Aspiring tattoo artist Maria Boehm emailed me a couple of weeks ago with a link to her blog, Tattoo Honey, which documents her apprenticeship at the Brooklyn Ink Spot, at 717 Franklin (just south of Park Pl). I'd been meaning to swing by to see her in action ever since, and I finally got around to it today.
A graduate of Parsons with an illustration major, Maria was working on a pair of studies for a commissioned piece (i.e. a customer requested a specific concept, which one of the certified artists will execute) when I arrived. A collection of her own ideas hung on a neighboring wall (bottom photo) with images from dragons to Russian dolls. She explained that while a tattoo license is fairly easy to get, and mostly hinges on knowledge of sanitary procedures, she and her mentors plan for her to spend at least eight months as an apprentice before she actually goes to work on someone's skin (she's been at it for nearly three already). Her preparations consist of drawing, often with instruments that compare to a tattoo gun including bamboo and reed pens, observing the artists in action, and tattooing fruit.
Maria keeps another blog of her sketches here, and she's definitely excited about her work, and about joining the ranks of Brooklyn tattoo artists. She's in good hands, too, with a pair of talented artists, Ed (who featured as a model in my cornhole post) and Damien, to guide her. Full disclosure--I know next to nothing about tattooing, but I spoke with these guys for ten minutes and loved almost everything they said, both about the particular aesthetics of their craft and the broader image they want to build within a community of artists. Among other things, they're starting a project to document local tattoos, both their work and others. If they put photos up, I'll have the link ASAP. Damien, who I spent more time chatting with, has an infectious passion for both his work and the neighborhood (nary a minute went by that he didn't greet someone on the sidewalk where we were chatting) that reminded me of Sue Rock. In short, this will not be my last visit to (or last post on) the Brooklyn Ink Spot--there's a lot of good stuff going on here.