About the film
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.
A lot of people also don't understand the purpose of paying a few extra dollars for what appears to be a tattoo anyone is capable of doing, after all, you just need someone with a machine and gloves right? This film sheds light on the dangers of not considering who you let mark your body FOREVER!
The black community has an overwhelming population of "scratchers": untrained people with tattoo machines looking to make a fast buck. A person’s thirst to get inked often leads them to seek out a scratcher because they are sold on the cheap price and opportunity to get inked. More often than not the end result is a poor tattoo that many regret, can become infected or just looks terrible. This perpetuates the cycle of stigmas associated with the art form.
The primary purpose here is education, basically if people knew better they would do better. There are dozens of black artists who are trained and highly skilled in any form of tattooing one could ask for. Once people watch this film we really want them to have a better understanding of their options and a deeper appreciation for the art form.
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 suprising 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.