My generation is completely enthralled by the idea of being “inked” up and turning their bodies into a canvas representing and embodying everything they believe and stand for. It’s almost common to see someone with not just one, but multiple tattoo’s. With that said, Miya Bailey (Visual Artist/Co-owner of City Of Ink) & Artemus Jenkins’ (Director) documentary couldn’t come at a better time. Spotlighting a side of the culture that has been in the dark: the struggles, hardship, and overall arduousness that the African American tattoo artist has dealt with. Let me rephrase. Even though its main focus is on tattoo artists of the African American descent, the interviews and stories provide you with insight on how far this art form has truly come.
The best way I can describe the film is raw. Nothing about this documentary is PBS, intertwining the life stories and knowledge from legends, world renowned artist, and rising visionaries. It covers all spectrums of the tattoo world, laying out all the information on a silver platter for the ones that have a true hunger to learn. You’ll grasp the concept that this isn’t just a job or an occupation to these artistic inclined individuals. They inhale creativity and exhale brilliance. Miya Bailey and Tuki Carter, whose stories are told in auto-biography format, show how far determination, drive, and pure passion can take you.
It’s not lengthy – probably pushing over 85 minutes – but what can you except from the first true tattoo documentary on African Americans. By the end you will be enlighten, inspired, and want to take pride in the lifetime commitment that comes with a tattoo. Understand the reasoning on why you should put quality over quantity. It will make you see tattooing as a culture that had so many barriers up at one point an atomic bomb was needed to break through. There will probably never be another documentary on this level. Miya and Artemus traveled for three years to places such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Baton Rouge, Detroit, etc. to give you this amazing perspective. Appreciate their vision, embrace the info they present, and open your eyes to endless possibilities and the type of art that can potentially last forever. I’m honored I had the chance to see the movie exclusively.
Do yourself a favor and be sure to watch Color Outside The Lines when it’s officially released. Down below you can see the trailer and all artists that will be interviewed throughout the duration of the film.
Atlanta: Miya Bailey, Anthony Locke, Melvin Todd, Trevor Lightsy, Tyrone “Red” Cooley, Brandon Bond, Russ Abbott, Phil Colvin, Julia Alfonso, Lord Yatta, Duel, Chris McAdoo, Craig Foster, Qulock Nimmons, Rikky Castillo, Tuki Carter, Corey Davis, Paper Frank
New York: Sophie C’est La Vie, Made Rich, Derrick Verley of OneStroke Tattoo
New Orleans: Jacci Gresham
Baton Rouge: Kirk Boutte, Courtney Young, Shagari, Jiggy, Torrey, Johani
San Fran: Mo Betta
Miami: Lordgyn “Gino” Belizaire, Alex Campbell, Darren, V, Freddy aka Mystical Clown
LA: Zulu, James Spooner
DC: Imani Brown, Chris Mensah
Detroit: Ace, Lady L
Cincinnati: Seven, Mreeuh
Orlando: Twig Sparks
Seattle: Damon Conklin