... the other Black experience

AP Quickie: 'Color Outside The Lines' Doc To Showcase Black Tattoo Artists - PREVIEW

'Color Outside The Lines', a film by Artemus Jenkins and Miya Bailey, will put the spotlight on Black tattoo artists, including AP members such as Zulu and Afro-punk movie director James Spooner. It was brought to our attention by AP member D1V1NE. Watch a preview below, with footage they shot when they traveled to Los Angeles! (film to be released in early 2012)
The project description explains: "The film is the brainchild of one of the world's most widely recognized black tattoo artists; Miya Bailey. For over 5 years the idea has always been in his head to create a film that not only sheds light on the artform, but also allows the artform to be represented in the right way. There are a lot of stigmas attached to black tattoo artists and their side of the culture; ranging from a lack of creativity to overall poor quality of work. This in turn has lead to artists from other backgrounds and those in the black community choosing to take their business elsewhere in search of quality work. (...) The film highlights the history of black tattoo culture and how it began in the south despite a heavily segregated climate for black artists seeking entry. We cover signature styles and how those styles have developed and influenced newer artists over the years. Tattooing in the media is another important aspect, as it is the biggest factor of how the cultures influence has spread. It is no secret that entertainers and athletes dictate the trends younger generations pick up on and tattooing is no different. What is surprising is despite the money these cultural icons have, some of their work is no better than the kid who got his in a basement down the street from his house. This further deludes the public as to what great artwork looks like and what is available to everyday people."
There's a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project. They've already reached their initial goal, but you can still help them out if you'd like to.

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Comment by The Deacon on May 17, 2011 at 12:56am
I first heard about Zulu through a myspace friend. Real interesting personality.
Comment by VON ZOMBIE ™©® on May 17, 2011 at 12:53am
Though I don't know Zulu personally, he is a mentor and an artist to look up to.  Zulu brought me in to the Tattoo world, I have been keeping up with him since about the mid 2000's.  Now I own my second tattoo studio with my wife... representing people of color at Tattooed 4 Life Studio in San Tan Valley, Arizona.  It is about time a documentary is being made about our black tattoo artists, whom are virtually unknown in all the major tattoo mags except for Urban Ink, and that mag is hard to find at the local stores. I can't wait to see the full length documentary.
Comment by Major Le'Antwon Grace on May 17, 2011 at 12:23am
Anybody know any good black tat Artist in tacoma Seattle area
Comment by Ketina on May 16, 2011 at 10:48pm
Tatt Docu.  Keep it coming. Thanks for the exposure.
BoweryDoll Comment by BoweryDoll on May 16, 2011 at 10:43pm

Beyond refreshing to see this kind of doc finally done and these artists being celebrated.  Can't wait to check  it out.  Here's hoping they'll also feature some of the talented sisters out there, too.  I know there is a great new wave of young sisters taking shape out there like Teresa3d and Imani Brown, but I can't help but hope they went down to New Orleans for a bit and touched base with the almighty Jacci Gresham.  She is like a grand Queen of tattooing as one of the first, if not THE first black woman doing professional tattooing in the US.  She started back in the mid 70's in a time where the environment was a very heavy-handed (and white) boys club.  She took her knocks, stepped up to the plate and blew them away.  She's worked with some of the greatest names in tattooing and definitely shares the pantheon with brilliant veteran artists like Bill Salmon, Jack Rudy, Vyvyn Lazonga, Kari Barba and others (yes...including Ed Hardy).  Before Katrina she had 3 studios -- including one in the 9th ward and one in the Quarter.  After the destruction she worked hard to salvage and rebuild what she could and thankfully her Rampart Street studio was able to be revived and opened again.  If you ever take a trip to NOLA it's worth it to drop by and see her.  You might walk out with a great piece of art by her or a piercing you've been dying to get.  And maybe even a couple kick-ass slices of history and perspective from her.  I'll admit, I'm very partial because I purposely sought her out to do my first tattoo back in the late 90's.  She's a real treasure and deserves the same respect given to all the other vets.

Comment by X-D-D-M*9 on May 16, 2011 at 10:16pm

Hell yeah keep it going! Like Subliminal, I don't have tatts but I endorse Black expression.

There is an artist in Atlanta named Kenyatta who goes by Lord Yatta.  When I obtain his direct net & other info I will add it on.

Comment by Gina Hullum on May 16, 2011 at 9:00pm
loved it!
Comment by Fashionfreak on May 16, 2011 at 7:50pm
Thank you for this! I get pissed off when im flipping through ink mags and there are no artists of color ... Well black ones. We are left with urban ink which pretty mediocre and highlights mediocre work.

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