We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful BABA. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with BABA below.
Hi BABA, thanks for joining us today. Has your work ever been misunderstood or mischaracterized?
With all the social media mirepsentation of tattooers, people think that you must have a “specialty” !
I.e. “ he only does black n gray religious tattoos “ or “ she can only tattoo cute little tattoos” etc,
but being a tattooer from 89’ I , along with everyone else from that era, I learned to tattoo everything , every style, and learned it well!!
A well rounded Tattooer can do it all and do it so it last longer than the client will!! Hahaha
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi , my name is BABA. I am the owner of the World Famous Vintage Tattoo in Highland Park, Ca.
In the early 1970’s as a young child, there was a Tattoo Parlor on the way to and from school, so of course I used to sneak in and “check it out” That cool outlaw seed was planted!
In 1982 I started my journey as a Graffiti writer, which took me everywhere, bumping elbows with celebs, getting into parties in the hills etc, and eventually getting me to NYC for a show that Martin Wong was putting together.
In 1989 I met Jonathan Shaw and my Tattoo adventures had begun. Having Graffiti as a skill to bring to the table, I managed to get my foot into this world.
Tattooing is a secret world, that not a lot of people have the blessings of learning and carrying on its traditions.
Yes Tattooing has exploded into a huge industry, but those “Real secrets and traditions”are still kept private.
I founded and opened Vintage Tattoo Art Parlor in 1995 in Los Angeles, have have passionately kept these traditions alive.
As I write this I am in an Airport on my way to a Tattoo Convention in Ohio, I do and average of 18 conventions a year , since the mid 90’s
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
A Tattoo is a lifetime commitment, and the trust given to me for this Tattoo is extremely rewarding. Not only is the ink engraved into the flesh, but the memories of that day, and the process into the brain! Can’t get any better than that for rewarding
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
I had went to Art school , and thought I knew it all, as well as my graffiti background, and all of this meant NOTHING. Tattooing is a living art form, the skin stretches, ages, bleeds, gets sun burnt, shrinks etc So there is a whole different formula to designing and the application of tattoos.
Truly a craft handed down from master to student
- Website: Www.vintagetattoola.com
- Instagram: @babaxx11
Zach Schuellers Photography