing my tattooing skills.
My journey led me from Queens to Flatbush, Williamsburg, and eventually Manhattan, with each neighborhood adding a layer to my experience. Along the way, I made a life-changing decision – I adopted a dog. It was as if my furry companion needed to experience California, where I was born and raised.
So, I bought a $500 car, packed our bags, and set off for the Golden State. In California, I found myself navigating a new city as a tattoo artist with limited connections, apart from my brother and a few friends who were all struggling financially. Unlike New York, where everyone had one or two jobs, LA had people driving everywhere, while New Yorkers primarily relied on the subway.
In this new adventure, I stumbled upon SixtyInk, conveniently located near my favorite pizza joint in a safe neighborhood. The shop was brand new, boasting fresh energy and diverse artists from various walks of life. It felt like a place I could call home and build my tattooing career, hoping to replicate the success I had found in New York.
As I continue to adapt and grow in this vibrant city, I look forward to sharing my journey as a tattoo artist in Los Angeles, where art, ink, and the ever-changing cityscape collide. Stay tuned for more tales from the tattoo chair and the streets of LA.