Go Inside the Lives of African American Tattoo Artists with “Color Outside The Lines” documentary
Posted by on Apr 2, 2012

Many have tattoos, but can you really call them a work of art? Then the amount of us that have tattoos versus that amount of those that were tatted by an African American tattoo artist is probably something crazy like one in a million. As a person that has 11 tattoos I can say that only one of them was done by an African American artist and his name is Miya Bailey. He is the brainchild behind this documentary filmed by Artemus Jenkins to bring awareness about the struggle blacks had with entering the field.

My life, in regards to tattoos and my thinking when it comes to the art changed dramatically when I found Bailey o myspace in 2006.











A custom made tattoo? From a person that has always been in love with them since I was a young teen but used to walking in a tattoo shop and picking out a picture on a wall or book, I couldn’t believe there were so many other options. I was determined to have one of his pieces on my body, not even realizing the struggle it took for him to get where he currently creates at City of Ink in Atlanta, Georgia.

Last week at Complex Magazine offices in New York City I was able to see a different side of the man who’s art I’ve been following online for years. As well as the struggle it took for him and other black tattoo artists to get in the game and earn their keep. Check out the trailer below.

The documentary that was around 90minutes long was very insightful, raw and even funny at times. Made me proud that I have one of his pieces on me for life. Soon after finding him online, I flew from New York City to Atlanta just to have a piece of his brilliance.

Outside of learning the history behind blacks getting in the field and how cliche tattooing has become, especially in the entertainment world, it also made me reflect on the tattoo decisions that I’ve made in my life and I now want to get one covered up. Will definitely be reaching out to him again for another work of art. Hoping he won’t charge me the celebrity prices, I’m still on the come up, LOL! The film does not have a release date as of yet but to educate yourself and get updates on when it will be check out http://www.coloroutsidethelinesfilm.com


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