If you've been following me for awhile now you know that the art of tattooing is something that truly means something very special to me,I don't take it lightly and my tattoo family is just that...my family. I have formed so many amazing friendships through the grapevine of QUALITY tattoo artists I have met. Last summer I was able to work for my dear friend and tattoo artist Jonathan Burdine of Flatline Tattoo in Corinth Mississippi, I learned shop basics of how to run a clean, respectful,quality tattoo shop;through working and learning each day with "JBurd" I was able to learn about a truly amazing living legend in the tattoo and fine art world, Miya Bailey.
(photo from flywiditcustoms.com/
Miya Bailey is the owner of City of Ink Tattoos in Atlanta,Ga. When I was first introduced to his fluid,free,soulful,truly beautiful style of freehand tattooing I was in AWE. (all images are from The Miya Bailey Blog/
After a few months of silently following him on twitter, I finally decided to attempt to speak to this amazing painter,tattoo artist,and true visionary. To my shock he was very nice,and we have since then continued a friendly online kinship. Miya inspires me so much because he truly lives his art, he paints, tattoos,inspires,and now he is making a documentary called "Color Outside The Lines"
While I was very thrilled to tell you all last summer about working for JBurd, I did however leave out my BRIEF stint working for another shop at a later date which I will not name. This shop was not run in the quality manner in which I was used to seeing since the age of 18. In the African Ameican tattoo community (and beyond) shitty tattoo artists are called "scratchers" I sadly worked a few weeks at a scratch shop and I was very upset that the ART of tattooing was not taken seriously by everyone who entered into this world. However, the money can come fast and easy and some people don't see art when they "tattoo" they only see dollar signs.
Miya Bailey is not one of those people, yes he is concerned about making money in order to provide for his children and move forward in life...I don't think anyone wants to be a "starving artist" but Miya, has a love for art I actually can't truly grasp in my early stages of being an artist. But it is a passion and love of art and creativity and educating those around him that has led him to create this truly inspiring documentary. It is a tool to spotlight various artists of color as well as a tool to teach people of all races about the art of tattooing that Miya has grown to be a leader in, the stories of truly amazing artists we may never have learned about.
One day hopefuly soon (the feeling is growing and growing) I will have the honor to let him tattoo my entire right arm(yes I love his art THAT much) until then, I will have to find daily inspiration from him and his TRUE love of art and the world of tattooing.
So,if you would,take a moment to watch the trailer for my friend Miya Bailey's documentary "Color Outside the Lines"
and if you would like to learn more about Miya and his City of Ink Family check out his blog :
The Miya Bailey Blog/