In 2009, Miguel Collins interviewed Miya Bailey, tattooist, painter and co-founder of Atlanta's City of Ink. It remains one of our most popular posts, particularly because it dispels a lot of myths about tattoos and people of color. In their Q & A, Miya explains that, yes, you can put color in dark skin, but no, don't think you need to drill it in there. He also talks about his difficulties getting an apprenticeship as a black artist, what he's taught his own apprentices in turn, the relationship between tattooing and fine art, as well as the business behind running a successful shop. It's a great read.
Since that interview, Miya has been working on a film, with director Artemus Jenkins, on the experiences of professional black tattoo artists across the US:
Color Outside the Lines is one of the first of its kind to tackle the issue of race in the tattoo community. It does so in a way that is at times serious and at other times really funny; however, the film is informative and engaging throughout. [I had the pleasure of seeing a preview at the Complex Mag screening.] The documentary is not yet released -- they are entertaining offers and looking for the right distributor -- but you can get the feel of it from the trailer.