Monday, March 30, 2009

Jose Lopez...This guy is amazing!!!

I can respect any man that have came from the ghetto and made a serious come up. I have watched him do his tattoos in person, and Jose is an amazing talent. Check out this Vimby video..and I hope yall get inspired like I do everytime I see brother Jose at work...from the streets to the WORLD!

Also I will be on Vimby in a few weeks..I will keep you posted

Saturday, March 28, 2009

C.O.I. still doing $40 Walk-ins.....

City of Ink is doing a $40 Tattoo WALK-IN Special from 1pm-10pm. 100% CUSTOM tattoos...we never copy, one of a kind personal tattooing...drop by and enjoy the vibe of The City of Ink

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tonight @ The City of Ink

drop by tonight @ City of Ink...we are welcoming our DC homegirl tattoo artist, Imani from Pinz-N_Needlez to ATL....she will be showing some of her art work, and custom tennis shoe designs TONIGHT!

"Indian Pussy".....the art show

come by and enjoy the vibe of City of Ink......Music, free drinks, food, and NEW Art work!...lets welcome Imani to C.O.I...

City of Ink
323 Walker Street
Atlanta, GA 30313
404-525-4INK (4465)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm now taking Tattoo Appointments for LOS ANGELES (April 10-12)

I will be in Los Angeles for a week. I will be tattooing from April 10-12 at the
2nd Annual Tats & Art for a Cure Convention, Los Angeles Convention Center.

I am hand picking ALL of the people I will be tattooing myself. I have a large number of choices to pick from. I will be picking 4-6 people with the best ideas to tattoo in L.A.

I will have to start all the West Coast tattoos @ $500 because of flight coast, hotel rooms, car rental, I'm trying my BEST to keep my work affordable to all working class. I will do 1 to 3 appointments each day I'm please come creative!

If you can NOT afford $500 for a tattoo on this trip..I will be bringing some of the City of Ink staff with me, and they will be starting @ ONLY $150 for all freehand and custom thats VERY support me and City of ink out on the left coast.

Please call or text me your info to my cell: 404-644-1912 (for a Miya Bailey appointment)

if you want to book another of the City of Ink artist please call: 828-525-1080 (Demayne "general manager" will be booking all the other appointments)

Another late night....

I got off late again tonight...I'm tired but I can't sleep. I'm up working on the lettering for my website...I was suppose to be finished yesterday, but things came up. Just wanted to drop a quick line and get back to these drawings (at 4:11am) is an old school Atlanta, I miss the OLD ATL!, when did Atlanta get so damn Hollywood? I miss the SOULFUL Dirty South...someone tell Goodie Mob and Outkast to hurry the fuck up! T.I. is about to go to jail in a few days...who's going to step up?

Mr. Cartoon...West Coast Legend

You have to love when someone out the hood works hard and make it out the hood...BUT don't forget the hood...Mr. Cartoon, much respect homie...City of Ink respects your grind...keep inspiring the youth!

I have watch him man, grow bigger and bigger over the years. A lot of artist can't balance the business and the art at the are showing artist how to do it...keep making those business moves!..We still waiting for that graphic novel.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

City of Ink's Mel-Man featured in "URBAN INK" this month (page 88)

City of Ink's very own MEL-MAN aka Melvin Todd is featured in this months Urban Ink magazine. Tuki found Mel, on myspace and after seeing his tattoo talents and artwork we decided to hire him as a tattoo artist for City of Ink. He's been professionally tattooing for 5 years now. Melvin was trained in the art of tattooing down in Alabama, and has always worked in a professional tattoo shop. He's one of the coolest laidback tattoo artists I congratz on your Urban Ink feature bruh.

Me, Tuki Carter, and Melvin Todd are now all featured artists in Urban Ink Magazine...Sophie's article in Urban Ink will be featured next...and we are working on Corey Davis story things are moving all 6 tattoo artists from COI will ALL be featured in the pages of Urban Ink...City of Ink the "Motown" of tattooing...we promote our artists!

PS....make sure you go to your local bookstore and pick up BOTH INKED magazine and URBAN INK magazine and support the City of Ink Movement! To book Melvin Todd for a tattoo appointment please call: 404-525-4465 (1pm-10pm) I will upload the photos of Mel's article once I go pick up my copy from Borders books....blessings yall!

Bitches Brew (1969)

Watch, study, feel, and ENJOY.....Bitches Brew!

Miles Davis on 60 Min. (1990)

One of the many people on Earth that REALLY inspire me....Mr. Mile Davis (RIP) He's music and life has helped me created MANY of my past artwork. I just wanted to share with yall one of my heros...please enjoy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

2009 April issue of INKED Magazine (on sale now!)

By: by Adam Bernard, photos by Michael Blackwell
Date: 03-20-09

City of Ink
323 Walker Street
Atlanta, GA

Established: 2000
Artists: Miya Bailey, Tuki Carter, Corey Davis, Chris McAdoo, Melvin Todd, Ant, Sophie

When City of Ink cofounders Miya Bailey and Tuki Carter moved their tattoo shop Prophet Art from Asheville, NC, to Atlanta in 2000, they wanted a new start, both for the shop and their art. According to Bailey, the plan was "to break that boundary of what black people and Hispanic people should be getting as tattoos and reflect more of the lifestyle of the people we were doing." The simple rule: no more "gangster-type stuff."

They christened the new shop City of Ink and designed the interior to feel more like an art gallery than a tattoo parlor. "You won't walk into City of Ink and think it's a tattoo shop," explains Bailey. "The layout is an art gallery, and it's built like a loft, so the tattoo studios are upstairs." According to Carter, there's a reason they set up their shop this way. "It shows people that we're not just tattoo artists, that we can actually come up with something that's not quote-unquote tattoo-oriented."

Looking to attract more of the artistic community, Bailey began tailoring his work to be "a reflection of free-form soul and creativity." They hired artists Corey Davis, Chris McAdoo, Melvin Todd, Ant, and Sophie, and stressed the importance of flow to their new crew. "Everything moves with the contour of the body," Bailey explains. "If you draw a tattoo on paper and stick it on like a stencil, it looks like a tattoo—it looks like it's floating in the air, it doesn't look like it's contoured with the body. Our artists do everything contoured to the body, and it's shaped out, and it flows, and it looks like fine art."

Because of the difficulty of working with skin of color, the City of Ink team also worked on developing their method and fine-tuning their machines. "A lot of the old artists told us to run the machine high and get the ink in," Bailey explains, "but that's how you create scarification. Our style is a relaxed tattooing. There's no traumatizing the skin and barely any blood."

With everything they do, it should come as no surprise that City of Ink has become, in Sophie's words, "a creative oasis for all genres of artists." Bailey is extremely proud of this fact. "We're in a situation right now where we are the central point of the arts scene in Atlanta," he beams. "Not just the tattoo scene, but the whole art and music scene. This is like the mecca. Everybody who is an artist or a musician, they come to City of Ink just for inspiration because it's open for everybody. You don't have to get a tattoo just to be here."

The inspiration generated at the shop has attracted plenty of prominent musicians, including everyone from R&B superstar Usher, who was in Carter's chair earlier this year, to legendary battle rapper Canibus, whose iconic "4,3,2,1" microphone on his arm was done by Carter. Skateboarders, such as Stevie Williams, who was inked by Sophie, are also known to frequent the shop.

Fame, however, isn't limited to the clientele. Carter and McAdoo are musicians in the group Holly Weerd, and Davis is a part of the group Mark 5. Many of the artists have art hanging on the walls of the gallery. In addition, Bailey has two books planned for 2009: City of Ink, which will be a photographic trip through the scene they've created, and The Art of Miya Bailey, which will cover Bailey's entire artistic career. The City of Ink crew is also readying a reality television show based on the shop.

But no matter what they're busy doing, there's always one overarching goal behind it all. It's in the City of Ink motto, "Inspire your City," and their logo, a dripping star. "It represents that we believe everybody's a star," Bailey says. "but only a few drip down on other stars and inspire them." —Adam Bernard

Friday, March 20, 2009

INKED Magazine page's our turn!

Go to Borders books or Barnes & Nobles and pick up the lastest April issue of INKED Magazine. The City of Ink is featured on page 100-101. Props to Adam for writing a dope 2 page spread about our movement in ATL...we are honored, and thankful for this moment. Mr. Soul got a call from Goldi Gold and said that Borders on Ponce has the new INKED magazine on sale right now. We are the first all black artist staff (and first Atlanta tattoo shop) to be featured in the pages of INKED magazine.

PS..Mel-Man aka Melvin Todd from The City of Ink is also featured in the new issue of URBAN INK magazine. I haven't seen his article yet, but I'm excited for the young man. I can't wait to see his plaque hanging up on the walls of C.O.I. Sophie just did your interview with Urban Ink a few days be on the look out for your feature in that magazine next month (I think)...but for now go support us and pick up the new INKED issue (page 100-101) and the lastest Urban Ink magazine featuring Melvin Todd.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I want to get some new ink,....

I'm in the mood for some good ole tattoo I don't really like pain but it is worth the art. I have been reading alot of vampire comic books and graphic novels and their story is sexy, passionate, beautiful, sad, dark, and just inspiring to me. We all have a dark side its human nature, but I believe that dark side can be beautiful in many ways. These dark thoughts have inspired some of the worlds best movies, art, music, etc....but something about the vampire's dark story moves me. Since I miss alot of my daytime working at City of Ink I miss the sun and outdoors. The only time I get to hang with my friends are at night so I can relate. And all my friends live the same lifestyle I do because they are also tattoo artists,
musicians, or DJ's. So I think I want to get a sexy vampire girl with some nice lips, fangs, on some goth style Foxy Brown shit....yeahhh, some 70's old school flick type shit.

I also have an idea for something special for my father, mother, and my Uncle Bert. I think about my uncle often. He's fighting some inner demons right now and I pray for his life often. I just want him to know I still love him deeply and that he inspired my life in both good and bad ways but I needed both to help mold me into the man I am regrets, I love you Uncle I have to get a tattoo just for you.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sweet Swine.....

This is a piece I did for the "Enough is Enough" art show last month at The City of Ink. It was inspired by the police officers in Asheville and in Atlanta. I went to school with a few cops, and when they were in school they were a lil' sweet and on the soft side meaning girls wasn't into them and a few even had low self esteem. So maybe thats why they joined the police. Years later I had to confront a few of them. They all knew what type of man I was in school, and they carried those same images of me once they became the police. So of course I ALWAYS had drama with the police. I don't think ALL police are bad cops...just the ones I personal know myself....

PS...this painting will be hanging at City of Ink for the rest of the month until the next art show...also go to the Borders, Barnes & Nobles, or your local newsstands for the April issue of INKED Magazine (on sale March 24th) The City of Ink is on page 100....Dreams coming true!

Jax Lives!

Friday, March 13, 2009

15 Years old girl...and THE POLICE

What more can I say? Will I EVER see a "good" cop in my life time?? My daughter is the same age as the young lady in this video. I guess we will ALL stay "niggas" until we start protecting our children, women, and HONOR.

Photos by Kamilah Benjamin...look out for her!

I'm was flying back from San Fran this week, and once it was cool to turn my cellphone back on I got a text message from, Kamilah Benjamin asking if she could interview me that day. I had to drop off some gifts I bought for my staff so I told her to meet me at the shop. I have been following Ms. Benjamin's career (writing, blogging, photography, and her art) for a second now. I have watched her grow, and she is VERY focused. So I HAD to support her and do this interview with her before she headed back to Philly. It was a video interview so I will post it once she sends me a link. But here are 2 of the photos she shot of me. I was fresh off the plane so I was tired ass hell..and she got me with NO hat on my head...which is very rare...thanks Ms. Kamilah Benjamin, you are a "DRIPPING STAR" inspire your city....

City of Ink in INKED magazine "MARCH 24th"

A follow tattoo artist hit me on myspace today. He told me he had his hands on a copy of the April issues of INKED magazine and City of Ink is on page 100...of course I was excited because Inked is my favorite tattoo magazine. He dropped by the shop today to let me read the article...they did a lot of airbrush work on our photo BUT the article was perfectly written, thanks to the writer, Adam (who interviewed me years ago for Beyond Race Magazine based out of NY) dreams are coming true...last week Playboy hit me up and they have put City of Ink of their "A-LIST" of tattoo shops in America...good news and blessings keep coming our way....wait until you see the reality!!

Fuck the Mike Giant

Smoke that shit and fuck the police!..artist have no problem with expression.


I'd like to thank you for taking the time out to answer my questions, I know your a very busy person and I have a great respect for art so please don't think I would ever write something to condemn what you do.

1 how much training do you have?
I was trained by Master Tattoo artist, Julia Alponsio formerly of West End tattoo in ATL for 3 years. It was the hardest thing I have ever did in my life. She is old school so she trained me the way it was suppose to be. I mopped a lot of floors, cleaned towels, cleaned windows, made stencils, made needlez, cleaned tubes, and made runs to the store for all the artists before me. It was very hard, you have to humble yourself. She was a good teacher I have no regrets. She helped save my life.

2 How much training do you actually need?
To be tattooist you need to know is how to tone your tattoo machine and follow a good stencil flash off the wall. To be a tattoo artist you much be a real artist with vision because tattoo artists only do custom work. We listen to ideas and create a visual for the client. A scratcher needs no training or can't get professional training before they are doing tattoo parties and house calls. They aren't professionals and they usally do cheap tattoos to under cut the professionally trained tattooists and tattoo artists.

3 Do you have any knowledge of the history of tattoos and Piercings?
Yes of course, that's the first part of your training. You can't call yourself a tattoo artists or tattooist without honoring the tattoo forefathers and knowing their history.

4 Do you have any tattoos?
Yes Im inked I look like a tattoo artist and my collection of body art will grow until I have no more room.

5 If so how many?
Tattoo artists can't count their ink that's like trying to count all the images in one mural.

6 Do you have children?
Yes I have 3 children (2 girls and a boy)

7 What do you intend to tell them when they ask for or about tattoos?
We talk about body art all the time. When they are 18 I want to ink them if they want them. If I can't tattoo them myself then I would send them to City of Ink. I only want the best artist on my childrens skin.

8 Do you have any tattoos if so how many?

9 how many tattoos do you do in a day?
I do 1-3 tattoos a day I work 10 to 13 hours each tattoo work day.

10 how many celebrities have you done tattoos for?
I don't drop names, I don't believe dropping my clients names for self promotion. But City of Ink usally handles the celebs so I can focus more on my appointments. I only tattoo Hollywood people when they follow my rules and book an appointment. If someone will wait for my art then Im honored to ink them and put 100% of my heart and soul in their piece. I don't like people who can't wait they don't inspire me. Don't use your money to break in line, respect those who have worked hard and set an appointment and waited for me.

11 What is the most the most significant tattoo you have ever done?
I guess its my Pulp Fiction backpiece, its been fun.

13 What would you say to some one that tells you that tattoos and Piercings are a desecration to the body?
I don't even talk to people who don't respect or honor art
They are not part of my world, so I keep that knowledge to myself. Let some dumb people stay dumb.

14 Has anyone ever come back complaining of an infection or other illness from receiving a tattoo or piercing?
HELL NO..I was professionally trained and I work at City of Ink. Only the best in safety for our clients.

15 what is the most extreme tattoo you have ever done?
Extreme to ME is when people get their boyfriends names tattooed on them...that's just crazy to me.

16 what is the most extreme tattoo you have ever seen?
Nothing is extreme to an artist...extreme to me are name tattoos and praying hands. The same stuff people were getting in the 90's are just crazy to me.

17 What kind of educational background do you have?
I went to college at A.I.A that's where I met my business partner, Tuki Carter and Samba our shop manager.

18 Tattooing has recently become very popular among teenagers, how do you safe guard against tattooing a minor?
We follow the same laws and rules all the other professional shops follow. We copy the state I.D. and have legal paperwork.

19 What advice would you have for a child who is dead set on getting one?
Your still growing research the artform and wait until your 18 or 21 years old and it will be worth the wait but do RESEARCH and look for your perfect artist so when you turn the legal age in your state you will have more knowledge of real tattooing is all about.

20 have you reached your set career goal?
No way, I want to open an City of Ink tattoo shop & Art Gallery in every major city in America. I also want to start a film and publishing company. Once my book is in stores they will clearly understand what the City of Ink Movement is really about.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Back in ATL

I got back in Atlanta yesterday afternoon. I went straight to City of Ink and dropped off everyones gifts from San Fran. The trip was beautiful. Sophie was the star of the Body Art Expo. She tattooed from opening to closing. I was all booked up in advance so I'm glad she came along to handle all the walk-ins...she is a real dripping STAR! I will post the photos later...I have 30min. to jump in the shower and get ready for my first appointment at 3pm...I will tell yall all the stories IF I get a break today at work....SF is one of the best cities I have ever visited in my life.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Birthday in San Fran.....

I will be flying off to San Francisco today for the Body Art Expo. Tomorrow is my bday so I'm excited to be in the Bay for the first time. A lot of my favorite artist are in SF, including Mike Giant so I hope to see some of his art work in person at some of the art galleries out there...I have a list of people who wants to get tattooed by me. I can't tattoo them all, so Sophie will be coming with me to handle some of the smaller jobs....I'm hoping Tuki will fly out also so he can grab a few names off that list. I will have to pick people with the most creative ideas. And since HOTEL, FLIGHT, RENTAL, and FOOD cost so much out there..I will have to start MY tattoos for at less $500 to make a profit in the Bay Area....I still won't make what I make in ATL, BUT it's worth having some of my art walking around on the streets of San Fran...Sophie will handle all the tattoos UNDER $500 for me...I'm not playing around...I want to do some of my BEST work ever out there...and I have read the list and I have see some really DOPE tattoo I will be picking the people with the best tattoo ideas once I land and unpack. I have two full day appointments booked after I finish those big projects, I will jump on the $500 pieces...I wish I could tattoo for a lower price out there...but MAN this trip has COST me a nice penny so it's time to make that money right I have decided to stay until the I will have sometime to do some shopping and check out the art scene and galleries...many blessings yall, time for me to finish packing my bags...

PS...if you need info on how to get a tattoo by me or Sophie while we are in San Fran...just call Demanyne (tour manager) 828-582-1080

If you have a list of good places to go shopping in SF and some of the art galleries send me a text at 404-644-1912...I really want to explore the area so I can make San Fran my 3rd tattoo home.

March 6th -8th 2009
Body Art Expo- San Francisco
Cow Palace, San Francisco, CA
2600 Geneva Ave., Daly City, CA. 94104

Monday, March 2, 2009